Quick Answer

In Spanish, there are five ways to say you, and they vary according to the number of people being addressed, how well the people involved know each other, and what country the people are in or are from.

In English you can say you to practically any person or group of people, whether you know them or not.

In Spanish, however, there are many ways to say you, and they vary depending on the formality of the relationship between the speaker(s) and listener(s), how many people are being spoken to, and even what country the people are in or are from. The table below presents the five ways you can say you in Spanish, along with important information to help you choose which one you should use in different situations.

PronounNumber and FormalityWhere It's Used
singular and informalused in most Spanish-speaking countries
singular and formal or informalused in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Chile and Central America
singular and formalused in most Spanish-speaking countries
plural and informalused in Spain
plural and formal or informalused in all Spanish-speaking countries

More detailed explanations of each of the five ways to say you are given below.

While the examples in this article use subject pronouns like and ustedes, it's very normal for these pronouns to be omitted in everyday speech.

Singular Direct Address

You should only use when talking to people you know well, especially those that are the same age as you or younger. can be used to speak directly to children, close relatives, friends, peers, or pets. It is also used in many online conversations to keep the tone informal.

¿Vas tú a la fiesta esta noche?
Are you going to the party tonight?
¿Cómo te llamas tú, niño?
What is your name, child?


Vos is mainly used in a region of South America called the Southern Cone , which is made up of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Chile. It is also commonly used in Nicaragua and may also be heard in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. Many people use vos in place of both and usted.

¿No querés vos más jugo?
You don’t want more juice?
Queremos hablar con vos muy pronto.
We want to speak with you very soon.


Usted (often abbreviated Ud.) is used when addressing someone older, a person you do not know, a superior, or someone to whom you would like to show a lot of respect. It is often a good idea to address a new acquaintance as usted as a sign of respect until they tell you otherwise or request that you tutearthem.

Tutear is a fancy verb that means to address someone using instead of usted.

¿Cómo se llama usted?
What is your name?
Usted tiene una casa muy bonita.
You have a very beautiful home.

Plural Direct Address


Vosotrosis primarily used in Spain to address a group of people with whom you are familiar. It is essentially the plural form of .

¿Adónde vais vosotros esta noche?
Where are you (all) going tonight?
Adela y Manuel, ¿queréis vosotros cenar?
Adela and Manuel, do you want to eat dinner?


Ustedes (often abbreviated Uds.) is used to address two or more people and can be formal or informal. Since most Latin American countries do not use vosotros, ustedes is used for all forms of plural address in this region.

Señor Martinez y Doctor Moncada, ¿quieren ustedes decir algo?
Mr. Martinez and Dr. Moncada, do you want to say something?
Hola, chicos. ¿Quieren ustedes ir a la playa?
Hey, friends. Do you want to go the beach?
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