Spanish Pronouns & Usted and Tú Clarified
Spanish pronouns are what we would say in English as I, You (singular or plural), She or He, We, and They. It’s pretty straightforward from the graphic below, except in Spanish we distinguish between You formal and You informal, and whether or not they are male or female (Spanish doesn’t have “it”, which is gender neutral). (This teaching applies to Spanish in the Americas only, as you will notice we do not teach the use of vosotros…)
If they are all females, we use the feminine version, but if there are any males included whatsoever (including all females and just one male), then we use the masculine version. In English we don’t have this distinction, so sometimes it can be hard to remember to use the proper gender…don’t worry, it just takes practice! To understand the distinction between Usted and Tú, read below for an explanation:
Usted and Tú are both the Spanish equivalent of the singular You, but they are used in different situations, depending on who we are talking to. Usted shows formality or respect and is used to address people with whom one is not well acquainted or with people of authority, such as a teacher, an elder, or a supervisor. Tú is used in informal situations, and is used to address people such as friends, family members, or children.
When in doubt, it’s always better to use Usted!
Please use the graphic or video below for a visual and audio representation of Spanish pronouns and their corresponding pronouns in English. The clarification between Usted and Tú is also included, along with practice exercises (in the video) to help remind you of the differences.
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