HomeQ&AWhen do I need to say Usted?

When do I need to say Usted?

1
vote

I know who I should use the usted with, but when do I say the word 'Usted?'

I hear people say ¿como está usted? ... but no-one says ¿como estás tú?

So do I say it only in place to Tú, or should it be used in sentences using the usted form?

4213 views
updated OCT 14, 2009
posted by pablopimiento

5 Answers

1
vote

When a verb is conjugated to the 2nd person singular, as in "tú", you know right away who is being spoken about. There is only one option. When words are conjugated to the 3rd person singular (or plural for that matter), there are several choices as to who is being spoken about...él, ella, usted, etc. So sometimes, in order to clarify, "usted" might be added to the sentence. This doesn't happen with the word "tú" as much.

So it is not so much that you are replacing the word "tú". Rather, when you are looking at the sentence, ask yourself if it is clear who is being spoken about. If you want the reader or listener to know you are not speaking about "él" or "ella", but the formal version of the word "tú", than add usted.

updated OCT 8, 2009
posted by Nicole-B
Teamwork! :) - Goyo, OCT 8, 2009
Gracias Usted!!! - Nicole-B, OCT 8, 2009
I know that is not proper grammer....just a play on words. - Nicole-B, OCT 8, 2009
Gracias Greg y Nicole. ¡Ustedes son un buen equipo! - pablopimiento, OCT 8, 2009
1
vote

Usted should be used in sentences using the "usted form", i.e. 3rd person singular.

You don't hear ¿Cómo estás tú? because the tú is unnecessary. People just say ¿Cómo estás?

In fact, you probably don't hear ¿Cómo está usted? much in real Spanish. They just say ¿Cómo está?

updated OCT 8, 2009
edited by Goyo
posted by Goyo
So you use the word usted so people can differentiate 3rd person singular meaning he/she/it and the polite form of you. Right? - pablopimiento, OCT 8, 2009
Right- if necessary. And I've come to realize that we're all taught to say ¿Cómo está usted? so we will know where to put the usted if we need it. - Goyo, OCT 8, 2009
0
votes

The "usted" is mostly used to show respect, as sodzee said. Respect to older people, or people that you do not know nor familiar with. The 'tu" is used amog friends, people of the same age or younger and family members.

updated OCT 14, 2009
edited by siguenza69
posted by siguenza69
0
votes

If youre talking to someone you respect (formal)

updated OCT 8, 2009
posted by sodzee
0
votes

Usted is for formal conversations, at work, university, the bank, an attorney. In some countries, husbands and wives use usted, but it isn´t common among family members

updated OCT 8, 2009
posted by Rcooper
I know WHO to use it with. I know one would use the third person in formal conversations. But when do I say the word Usted as opposed to Tú? - pablopimiento, OCT 8, 2009
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