The movie "El Laberinto del Fauno" by Guillermo del Toro was set in Spain, with actors well-known in Spanish film, but was created by a Mexican crew (del Toro is Mexican).

In the movie, a Faun often speaks to a young girl who he believes is a princess. He uses a form of speech that I thought was voseo, but which doesn't quite fit what I've read about it

For example, the first words the faun speaks (to the Princess) are, "Sois vos", which appears to be voseo. But he also tells her "tened cuidado", because "os va a vida en ello". This seems to be a use of "vosotros"


1 Answer 1


The use of "vos" as the second singular person is an archaism and, referring to your question, commonly used in fairy tales (but not only). The RAE definition:


(Del lat. vos).

  1. pron. person. Forma de 2.ª persona singular o plural y en masculino o femenino, empleada como tratamiento. Lleva preposición en los casos oblicuos y exige verbo en plural, pero concierta en singular con el adjetivo aplicado a la persona a quien se dirige. Vos, don Pedro, sois docto; vos, Juana, sois caritativa. En la actualidad solo se usa en tono elevado. (www.rae.es)
  • 1
    Ok, so it's somewhat like the "royal we" used in English, in that plural forms are being used to ref to an individual of high stature? Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 10:51
  • I thought the traditional version of voseo (the one used in fairy tales and the Bible vs. the variants from the Americas) was still used in parts of Spain for the singular second person. The only reference Note that the only reference I have is TV (see 0:15-0:25, 3:45-3:55).
    – Jaime Soto
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 14:04
  • I don't know wht the "royal we" is, sorry. It was a treatment of respect widely used in Spain before the generalization of "usted", nowadays is extremely rare to hear it.
    – Laura
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 22:32
  • The idea behind the "royal we" is that a ruler represents his country, so he or she uses "we" instead of "I". Probably the most famous (though apocryphal) instance of the "royal we" is Queen Victoria's statement upon hearing a bawdy joke: "We are not amused." Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 11:09
  • Oh, no!! the spanish equivalent of the royal we is "Nos mayestático". Vos was commonly used to adress recpectfully to anyone it was subtitued with "usted" in Spain.
    – Laura
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 11:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.