you in Spanish
The use of the pronoun you in Spanish is not as straight forward as we may think, especially if we consider that we have plural, singular, formal and informal. So how and when do we use you in Spanish? These days the most used form of you in Spanish is tú in singular and vosotros in plural. If it is someone that you just met, an old person, business client etc we use a more formal approach. For this sort of situations we use usted for singular and ustedes for plural, the usage depending on the person you’re talking to and/or the circumstances. There is not a rule set in stone for this so, when it is difficult to find the appropriate form of treatment, it is useful to ask: “¿puedo tutearlo ?” Meaning, can I treat you with “tú”?Or say: “puedes tutearme (you can treat with “tú). In both cases the answer is supposed to be affirmative and from there on the exchange can be done in a friendly way.
There is another friendly form for you in Spanish, vos This form is used in Buenos Aires and some other regions. Its use is equivalent to tú, no more no less respectful. The vos informal is opposed to the formal form “Usted”.
In recent years it has expanded the use of vos as approach friendly and treatment. It is perhaps the most common form used and usted is used to put distance, to mark intentionally hierarchies, show admiration for someone older or highlighting the respectful treatment.
The vos is used friendly or with a friendly intention or among young. Even in the teacher-student, boss-employee, vendor-client relation the vos can be used, unless the intention is to highlight the asymmetry.
Usted is used in formal work situations (business meeting, interview with a client, etc.)and among the elderly.
If you like to learn about other pronouns in Spanish and its use visit http://www.spanish-aid.co.uk/grammar/spanish-pronouns/