Vosotros vs ustedes: Why vosotros is not used in Latin America?

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

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Learn the differences between 'vosotros' and 'ustedes' and why the pronoun vosotros is not use in Latin American Spanish.

The Spanish pronoun vosotros (plural you), is the grammatical form used in Spain to address more than one person you are familiar with. In Latin America, it corresponds to ustedes (plural you).

Historically, both forms come from Spain. In fact, in Spain, usted (singular) and ustedes (plural) are used in formal contexts or to address someone you don’t know or you want to show respect.

In Latin America, this form was also used, but it disappeared completely at the end of the 19th century. Over time, in Latin America, the form ustedes was adopted. Other forms such as voseo (vos instead of ) were also adopted, which previously existed in Spain and then disappeared.

These two Spanish pronouns have different conjugations. Let's look at the following examples with the verbs AMAR (to love), COMER (to eat), and VIVIR (to live):

Spanish verbs conjugations: AMAR, COMER and VIVIR with the pronouns ustedes and vosotros.

So remember, when you hear or read in a text, blog, or another document the pronoun vosotros, it means that it is a document from Spain. The pronoun is used, like ustedes in Latin America, to address more than one person known or with whom you have confidence.

Remember that you also have a different pronominal form, so in Spain, this article would end with the following phrase:

- ¿Os ha sido útil este artículo?

While in Latin America, we say:

- ¿Les ha sido útil este artículo?

Has this article been useful to you? ¡Espero que sí! (I hope so).

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