In Spanish you have 2 forms of you:

  • for familiar addressing (friends/peers)
  • Usted for formal addressing

Is there a single verb meaning "to use to address him", something like the German du sagen or the English phrase to be on first-name terms? And analogically for "to use Usted"?

  • Check this out spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/7/… (sorry is in Spanish)
    – DGaleano
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 14:55
  • Ah... but this is in English. spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/15524/… so your question may be duplicate.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 14:57
  • Spanish has three, actually. (tutear: use the tú form), vos (vosear: use the vos form) and usted (tratar de usted: use the usted form). Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 15:29
  • @guifa in Argentina we use tutear to talk about informal treatment, even when we use vos.
    – rsanchez
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:18
  • 1
    Side note: German has the compact verbs 'duzen' and 'siezen', for addressing someone with du/Sie.
    – yatima2975
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 12:29

3 Answers 3


Tutear may be what you are looking for, here.

RAE entry

  1. tr. Dirigirse a alguien empleando el pronombre de segunda persona para el trato de confianza o familiaridad. U. t. c. prnl.


To address someone using the second person pronoun for trust and familiarity treatment

I can't recall any verb like this for usted, though. We use the phrase "tratar de usted".

  • What about the word ustedear as suggested by Rodrigo? However SpanishDict does not recognize ustedear. Also other native Spanish people here seem not to remember such a word. Is it only regional? Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 9:03
  • As a peninsular native, I have never heard of that word. Using usted is the default when meeting someone for the first time -unless it's in an informal setting or between young people, like students, as peers- so it's not usually necessary. Maybe it's regional. When you want someone to treat you of usted you simply ask them to stop using or deny them the change of treatment if they get too confortable and ask you if they can use it. After a quick search most ustedear and ustedeo entries are related to Latin America.
    – 169134
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 9:34

There is a verb for the informal case: tutear.

There is no single verb for the formal case, a common expression used is: tratarse de usted

See also this question


Tutear (familiar adressing).

Ustedear (formal addresing).

  • SpanishDict recognize tutear - spanishdict.com/translate/tutear, however it does not recognize ustedear. Also other native Spanish people here seem not to remember such a word. Is it only regional? Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 9:02
  • Is in the RAE, see the link. Not a word much used, but is available.
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Honza Zidek: What a strange question. It is a word of the Spanish language, is not used in any particular region. It is part of the huge number of words you'll hear in your life rarely or never, as posma, ahíto, ablución, obnubilado... I used it years ago in my student days because voseo/ tuteo/ustedeo is very important in the study of grammar, but do not think it's a technicality, it's just a word that is rarely used.
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 13:52
  • 2
    I asked RAE. From: consu2 <[email protected]> Date: 2016-03-18 14:49 GMT+01:00 En efecto, uste(d)ear y uste(d)eo son recientes incorporaciones al diccionario académico, y podemos decirle que su empleo no está generalizado en español. De hecho, el Diccionario del español actual de M. Seco las marca como raras. Aunque su formación es correcta y las formas análogas tutear y tuteo están plenamente asentadas en el uso, lo cierto es que es mucho más común para este caso el empleo de una expresión pluriverbal: tratar/tratamiento de usted. Departamento de «Español al día» Real Academia Española Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:28
  • 1
    And I do not think it's a strange question! Some words are rare known (everybody knows but usually does not use), some are rare unknown (only people belonging to certain social group know them) and some are regional (people is some places even never heard of, whilst for other places it is very common). Which category do you think the word ustedear belong to? Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:32

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