Suppose you're in a situation where you have a formal/business relationship with someone, but the relationship has become more familiar over time. The other person continues to call you usted. How can you politely ask them to begin referring to you in the form? Is it ever inappropriate (by situation or geography) to ask to be referred to in the form instead of usted?

9 Answers 9


In Spain we would say either of these:

Trátame de tú.


Or, in a more indirect way:

No me trates de usted.

Any of them in a cheerful manner and usually accompanied by the perceptive "por favor" if needed.

  • 1
    In Argentina we also use Tutéame but we say: Tuteame (without the accent) Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:44
  • Trátame de no sería correcto en Colombia. Sería trátame de ti. Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 1:57
  • 3
    @MáximaAlekz de verdad? ese debe ser el regionalismo que mas me ha chocado en bastante tiempo :O
    – Brian H.
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 16:00

You can say in a cheerful tone:

Puedes hablarme de tú.     (You may speak to me informally)

It might be helpful to precede the sentence with an encouragement word, like this:

¡Vamos! Háblame de tú.     (Come on! Talk to me informally)

Please note that this applies particularly to Latin-American Spanish speakers. Some parts of Spain (and Argentina!) could be more conservative regarding the use of 'tú' and instead use the older 'vos'.

  • 2
    In Spain the "vos" is out of use. And you can say "tutéame por favor" or (more informal and for people around the same age or a little youger than you) "no me hables de usted que me haces viejo"
    – Laura
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 6:36
  • 1
    The word "vos" in Argentina is not more conservative tan "tú" (we just don't use the word "tu" for anything but the possessive form). Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 14:36
  • Spain doesn’t use vos as a formal kind of . Spain uses usted for formal singular. Yes, there is an archaic way of speaking that uses vos, but it sounds like someone using “dost thou wish thy own?” kinda arcaicism. Perhaps if you were super-formally addressing the king or some such.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 31, 2012 at 4:17

The verb tutear means precisely that. Example: "oh por favor, tutéame".


I understand that both of you are using “usted” with each other. In that case, in my opinion, it's inappropriate to address them using “tú”, even if it's to ask them to use “tú” towards you.

You should just politely propose that you start using “tú” between each other. Some options:

¿Nos tuteamos?

¿Por qué no nos tuteamos?

Ya podríamos tutearnos, ingeniero, ¿no le parece?

But if the situation is asymmetric, and you already treat them with familiarity, then use some of the proposals in the other answers.



I would say: "Puedes tutearme".


Is it ever inappropriate (by situation or geography) to ask to be referred to in the form instead of usted?

Disclaimer: This answer could be very specific to a region but still answers this part of the question.

Indeed it could be inappropriate in some cases. I live in Colombia and, even when this is not the case in the whole country, I use "usted" in most cases. It's not always a matter of "formality" and distance, as I use it even with my family and close friends. It's a bit complex to explain because I do use also "tú", specially with women friends in spoken language, or in other contexts like this site, it's more natural for me to use "tú" when I write.

People from other regions use "tú" even in a work environment. For example my boss uses "tú" or "vos" (another informal variant) with me. I always use "usted" to reply to him, and it'd be a bit uncomfortable if he asked me to use "tú".

So I'd say that in most cases it'd be ok to ask someone to use "tú" with you, but there is also the possibility that some people (like me), depending on their region of origin, could feel a bit uncomfortable doing that.

  • I agree. It is not inappropriate to ask but don't expect all people to be glad and actually switch to using
    – DGaleano
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 19:27

In my opinion, the best answer here is that written by @MauricioMartinez. I will write a supplemental answer.

Before proposing or initiating a change (yes, as you get closer to the person, at some point it will often happen that "tú" feels right and "usted" no longer feels right, and things will morph without any fanfare), it's a good idea to observe how this person and the other people in this setting speak to each other while you're considering trying to change your footing with this person.

There are so many factors that can affect the other person's comfort level in using the informal with you:

  • region where you are interacting

  • region the person grew up in

  • the vibe in general (some historical periods tend more towards "tú" than some others)

  • your age and the other person's age, and the difference between the two ages

  • power difference between the two of you -- for example, if someone comes in to clean your house once a week, it is quite unlikely this person will ever "tutea" you, so if I were you I wouldn't even try

  • gender -- if you're of the same gender, tuteo becomes more likely

  • whether you and your colleague do things together outside work -- for example, if you help this person carry a heavy sofa up to a second story apartment, you will probably shift into tuteo pretty quickly

  • whether one or both of you are from the developed world such as US or Europe -- people are more likely to use "tú" with gringos

I have seen relationships in which the forcing or pushing of "tú" on another person is part of a bullying situation.

A gentle way of coaxing the relationship over into the "tú" realm is to introduce a third person into the mix. For example, let's say you have two colleagues, A and B. You are on "tú" terms with A, but not with B yet. If you then find yourself (or arrange to find yourself) in a reasonably extended conversation with both A and B, and A and B are already comfortable tuteándose, then it will be pretty effortless to morph over with B. (Assuming there are no gender or power factors that would override other considerations.)

  • This is a really great answer. So many factors to consider, but they are well explained!
    – RLG
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 9:00

Puede tutearme?

to ask the person to use tu form with you (formal)

Puedes tutearme?

to ask the person to use tu form with you (informal)

Puedo tutearle?

to ask the person if you can use the tu form with him/her (formal)

  • 1
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    – Diego
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 14:54

It'll be like

  • Quiero saber de ti / I want to know about you (tú).

  • Quiero que tú seas mi esposa / I want you to be my wife (tú).

  • Usted hace todo mejor / You make everything better


= Informally. Usted = Formally.

  • This is not really answering the question. Note that the user asks about asking someone to address you using the informal you.
    – Charlie
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 6:31

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