I do understand that vosotr@s is not used in most, if not all of Latin American Spanish-speaking countries, but suppose a Mexican or a Peruvian goes to Spain to see his distant relatives (who use the peninsular variety of Spanish), will he start using vosotr@s to avoid sounding too formal?

  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it calls for an opinion.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


Latin American speakers of Spanish may understand vosotros to be formal. This is because virtually their only exposure to it is through reading of the Bible. (This is similar to the way English speakers have attached a formal sense of meaning to words like thee, thou, and ye, despite those being the informal equivalent of words like and vosotros in the old English.)

When I first arrived in North America from Spain, speaking Castilian Spanish, I regularly used "vosotros." I soon learned not to, because most often the Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc. speakers with whom I was speaking would understand "nosotros" in its place. It took me several weeks to adjust--maybe over a month. But it is unlikely to be the same for Latin Americans going to Spain, because they habitually use ustedes, which would not be at all confusing (just more formal).

I would guess that some would never find the need to adapt, but that most would gradually begin using "vosotros" as they became accustomed to hearing it--depending on how quickly they adapted, and on how much they interacted with the Spaniards, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

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    This is a matter of opinion. My husband is from Spain and never changed his way of speaking. The Spanish speakers from elsewhere all understand him. So, this was your choice, it is not everybody's. Anyway, all this is just opinion and has no "scientific" validity at all. Also, Spanish speakers from other parts of the Spanish speaking world see a lot of TV produced in Spain. And I think they must understand it just fine.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 16:38
  • You may choose to regard it as a matter of opinion if you wish. I simply shared my experience. It is true that each one has a different experience. One of the other reasons I changed was because people informed me that using the Spanish informal pronouns was disrespectful when used toward those older than you. In Spain, students can use tú even with their teachers, and people use tú to address God in prayer, so, although I did not feel in agreement with them, I did try to speak according to their standard so as not to offend. I would be interested in if your husband had a similar experience.
    – Polyhat
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 2:12

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