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I am looking to say to someone something along the lines of "I've bought cheese for your visit". It's a dear friend I'm speaking to so it should be informal. Does this work?

He comprado queso para su visita!

or this? (I'm trying to make it informal)

He comprado queso para tu visita!

If anyone has any suggestions or rewrites I'd love to hear them

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You should include an opening exclamation mark (¡) at the beginning of the sentence. And since you are addressing a friend, you should use the form with "tu". Therefore:

¡He comprado queso para tu visita!

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You're right. Use the perfect tense to talk about something that you have done. Tu is better as this is informal. Unless it's a Spanish speaker from Latin America who don't use tu that much. Then stick to su.

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  • ¿What? Claro que mucha gente en América Latina tutea (o vosea). Nov 25 '16 at 21:54
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If your guest is from latin america and you want to impress him, do not use the "He comprado queso ..." form. Go with "Compré queso ...".

Look at this example. On most parts of Latin America:

"Yesterday I bought cheese for your visit"

would be "Compré queso para tu visita".

whereas

"I've bought cheese from that store a couple times"

would be "He comprado queso de esa tienda un par de veces".

As for su vs tu, you should use tu if it's a friendly setting. But note this is not a rule, it's just your best bet. On several regions people will not always use tu in all friendly situations. It can depend on gender, social status, respect, etc.

As en example look at the maps on this article. Usted is preferred also in some Colombian regions (mine included).

Maps of central america by use of usted/tú/vos.

So to sum up, as you clearly stated it is a dear friend who's visiting:

Your guest is from Spain?

¡He comprado queso para tu visita!

Your guest is from Latin America?

¡Compré queso para tu visita!

Your guest is from Santander (Colombian province)

¡Compré queso para su visita!


As a final note, if you want to add an extra ingredient to the informal formula, say:

¡Compré queso pa' tu visita!

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  • I disagree with your advice to use the preterite instead of the perfect: it depends on what you want to communicate and how. Just as in English you'll sometimes want to say "I've bought cheese" and other times you'll want to say "I bought cheese," in Spanish you've got the choice of "compré queso" and "he comprado queso" and which to use depends on a number of factors. Neither is obviously better than the other. Nov 25 '16 at 21:58
  • Of course you have the choice, but on certain contexts, using one instead of the other would sound totally unnatural and weird. Not wrong from a rules point of view, but completely weird and unnatural. That's the case of most Latin American visiting an English speaking friend and hearing "he comprado queso para tu visita". We would use that form if we are to say that at least once, on the past, "I bought cheese form that store". In that case it would be "He comprado queso de ese almacén".
    – daniloquio
    Nov 28 '16 at 14:55
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Informal settings would requite informalness. "Tu" is fitting here.

¡He comprado queso para tu visita! (he is your friend)

Otherwise "su" is mandatory in formal settings.

¡He comprado queso para su visita! (he is boss/customer)

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