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Usted comes from Vuestra Merced (later Vuesarced), meaning "Your Grace". Since this was an indirect way of addressing someone, it was inflected in the third person. That is, strictly speaking, you are not addressing the person, but "Their Grace". As time went on, the person inflection was kept, even though its origins became opaque. In a study entitled El ...


11

This confusion is easy to resolve once you understand that Spanish is an inflected language, so verbs are marked (that is, changed) to reflect things like tense, person, and number. (See Wikipedia: Spanish Grammar.) Describing all of the diffrent types of inflections and verb changes is a lengthy process and beyond the scope of a single answer, so I'll try ...


2

"Vostede" (galego) & "vusté" (català) & "você" (português) all come from the same medieval expression "vo(ue)stra/vossa merced(e)/mercê," as it was customary in the Middle ages to speak to those with titles, honors or age in the third person (your honor, your highness, your grace). "Vos" is original to Latin (vous in French & voi in Italian) ...



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