Torrevieja Forum

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This section is for those that are learning the Spanish language.

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By beastess
When learning Spanish in the Uk before moving out here I was told by the teacher to use the third person form for politeness until the other person started calling me tu. Tu was meant to be for kids or close friends. Over here complete strangers like bus drivers seem to use the tu form to me on sight. Has society changed recently or do they see I am just a big kid at heart?
By Info
Beastess I think the formal usted has gone out of use except for very formal occasions or when speaking to a much older person or Spanish. It is the way of the world. Like you Beastess it was mostly the usted form I started out with and find it difficult to remember to use the tú form. People I speak to say I make them feel very old with my usted form - of course I am just glad that they can understand me whatever form I am using.

By archie
I went to see my president two weeks ago ,she is a very nice Spanish lady but she does not speak any English. Therefore ,I put together what I wanted to say before I went to see her, I used usted twice and on both occasions I noticed two raised eyebrows, anyway all went well.
The point being I have not heard any Spanish people use it, I have heard extranjeros use usted.No doubt we have all learnt from the same books in our own native languages and they seem to be out of date, or being polite is dying out.
By Jane C
My experience of living in a Spanish environment was that only "tú" was used all the time, and that is what I taught people when I first moved to this area.

I then started to notice that "usted" is often used to address me in this area in businesses and shops where I am unknown. However, if I started using "tú" back we got to a comfortable footing quickly.

My "theory" is that Spanish people feel a distance towards, shall we say, "foreigners of a certain age" and seem to address them using "usted" initially. I also think that the Murcia region is a little more antiquated is this respect - it is known for being a traditional sort of place.

Having said all of that, I've never come across any objection to switching to the "tú" form almost immediately.

By colinbeaven
My first spanish teacher said the only person she ever used "usted" with was her bank manager! If you knew her you'd know why - she was always short of money.
By Jane C
I'm definitely on "tú" terms with mine. Tú (know it's a bad month this month) Tú (know that some money will be coming in in two weeks) tú will pay out my standing orders in the meantime, won't tú .... :)

By colinbeaven
Last year I was in France, switched on the tv, & a whole chat show was devoted to whether parents should expect their children to address them with "vous" or "tu". I was really quite perplexed, French is very formal compared with English or Spanish. It may be that this insistence on linguistic formality is one reason why French has lost ground to English & Spanish.
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