In Spanish, I noticed that people always seem to refer to God as "Tú," whether in worship songs or prayers or even the Bible. For example, they might say, "Tú Señor eres grande" or something like that. Since "usted" is the formal, respectful form of addressing someone, I was wondering why everyone referred to God as "Tú" instead of "Usted". Any answers are helpful!

4 Answers 4



[comparando el cristianismo y el Islam en el texto anterior a este trecho]

Por el contrario, el Dios cristiano es fundamentalmente Amor. Por eso con él es posible establecer una relación a amigo a amigo. De Moisés se dice que hablaba con Dios “como habla un hombre con su amigo” (Ex 33,11).

Tomás de Aquino, basándose en Jn 15,15 (“a vosotros os he llamado amigos”) afirma que la relación del hombre con Dios es una relación de amistad. Lo sorprendente y maravilloso es que quién toma la iniciativa de mantener esta relación tan íntima y personal es Dios mismo.

La vida religiosa (escrito por un cura)

Conclusión: los amigos se tutean.


(This is more than a comment, but probably less than a real answer)

The use of Tú was not something I was aware of (or concerned with), so I did some searching on the subject and there were several sites popping up suggesting that Tú is used instead of Usted because you are meant to be having a personal relationship with god. The use of Usted would be the opposite of a personal relationship.

Hence the use of Second Person grammar forms.

But what also popped out was that we actually do the same in English. Things like Thee, Thou, Thine, and Thy are also similar personal forms, but have dropped out of modern English usage. The most common usage of these words that I know is in the Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name ..

  • [popped up, not out, and did some researching, better]
    – Lambie
    Mar 14 at 15:02
  • @Lambie In this case Popped Out is synonymous to Popped Up. But they both have different, other meanings.
    – Peter M
    Mar 14 at 15:30
  • Tú with an accent mark. :)
    – Lambie
    Mar 14 at 16:23

I think the question should and could be comfortably expanded to other languages as well. And why I say so because different people read holy books with translation and the tone we used to call God often changes. Considering the fact that God want us to be as casual and closer to him, He does not want us to be formal and could address Him like we address our closed loved ones. I think that explains why we should use "Tú" instead of Usted.


It happens in many other languages aswell.

Check Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

Early English translations of the Bible used the familiar singular form of the second person, which mirrors common usage trends in other languages. The familiar and singular form is used when speaking to God in French (in Protestantism both in past and present, in Catholicism since the post–Vatican II reforms), German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic and many others (all of which maintain the use of an "informal" singular form of the second person in modern speech).

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