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As a beginner in learning Spanish, I'm really CONFUSED with the use of "vuestros" and "sus". PLEASE HELP!!!

Please see the following examples.

1 Abuela: Marisa y Clarisa, ;qué bonitas son____ faldas! ¿Son nueva?

2 DORA: ¿_____hermanos no están casados?

 ANA:     Mis hermana es soltera.

My answer for both blanks is "vuestors", but the correct answer is "sus".

Why is that? Can someone Please explain it to me and help me to know how to use these two correctly?

Thank you Very Much.

The Sad Lady

  • Posted Oct 15, 2010
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  • vuestras faldas ('falda' is feminine) - samdie Oct 15, 2010 flag

5 Answers

2 Vote

Like Stadt says, "vuestros" and "sus" are equivalent in number and gender, son unless there's anything in those sentences that tells you whether you are talking in the more polite "ustedes" or the more informal "vosotros", both can be correct. Still, it is probably not a good idea to confuse informal with slang, "tú" and "vosotros" can be used in formal conversations as long as there is enough trust or familiarity between the speakers, depending on the country. In other words, assimilating "tú" with "you all" is taking it a little too far smile

One thing that is probably very confusing about usted/ustedes is that the pronouns and conjugations used for them are identical to the pronouns and conjugations used for él/ellos, respectively. That's why saying "sus faldas" can mean either "your skirts" or "their skirts". In your case, it seems that grandma is looking at Marisa's and Clarisa's skirts, and is telling them: "how beautiful are your skirts!". The answer would be "vuestros" or "sus", and you can't tell which one from the context.

In the second case it's more of the same. The question is: "aren't your brothers and sisters married? And Ana's answer (although with a typo) is: "My sisters are single". So again, the right answer is either "vuestros" or "sus", and you can't say which one is correct.

One guess is that the book you got that from was written by a Spanish speaker that uses "usted/ustedes" for the majority of cases.

  • That is probably why I couldn't get it, this is probably aimed at parts of the world where ustedes becomes the plural of tú - Stadt Oct 15, 2010 flag
  • By the way, is it correct to say Marisa's and Clarisa's skirts, or is it better to say Marisa and Clarisa's? - bill1111 Oct 15, 2010 flag
  • See below, I cannot answer this in a comment properly- but your usage is correct in this case. - Stadt Oct 15, 2010 flag
  • Wait.. is it "vosotros" or "vuestros" since we are talking about possession? - the_brown_la Oct 15, 2010 flag
  • Ah thx, I went into automatic mode there and made a typo. - bill1111 Oct 16, 2010 flag
2 Vote

Possessives

To answer Billstpor's comment, I took this from the site above:

When you are showing possession with compounded nouns, the apostrophe's placement depends on whether the nouns are acting separately or together.

Miguel's and Cecilia's new cars are in the parking lot. This means that each of them has at least one new car and that their ownership is a separate matter. Miguel and Cecilia's new cars are in the parking lot. This construction tells us that Miguel and Cecilia share ownership of these cars. The possessive (indicated by 's) belongs to the entire phrase, not just to Cecilia. Another example:

Lewis and Clark's expectations were very much the same. This construction tells us that the two gentlemen held one set of expectations in common. Lewis's and Clark's expectations were altogether different. This means that the expectations of the two men were different (rather obvious from what the sentence says, too). We signify separate ownership by writing both of the compounded proper nouns in the possessive form.

So your usage was correct, as it was each of their skirts, and not a set of shared skirts.

1 Vote

"Vuestro(a)" is your (plural, informal- you all's in improper English). "Su" is their. Also his, her, or your (formal- plural or singular).

In the first conversation it appears that they are talking about other people, so you would use "their".

In the second sentence I don't see enough context to be sure.

In the final sentence, she is speaking of her sister, so she would use my="mi". I am not sure why mis is there.

It is difficult to be sure without a little more context- because the more I look at these sentences the more they seem open to multiple interpretations as to who is speaking to who about whom.

If you were using "vuestro" before "faldas" you would use "vuestras" because you need plural and gender agreement.

  • See Billstpor's answer please - Stadt Oct 15, 2010 flag
0 Vote

Stadt and Billstpor, thank you very much on answering my question. Yes, there is a typo on Ana's answer. It should be "Mi" instead of "Mis". Again, thank you for correcting that. grin

0 Vote

Vuestro/s is more specific that su/s. When you hear vuestro/s someone is being adressed, just like when you hear tú, tu, or usted, ustedes. Su and sus can refer to a 3rd party.

  • Ok. So that means the correct word for question # 1 should be "vuestros" in stead of " sus" since Marisa and Clarisa have been addressed by their abula. Is it right? Thank you. - the_brown_la Oct 16, 2010 flag
  • Nope, "A implies B" doesn't mean that "B implies A". If someone addresses you (in plural) he can do it with either "vuestro" or "sus", no doubt about it. What he meant is that "su/sus" can be misunderstood if there is not enough context. - bill1111 Oct 16, 2010 flag
  • For example, if someone tells you "me gusta tu pelo", you know he means "your hair". If he tells you "me gusta su pelo", and he's addressing you as "usted", you need the context to know if he means "your" or "his". - bill1111 Oct 16, 2010 flag
  • I think I get it (maybe..) if abuela says " Marisa" instead of "Marisa y clarisa", then the sentense should be " que bonitas vuestros faldas". However, since abuela mentioned both "marisa y clarisa" and we should use "sus" . right? thank you. - the_brown_la Oct 16, 2010 flag
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