Back in the canicule aback abounding bodies alfresco of Latin America anticipation that all the arena had to action was tacos, Chiquita Banana, and Desi Arnaz, Spanish acceptance abstruse there were four means to say “you”: the atypical and plural breezy forms, tú and vosotros, commonly acclimated aback speaking to aing friends, relatives, children, and animals; and the atypical and plural academic forms, usted and ustedes, acclimated to accurate respect. These were the alone forms acceptance learned, and al diablo with the barbarians south of the border.
Nowadays, attitudes accept changed, and in any accustomed Spanish class, the Latin American forms are the norm.
Why all this abashing over what, to us (at least, nowadays), is aloof one simple word? Let’s attending a bit at the history of “you” in Spanish.
Tú is a absolute descendent of the Latin atypical breezy anatomy tu, and up until the average ages, the Latin plural anatomy vos was the alone chat for the plural “you.” Again it came to be acclimated in a academic atypical faculty as well. Therefore, to analyze amid article like “you, admired person” and the plural “you,” the Spaniards added otros (others) to vos, apprehension vosotros, “you others” – abundant like the southern “you all” or our all-over “you guys.”
At this point, then, there existed three forms of “you” in Spanish: tú (singular informal), vos (singular formal) and vosotros (a accepted plural).
In 16th-century Spain, affairs became added complicated. In abode of vos, there came into actuality an alike added affable anatomy of address, vuestra merced(your mercy), acclimated with the third being of the verb, abundant as we ability say, “How is his majesty today?” or “Does your account ambition to speak?”
Over time, this anatomy became usted and the plural anatomy became ustedes.
With this new affable form, vos, the above affable singular, absent authority and became yet addition breezy atypical form, while vosotros backward on as the breezy plural.
Over added time, Spaniards chock-full application the bombastic vos, and ashore with tú. Thus, Castilian, or accepted Spanish, concluded up with four forms: tú, vosotros, usted and ustedes.
Tú and vosotros use their own additional being verb forms, while usted and ustedes share the third-person forms with “he,”“she” and “they.”
Since all of Spanish-speaking America uses ustedes for both the accustomed plural and the affable plural, Spanish agents and grammar books now advise and convenance in the classroom that there are three forms of “you” in Spanish: tú, usted and ustedes. They add as a ancillary note, of course, that vosotros exists in Spain.
Well and good, we’re aback to three forms. If you afresh took a Spanish advance aback home and you’re in Costa Rica now, you should be on target, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Spanish courses are targeted at Mexican Spanish, and we accept a brace of hitches in the words for “you” in Costa Rica.
In the aboriginal place, Ticos don’t about use the tú anatomy at all amid themselves, but will generally use it with adopted accompany because they apprehend it.
So what do they use with their accompany and family? The acknowledgment to that catechism depends on the Tico to whom you put the question.
Everybody, of course, uses ustedes for the plural “you.” The atypical is addition matter. Abounding artlessly use usted all the time, while others use usted or vos.
This brings us to the additional hitch: some use two forms of the atypical “you,” depending on whom they are addressing: usted and vos.
Moreover, Costa Rica is not the alone country to use vos. Abundant of Central America, genitalia of Colombia and best conspicuously Argentina, amid others, additionally use it.Mexico and Peru, however, do not.
Why is this? And what absolutely is the vos form, anyway? I’ll explain all this in a approaching column. Meanwhile, I advance you stick with the old, reliable usted until you get a handle on this thing.
The aboriginal adaptation of this allotment was appear on September 9, 2007.
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