Formal and Informal

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At what point do you quit using formal conjugations and use informal. Do you use formal to a stranger and to one of your friends' parents? Do you always use formal or do you start using informal when you get to know them better, and what do you use with your teacher? I'm not fluent obviously and I don't know some things like this.

Also, how do say I like you. Is it "te gusto" or "me gustas". I thought it was te gusto but someone on here told me it was me gustas which doesn't make any sense to me.

4351 views
updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Matthew-Jones

7 Answers

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I use formal to start a conversation or ask a question with everyone, except friends and children. Then if the person I'm talking to replies informally I switch.

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Mz-Badger
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Gracias Lazarus!!

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Brandi
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Remove that "tú" and it will be A LOT better:

Me gusta cómo eres. = I like the way you are

Learning not to use the personal pronouns in Spanish should be constantly encouraged... until one learns where and when to use them.

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Look at the corresponding words on each sentence:

te gusto = I am pleasing to you / you like me
me gustas = you are pleasing to me / I like you

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I would say "me gusta como tu eres" I am not sure but to me that sounds better. meaning I like how you are.

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Brandi
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I hear ya, I have problems with it too. I slip in and out of informal all the time b/c Im not good enough at spanish yet. I don't think it really matters too much because I think hispanic people can tell when you're not fluent enough and they're not gonna hold it against you. They're usually surprised when gringos know anything haha

And I would say "me gustate," but I'm no professor

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Ashlita
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I like you = Me gustas

About formal conjugations there is no rule. In Spain it is used less than it used to be. It remains with elder people, above all, but not always...The informal conjugation is very extended and nobody will be surprised or upset if you use it.

updated JUN 19, 2008
posted by Dunia