4

When I am speaking to a waiter or a store keeper, my first instinct is to use "plural you" conjugation, since I'm technically speaking to a representative of an organization with multiple members:

¿Qué cervezas tienen?

Is the "plural you" conjugation appropriate or should I use the usted form?

¿Qué cervezas tiene?

5

Both forms are correct.

As you say you are talking to a person so you could use singular but the person is representing a business so plural is also correct.

I guess there are regional preferences but I can tell you that in Colombia either one can be used but we tend to use more the singular than the plural because we tend to be more informal when speaking to waiters.

The most common ways for us are:

¿Qué cervezas tiene? (usted)

¿Qué cervezas tienes? (tu)

or since we use voseo

¿Qué cervezas tenés? (vos)

  • Does the singular/plural distinction really have anything to do with formality? I would think that ¿Qué cervezas tiene? is more formal than ¿Qué cervezas tienen? in Colombia, since the former unambiguously addresses the waiter as formal usted, a distinction which is not generally mirrored in the plural outside Spain. Transferring to Spain, ¿Qué cervezas tienes? would surely be more formal than ¿Qué cervezas tenéis?. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 17 '19 at 18:21
  • @JanusBahsJacquetWhat I mean by formality/informality is addressing the person as a representative of a business or as an individual (kind of friend). – DGaleano Mar 17 '19 at 19:22

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