Spanish Lesson 3: Vosotros & Ustedes


¿Cómo están ustedes?

How do you say “you” in Spanish? Well you (no pun intended) learnt two different ways to say it in our last lesson, but I’m here to teach you another two ways!!!

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 12.01.16 PM

Don’t worry, by the end of this lesson, you’ll be a pro!

Vosotros  Ustedes Tú  Usted

There are singular and plural forms, which aren’t distinguished in the English word, although we can usually tell which is meant. For example when speaking to one child, a mother might say, You go clean your room. When speaking to two or more children she might say, You go clean your room(s). In Spanish, there would be a different pronoun used for you (and verb ending changes) in the above examples.

Spanish also has formal and informal (sometimes called polite and “familiar”) ways of saying “you”.  The usage depends on the person you’re talking to and/or the circumstances.

A chart showing the various ways of saying “you”

Singular informal
Singular formal Usted
Plural informal (used mainly in Spain) Vosotros
Plural formal Ustedes (Uds.)

Vosotros and Ustedes

Vosotros is a form of ‘you’ that is used mostly in Spain and as a result is often not taught (or only mentioned) in North American and Caribbean Spanish classrooms, where the focus is on Latin American Spanish.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 12.02.45 PM

Age is a factor: In Spain, young people generally only use ustedes with older people when the situation is formal; once a situation becomes more informal, the switch is made to the more familiar vosotros.  Older speakers use vosotros with younger individuals.  Radio and television hosts use ustedes when talking to a mature audience, but vosotros if the audience is young.

You will sometimes come across vosotros in Latin American Spanish, but more frequently in religious or literary contexts.

Examples of how these ‘you’ pronouns might be used:

  • Mi amiga, Maricela, ¿ comes? (My friend, Maricela, are you eating?)
  • Señora Rodriguez, ¿usted come? (Mrs. Rodriguez, are you eating?)
  • Maricela y Pablo, ¿vosotros coméis? (Maricela and Pablo, are you eating?)
  • Señora Rodriguez y Señor Delgado, ¿ustedes comen? (Mrs. Rodriguez and Mr. Delgado, are you eating?)

Grammar note: In the above sentences, the pronouns have been included for clarity and for explaining the pronoun usage. In practice, the pronouns would normally be omitted because the context and verb ending would make clear who the subject of each sentence is.

By the way, do your see that accent ( ´  )over the ‘u’ in tú?  It’s very important as without it, the whole meaning of the word changes!

Next lesson: How to create accents on MAC vs PC

Pin It

using vosotros and ustedes in spanish

If you enjoyed this post please LIKE or SHARE.  To learn more about Spanish Language, Latin American history and culture, FOLLOW Over The Andes today via WordPress or Facebook  or subscribe to my mailing list.


  1. Diana Tyler (Eccentric Muse) June 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for today’s lesson. You’re taking me back to the days when I just started Spanish class! 😄

    1. K D June 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Lol. Back to basics! 😉


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *