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Old 03-31-2008, 03:37 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,247,149 times
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This thread brings back bittersweet memories. I did my undergrad capstone thesis on "voseo". I learned a lot, but at the same time it was way more than I ever needed/wanted to know on the topic!
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:56 AM
 
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If you are an American and you are going to speak Spanish in Spain, you can stick to the very simple rule of using "tú" to anyone you'd call by their first name, and "usted" to people you'd call "Mr/Ms X". This would work in virtually all cases.

I can think of an excepcion or two but they are... well, excepcional, such as an rich old lady addressing her butler... she'd call him "usted" but use her first name, unqualified by a "don". Some people such as a parish priest or a university professor or a more or less venerable old man such as Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan are called "don X" [first name] rather than by their second name, in that case they are always "usted" too. Drop the "don" and you'd be calling them "tú".
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:07 AM
 
984 posts, read 3,422,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sciuro View Post
If you are an American and you are going to speak Spanish in Spain, you can stick to the very simple rule of using "tú" to anyone you'd call by their first name, and "usted" to people you'd call "Mr/Ms X". This would work in virtually all cases.

I can think of an excepcion or two but they are... well, excepcional, such as an rich old lady addressing her butler... she'd call him "usted" but use her first name, unqualified by a "don". Some people such as a parish priest or a university professor or a more or less venerable old man such as Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan are called "don X" [first name] rather than by their second name, in that case they are always "usted" too. Drop the "don" and you'd be calling them "tú".
Thanks for the tip!

I can't remember using usted in Spain either.
I was a bit surprised first to see how almost everybody 'ed each other, but I guess it just shows difference between countries. In France, it's almost like the opposite, where you sometimes even vous someone you know well.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Burkina Faso
421 posts, read 676,089 times
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I went to a Spanish speaking country (Honduras), and addressed everyone as Usted, with my limited Spanish speaking skills. It's safer that way
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:36 PM
 
984 posts, read 3,422,057 times
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Default Tú in Spain

In Spain, doesn't have much to do with respect. You simply adress one person with , like in Israel, Scandinavia, and in English.
It's actually pretty practical.

I wonder when they use usted. In very formal settings and with old people, I guess. ?
Even in the university the students and the professors each other.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 6,371,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
In Spain, doesn't have much to do with respect. You simply adress one person with , like in Israel, Scandinavia, and in English.
It's actually pretty practical.

I wonder when they use usted. In very formal settings and with old people, I guess. ?
Even in the university the students and the professors each other.
Things have changed through the years. My father used to use "usted" with his parents. I always used "tu" with my grandparents(his parents). Nobody ever corrected me. I am in my 30's and we used "usted" with older people and with strangers. Not sure how much it used now.

My dh is of Dominican descent and uses "usted" all the time. My dd now uses it too.

In most Latin-American countries "ustedes" is used instead of "vosotros".
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:54 PM
 
984 posts, read 3,422,057 times
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Default Como querás

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzie02 View Post
My dh is of Dominican descent and uses "usted" all the time. My dd now uses it too.
You're right. There is no singular rule that is valid in all Hispanic countries.

In some parts of Colombia and Costa Rica, usted doesn't have anything to do with respect, either. That's just the way to address one person, no matter who.
In Argentina the rules are different, Uruguay is a bit different, Chile is different, Honduras is different, etc. Even within one country there are variations, as you see with the examples with Colombia above.

Native speakers are so used to the various ways of addressing each other, to many it doesn't really matter whether you address them with vos, , or usted. Especially being a non native speaker, this won't be a problem.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:21 AM
 
107 posts, read 121,375 times
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usted is formal, it is for people older than you
tu is for people your age, and informal
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:45 AM
 
984 posts, read 3,422,057 times
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Default Hablá como querás

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDoe2008 View Post
usted is formal, it is for people older than you
tu is for people your age, and informal
In certain areas in certain countries.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, there is no uniform rule for the whole Hispanic world. You can use whatever pronoun you like, being a foreigner makes things even easier in this regard.
If you live in a hispanic country for a certain amount of time, you can then pick up the pattern people around you use.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: La Isla Encanta, Puerto Rico
1,170 posts, read 3,250,737 times
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I know a little portuguese from working with Angolans and Brazilians and they use "voce" (vossay phonetically). It's used almost exclusively for the English "you" in nearly all situations, though "tu" does exist and can be used for children and real good friends only. It's interesting that the Spanish countries that use "vos" surround Brazil in South America.
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