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Table of contents Chapter 4 4.15 Usted and Ustedes

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Chapter 4: Declensions and Pronouns

  4.15 Usted and Ustedes

There is a special personal pronoun in Spanish to address somebody formally (How are you, Mr. Smith? Cómo está Usted, Mr. Smith?). The singular form is Usted and the plural form is Ustedes. Grammatically they are equal to the third person singular (él, ella, Usted) and the third person plural (ellos, ellas, Ustedes).
When to use these forms differs widely between the different countries. How they look like you find in the following table:

  Formal form Usted / Ustedes
You are a son of a bitch (Mr. Robinson).   Usted es un hijo de puta.
  I give it to you immediately (Ms Higgins).   Se lo doy ahora mismo.
  Are you a teacher of the nonsense college?   ¿Es Usted profesor del colegio Halligalli?
  You (all) go to Spain. (plural) Ustedes se van a España.
  You (all) want to wash your hair. (plural) Ustedes quieren lavarse el pelo.

For the important moments in life a hint: Also in the formal form you should remember the gender of the person you are talking to.

I love you,
Yo la quiero,
you are the ray of light in my dark nights. Usted es el esplendor de mis noches oscuras.

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