Lesson 03: Tú vs Vos - the big difference.


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Hi, welcome to the third episode of Hey que tal? Free spanish lessons. My name is Pablo Apiolazza and today we´re going to overview one of the main differences between the regular spanish and the argentinian spanish.
In order to do this, we´ll have to make a quick stop on grammar, but don´t panic, we´ll try to stay out of it for now.
As you know, when we conjugate a verb we use person to determine who or what are we speaking to or about, in other words, to determine the subject of a sentence. There are three persons for the singular form and three for the plural.
In the original form of spanish, the persons are the following:
I is YO
You is
He is EL
They is ELLOS
It is ESO, and she is ELLA, but aside from that, let´s concentrate on the second person in both plural and singular ways.
An easy way to remember , is to think about the ancient english "thou". And that is because amazingly it´s a shared root.
But in latin america, since the language bent and mixed with other languages including the indigenous dialects, a new version of the second person was born: VOS.
Vos is a version that changes the conjugation of the verb. That means that it is not enough to put vos in front of a verb conjugated with to do it properly.
Let´s see this on examples, and in the meantime, learn the main irregular verbs.
First one is to be:
Yo soy
Tu eres
El es
Nosotros somos
Vosotros sois
Ellos son
In argentina, instead of eres we say VOS SOS.
Vos is an informal form of the second person. Another important thing is that VOS doesn´t have a plural version, but we neither use the VOSOTROS form. Instead of that, we use the formal version for both formal and informal, and is USTEDES.
USTEDES is conjugated in the same way as ELLOS, the third person of the plural.
For instance: USTEDES SON grandes. (You are big)
In other words, we made it complicated for the singular, but easier for the plural.
In terms of culture, "vos" is pretty much a trademark of the argentinian language, together with our pronunciation and the famous "lunfardo" slang, which is the old tango days´ slang. Argentinians are always using the informal form to speak. Generally it is not disrespectful to use it with coworkers, members of the family, or strangers, but it is a good rule to start talking in the formal form, and then we´ll probably get a very common phrase that allows us to use the vos and it sounds like this:
Por favor, podés tutearme.
Si querés, tuteame.
The main thing we must hear is the verb "tutear" that yeah, funny enough, literally means "to use the form", but in Argentina means to use the vos form. We do have a verb that means "to use the vos form", which is "vosear", but nobody ever uses it. Don´t ask me why, hehe.
So once we have the permit granted, we can use the "vos" as much as we want.
Since we´re in subject, we´ll give a little grammar spoiler, so the advaced students can have fun with the vos form. Since the origin of vos comes from vosotros, a good rule to build the vos conjugation for the regular verbs is to remove the letter "i" from the vosotros conjugation. I.e.: Vosotros tenéis - Vos tenés.
As any other language, there´s no rule for the irregular verbs, so it´s up to you to learn them. During the upcoming episodes we will see most of them anyways, so be patient.
As for the formal version, as I mentioned before we use the form "usted". Even if usted means you, it is conjugated as the third person. In the case of to be, it is "Usted es".
So this is pretty much our little trip thru the "vos" land.
Don´t forget to rate, share and review the podcast either on itunes, your favourite feed reader, or the website, heyquetal.blogspot.com
My name is Pablo Apiolazza and this is Hey Que tal? Free spanish lessons.
Stay tuned and goodbye!

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