How to Use Vosotros When You Talk to Spanish Speakers in Spain
Vosotros in Spanish is rarely used in Latin America, but if you’re planning to visit Spain and want to blend in, it’s essential for you to master vosotros and know how it works.
Using vosotros instead of ustedes is one of the slight differences that distinguish Latin American Spanish from European Spanish. It is possible to learn when to use it by recognizing key variations from one country to another in their usage of the Spanish language.
Keep reading for an insightful lesson on how to use vosotros when you talk to Spanish speakers in Spain.
The Meaning of Vosotros
Vosotros is a Spanish personal pronoun used to refer to the second person plural in Spain. It’s also a gender-neutral pronoun, which applies to feminine and masculine subjects together. If you’re referring to only female plural subjects, you use vosotras.
Vosotros is used when an individual person or speaker is addressing a group of 2 or more people. Vosotros in English stands for “you” as the plural “you and others.”
Example Sentences Using Vosotros
Vosotros lo hicieron mejor que el otro grupo.
You did better than the other group.
Vosotras sois mis primas favorites.
You’re my favorite cousins.
Vosotros alegran mis días.
You make my days happy.
Vosotros tenéis mi apoyo siempre.
You always have my support.
When To Use Vosotros
People from Spain use vosotros as a personal pronoun in informal situations. However, in Latin American countries it’s perceived as a pronoun that only applies to highly formal scenarios and it’s almost never used.
The common use of vosotros in Spain dates back to the origins of the Spanish language in the Iberian Peninsula. The pronoun vosotros comes from the Latin-derived pronoun vos, which evolved to the pronoun tú in the majority of countries that are part of the Spanish-speaking world. Vosotros used to mean “vos y otros más” (you and others).
Learn more about The History and Origin of the Spanish Language in this fascinating and insightful article.
Vosotros Vs Ustedes
Nowadays, using vosotros in Spain expresses a certain familiarity to the person or people you’re conversing with, and it’s used in casual conversation. It’s similar to saying “you guys” or “you all” in English.
The counterpart to vosotros in Latin America is ustedes. Ustedes is used in Latin America in both formal and informal situations.
Both vosotros and ustedes convey the same sense when speaking Spanish—the preference of one over the other relies on geography.
If you’re in Spain and use ustedes, some people might not respond to it or understand it—the same happens if you use vosotros in Latin America.
Let’s examine some examples using both pronouns interchangeably.
Example Sentences With Vosotros Vs Ustedes
|Use of Vosotros in Spanish||Use of Ustedes in Spanish|
|¿Vosotros iréis a la fiesta?Are you going to the party?||¿Ustedes irán a la fiesta?Are you going to the party?|
|¿Cuántos de vosotros habláis español?How many of you speak Spanish?||¿Cuántos de ustedes hablan español?How many of you speak Spanish?|
|¿A vosotros os gusta la pizza?Do you like pizza?||¿A ustedes les gusta la pizza?Do you like pizza?|
Keep in mind both pronouns make sense and are used as “you” plural, but the verb conjugation is different.
Conjugation of Vosotros
Conjugating vosotros depends on what type of verb you’re conjugating. Vosotros has different conjugations based on the ending of a verb and the tense.
Let’s examine the different conjugations with the verbs hablar (talk), abrir (open), and correr (run) as examples.
Vosotros – Hablar Conjugation
|Tense||Conjugation for verbs ending in -ar|
|Imperfect Subjunctive||hablarais, hablaseis|
Vosotros habláis mucho por teléfono.
You talk on the phone a lot.
¿Vosotros hablasteis con la mamá de Andrea?
Did you talk to Andrea’s mom?
Antes de las vacaciones, vosotros hablabais de ir al gimnasio todos los días.
Before the holidays, you guys were talking about going to the gym every day.
En la clase de mañana vosotros hablaréis de la película.
In class tomorrow you will talk about the film.
Creí que si los invitaba a cenar, vosotros hablaríais de lo que les molesta.
I thought if I invited you to dinner, you would talk about what’s bothering you.
Me gusta que habléis de la escuela.
I like that you talk about school.
La maestra quería que vosotros hablarais con ella.
The teacher wanted you to talk to her.
Vosotros – Abrir Conjugation
|Tense||Conjugation for verbs ending in -ir|
|Imperfect Subjunctive||abrierais, abrieseis|
¿Vosotros abrís el restaurante los viernes?
Do you open the restaurant friday?
¿Vosotros abristeis el restaurante ayer?
Did you open the restaurant yesterday?
Soñe que vosotros abríais mi ventana.
I dreamt you were opening my window.
¿Crees que con la remodelación os abriréis a más mercados?
Do you think that with the remodeling you will open up to more markets?
Si gana el Barcelona mañana, ¿vosotros abriríais el restaurante durante más horas?
If Barcelona wins tomorrow, would you open the restaurant for longer hours?
No me gusta que no abráis los lunes.
I don’t like that you guys don’t open Mondays.
Quisiera que vosotros abrieseis todos los días.
I would like you to open every day.
Vosotros – Correr Conjugation
|Indicative Tense||Conjugation for verbs ending in -ir|
|Imperfect Subjunctive||corrierais, corrieseis|
Vosotros corréis rapidisimo.
You all run so fast.
¿Corristeis el domingo? Yo no sabía que vosotros competían.
Did you run Sunday? I didn’t know you competed.
Creí que vosotros corríais una maratón todos los años.
I thought you guys ran a marathon every year.
Vosotros correréis a casa.
You will run home.
¿Vosotros correríais mañana si los despierto temprano?
Would you run tomorrow if I wake you up early?
No me gusta que vosotros corráis tan rápido.
I don’t like that you guys run so fast.
Quisiera que vosotros corrierais más lento.
I wish you guys would run more slowly.
Other Conjugations of Vosotros
The Spanish language has other types of phrasal verbs that are made up of the main verb and an auxiliary verb. These are easier to conjugate because the main verb follows the common conjugation and only the auxiliary is conjugated with the vosotros form.
This tense is used to talk about actions that are occurring at the moment we speak. In Spanish, the verbs that are conjugated in the present continuous with vosotros use the auxiliary verb estar (to be). The main verb is conjugated with -ando or -iendo.
¿Vosotros estáis comiendo pizza sin mí?
Are you eating pizza without me?
Vosotros estáis hablando de un tema fascinante.
You are talking about a fascinating topic.
The past perfect tense is used to talk about an action that began in the past and continues to occur in the present. The past perfect tense in Spanish is made with the auxiliary verb haber (have) conjugated in the present tense and past participle. Spanish past participle verbs end with -ado, -ido, -to, or -cho when conjugated in this tense. To use vosotros, you conjugate haber as habéis.
¿Habéis comido hoy?
Have you eaten today?
¿Alguna de vosotras habéis sacado al perro a pasear hoy?
Have any of you taken the dog out for a walk today?
The imperative mood is used for conjugating verbs in Spanish when you are giving commands. It’s the simplest conjugation for using vosotros. To use it, you take the verb in the infinitive form and simply replace the ending with -r or -d. Now, if it’s a negative command, you use the present subjunctive vosotros conjugation of the verb.
¡Hablad más lento; no os entiendo!
Talk more slowly; I can’t understand you!
Venid a casa inmediatamente.
Come home immediately.
¡No habléis de mí cuando no estoy!
Don’t talk about me when I’m not around!
Master the Imperative Mood like a native Spanish speaker by reading this interesting article.
Object Pronoun of Vosotros
By this point, you’ve probably noticed some example sentences that use the word os as an object pronoun. In Spanish, you usually use the direct and indirect object pronoun les when using ustedes. In the case of vosotros, the Spanish use os.
Os can be attached to a word at the end, or it can be separate depending if it goes at the beginning or end of the verb. Here are some examples.
Os invito a mi casa más tarde.
I invite you to my house later.
Quería llamaros hoy, pero ya no me dio tiempo.
I wanted to call you today, but I didn’t have time.
Os recuerdo que mañana es el cumpleaños de su madre.
I remind you that tomorrow is his mother’s birthday.
Use Vosotros When Necessary
Mastering the use of vosotros will come in handy for you to dominate Spanish as a whole. Some of the best literature, tv shows, and movies come from Spain. Mastering vosotros enables you to understand dialogues and further the application of the pronoun in different scenarios.
If you’re planning on taking a Spanish immersion trip to Spain, this is your chance to prepare for having fluent conversations with locals using vosotros. Even though our teachers are from Guatemala, they are skilled in practicing the vosotros form with you! Sign up for a free class to check your abilities and prepare for your trip to Spain in the best possible way.
Knowing Spanish vocabulary and its applications prepares you to travel to any Spanish-speaking country smoothly and without hassles. Don’t miss the opportunity of communicating with locals wherever you visit and start elevating your Spanish today.
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