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What is the difference between the "Usted" form and the "Yo" form? I don't understand what the different forms mean. What do they signify? Why are there two different forms?

  • Posted Aug 12, 2012
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It might help to picture the conjugation (the changes of the verb depending on who is the subject of the verb). A verb can have a singular subject (one person). In the present tense there would be 3 forms of the verb: one corresponding to the subject "I", one corresponding to the subject "you (familiar one person)", and one corresponding to the person he / she / or it (this form is used also when the subject is usted which is the formal "you (one person)". When you look at the verbs below you can see that the ending changes (has a different form) depending on who is the subject:

yo hablo - I speak

tú hablas - you (my friend, family member or classmate) speak

usted habla - you (my teacher, older person not family) speak

él / ella habla - he / she speaks

This is just the beginning. Use whatever resources are available to study and learn all the many "forms" of the Spanish verbs.

2 Vote

Verb conjugation is without a doubt the hardest thing for English speakers tp get a handle on when they are learning Spanish. In English, our "conjugations" change very little between the various "persons": the I, you, we, they. The only varience is usually with he/she/it.

Take the verb "talk", for instance. I talk, you talk, they talk, we talk, you all talk. The verb form is the same, and we must differentiate who is doing the talking by using a subject pronoun. (I, you, we, they, he, she, it)

In Spanish, the verb itself changes with each "actor". For this verb (hablar), the verb forms are yo hablo, tú hablas, él/ella/usted habla, nosotos hablamos, vosotros habláis, and ellos/ellas/ustedes hablan. Because each actor uses a different word for the verb, it is not necessary to use the pronoun. You automatically can understand who is doing the talking. "Hablamos español" means "we talk (speak) Spanish".

1 Vote

In Spanish, verbs are conjugated in such a way that the ending of the verb changes for each subject. This is why, a lot of the time, subject pronouns can be omitted in Spanish, as the ending of the verb indicates the subject. So, when people say "the usted form" or "the yo form", they are indicating which conjugation of the verb they mean.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

Bailar (infinitive)

-bailo (Yo form)

-baila (Usted form)

Cantar (infinitive)

-canto (Yo form)

-canta (Usted form)

As you can see above, the ending of the verb changes with the subject. Really all people mean when they say "the usted form" or "the yo form" is which subject they are giving the verb.

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