We use 'eres' for 'are' with you in Spanish. We use 'es' with usted for 'are'. If we have to use 'are' with boys, what would we use: son, eres or es?

What would be the appropriate tense for "The boys."?

3 Answers 3

  • Yo soy
  • Tu eres
  • Él es
  • Nosotros somos
  • Ustedes son
  • Ellos son

which of these pronouns do you think fit "the boys" best? As to the translation- any dictionary can help you with that.

  • The boys --- Ellos -> therefore you would use "son".
    – luisluix
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 14:44

When you use the usted form you use the conjugation of the third person, not the second, even if usted is used as a polite version of (thus, second person singular) and ustedes as a polite version of vosotros (thus, second person plural).

Tú eres / Vosotros sois [Second person]

El (o ella) es / Ellos Son [Third person]

Usted es / ustedes son [second person that used third person conjugation]

We do this when directly addressing someone, as a way of being polite, not when we describe certain collectives. It doesn't matter if is boys or cars. What matters is if you want to be super-polite when addressing someone you are talking to.

It is unlikely that you would address a group of boys de usted but not impossible. For example if you were their teacher and wanted to be extremely formal you could address the as usted.

So with boys or kids or teenagers most likely you will use the form, so use the second person of whichever verb you are using. If you are not addressing them directly you have no need for the usted form.

Nevertheless, being boys a plural you are going to use third person.

Ese chico está solo. Esos chicos están jugando.


Son (They) the boys are mean. = (Ellos) los niños son malos.

It might be Somos. We, the boys, are better = Nosotros, los niños, somos mejores.


You, we, you, they - ARE = ERES, SOMOS, SON, SON

He, she, it - IS = ES

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