In English, it is common to use the word "you" to refer to people in general, instead of just the person you're speaking to:

  • You can't eat rocks.

How would I say the same thing in Spanish? Are all of the following correct? Are some of them more or less formal than others? Are there other options, too?

  • No se puede comer las rocas.
  • No puedes comer las rocas.
  • No puede comer las rocas.
  • No es posible comer las rocas.

2 Answers 2


I'd say the first one is the most formal. The second is less formal but very commonly heard. The third one doesn't sound right to me, though it may exist in some dialects. The fourth one works, it's just another way of saying it.

You might also say "Uno no puede comer rocas".

  • Expanding on this: the last one means that it is impossibe. This might not be always the intended meaning of the first two. It might be possible but not allowed or not polite, for example.
    – spiral
    Apr 4, 2016 at 9:04

You can also elide the article las

No se puede comer rocas


No puedes comer rocas

Both are ok

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