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Knowing When to Use the Spanish Tú and Usted

Yes,, we all have been there! Many people thinks english is a way more easy language to learn than spanish! What do you think? Are you agree with that statement...


We do accept that some things in #spanish are more complex to understand ... and that is the case of Usted and Tú. Through the following lines we will explain the uses from both in an easy way.

Here in Outdoor Ecuador Spanish School, we teach the necessary grammar to understand the rules, but our main goal is also to provide as much as possible technics and tips to be fluent. Learning a new language can be challenging, but we do not focus on the hard part, we focus in the overall experience. Yes, after few lessons you will feel comfortable to speak and immerse in the culture.



We as native spanish speakers use (too is how it sounds in english) and usted (oos-tehd= also pronounced in english), which both mean “you,” to express the formality of a relationship.


By instance: Tú is less formal than usted.


In other words you should use when you are having a conversation with someone of the same age, the same rank, or the same educational level, a friend, a girlfriend, boyfriend, a child, a pet and so on. You can also use it when you want to express a certain level of intimacy with someone.


Usted is the oposite, signifies a more respectful way of talking to someone, such as a new acquaintance, an older person, a politician, police, our grand parents, our neighbor, or someone you consider to be of higher rank. But we also use it with someone that we do not know, is not a bad thing... for example a taxi driver, if you do not feel like having a conversation, or the cashier at the supermarket, the parking security guy, the dry cleaner and so on.. Is a way to keep respect and also bit distance.


The important thing is pay attention to this phrase: Usted puede TUTEARME! that means you can talk to me informally (meaning call me TU)


But spanish speakers will ask the first question as:

Como se llama? You probably know that we do not ask what is your name... instead we ask: How do you call yourself? so if someone tells you Como SE llama? is making the conversation formal - Respectful

If they ask you COMO TE LLAMAS? that is informal...


Also applications and all formal questions at the bank, insurances, local authorities will be USTED and probably has the abbreviation Ud.

Just in case!!! Everyone in Outdoor Ecuador Spanish School is TU! we are a family! and you are welcome to join us always!!!




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