I'm referring to Almodóvar's picture.

And I've been wondering:

  • 2nd person imperative of the verb hablar is habla.
  • hable is the 3rd person imperative form.

Why is he using a 3rd person here. As if it's referring to Ud.? But why?!

2 Answers 2


(Trying to keep things very generic and spoiler free-ish).

The person that says "Hable con ella" is a caregiver hired by one of the characters. It's a professional relationship, and usted is the proper treatment in such a context.

  • That's the explanation I needed. What confused me though is that I have seen many spaniards insisting that "Ud." (in Spain) is not used that often, and only under certain ultra-formal situations. Isn't that true, then? Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 7:27
  • 1
    Yes, it's true, but it is not only used in ultra-formal situations. To referring to elder people, for example, it is normaly used Usted form, and, as @guifa said, it is used in professional relationships.
    – itziki
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 8:13
  • 2
    It is formal, but not ultra-formal. It is the standard when talking to unknown people (at least in the medium social-economic classes) or to clients.
    – Envite
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 6:03

Dont forget the difference between Hable con ella and Hablé con ella, anyway the answer is:

When you are talking to a friend you say Habla con ella, but when you talk to lets say to your daddy or boss then you must be polite and use the Hable because you reffer to your daddy like Ud and not like TU

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