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Guide to Vosotros

vosotros

My high school Spanish teacher used the following words to describe the word vosotros:

  • “Unnecessary”
  • “Antiquated”
  • “Snoody”
  • “You’ll never use it”
  • “I have no idea why they keep putting it in text books.”

The fact is that “vosotros” is a thriving part of the Spanish language. Countless works of Spanish film and literature utilize it, not to mention most of the 47 million people in Spain, including me.

What does vosotros mean?

Vosotros is the plural and informal form of “you” used in all of Spain except for some parts of Andalusia and the Canary Islands.

There are five words used for “you” in Spanish:

“You” in most of Spain
  Singular Plural
Informal vosotros
Formal Usted Ustedes
“You” in Latin America
  Singular Plural
Informal tú/vos Ustedes
Formal Usted Ustedes

When to use vosotros?

Use vosotros when talking to:

  • A group of children
  • Your friends
  • Your co-workers
  • Your students
  • Most groups of people

Personal Pronouns

“Vosotros” works a lot like “nosotros,” in terms of pronouns.

Gender

If you’re speaking to a group of females, you say “vosotras.” If you’re speaking to a group with one or more males, you say “vosotros.”

Vosotras estais guapas.
Carolina y Sara, vosotras vais a salir anoche?

Possesive

The possesive pronoun for vosotros is “vuestro.” Just like “nuestro,” it has to match the gender and number of the noun it’s describing, so it can be used as “vuestro,” “vuestra,” “vuestros,” or “vuestras.”

Hay hormigas en vuestra casa.
Mariangeles y Daniela son vuestras hermanas.
Me gusta vuestro árbol de Navidad.
Quiero aprender vuestros idiomas.

Reflexive, indirect and direct object

“Os” is used as the reflexive pronoun for the vosotros form, as well as the direct and indirect object. Anywhere you would use “nos” for the nosotros form, you would use “os” for the vosotros form.

Qué os parece?
Os gusta tirar piedras a los niños?
Cómo os llamáis?

How to Conjugate Vosotros

The Present Tense

Regular verbs

AR verbs ER verbs IR verbs
-áis -éis -ís
habláis coméis vivís

Stem-changing verbs

Stem-changing verbs do not change their stem in the vosotros form, just as they don’t in the nosotros form. 

empezar querer dormir
yo empiezo quiero duermo
empiezas quieres duermes
él/ella/Ud. empieza quiere duermes
nosotros empezamos queremos dormimos
vosotros empezáis queréis dormís
ellos/ellas/Uds. empiezan quieren duermen

Irregular verbs

There are some verbs that are irregular in the present tense in the vosotros form, including-

ser ir ver
vosotros present sois vais veis

Commands

To make an imperative sentence, you simply remove the r and add “d”

Verb Vosotros Command
hablar hablad
comer comed
vivir vivid
ser sed

Reflexive commands

If a verb is reflexive, the -d is dropped before adding the -os.

fijarse comerse dormirse
command fijaos comeos dormios

*The only exception is ir which is idos.

Negative commands

Vosotros negative commands require use of the subjunctive, just as in the “tú” form

hablar comer vivir
-éis -áis -áis
no habléis no comáis no viváis

The Past

Present Perfect

The easiest way to talk about the past is to use the present perfect because you simply have to cojugate the verb “haber” and add the past participle. And fortunately, Spaniards use this tense a lot.

Verb Vosotros Present Perfect
hablar habéis hablado
comer habéis comido
beber habéis bebido

Preterit

The endings for regular verbs in the preterit are -asteis and -isteis. An easier way to remember the conjugation is to simply add -is to the end of the “tú” form.

hablar comer vivir ser/ir
tú preterite hablaste comiste viviste fuiste
vosotros preterit hablasteis comisteis vivisteis fuisteis

Imperfect

hablar comer vivir
-abais -íais -íais
hablabais comíais vivíais

The Future

The verb ending is the same for all regular verbs: -éis.

hablar comer vivir
hablaréis comeréis viviréis

Ir + a

Another common way to talk about the future is by using the verb “ir,” which is conjugated in the vosotros present form as “vais.”

hablar comer vivir
vais a hablar vais a comer vais a vivir

Full Conjugation Table

  hablar comer vivir
present habláis coméis vivís
preterit hablasteis comisteis vivisteis
imperfect hablabais comíais vivíais
conditional hablaríais comeríais viviríais
future hablaréis comeréis viviréis
command hablad comed vivid
negative command no habléis no comáis no viváis
present subjunctive habléis comáis viváis
imperfect subjuntive hablarais/hablaseis comierais/comieseis vivierais/vivieseis
future subjuntive hablareis comiereis viviereis
present perfect habéis hablado habéis comido habéis vivido
preterit perfect hubisteis hablado hubisteis comido hubisteis vivido
past perfect habíais hablado habíais comido habíais vivido
conditional perfect habríais hablado habríais comido habríais vivido
future perfect habréis hablado habréis comido habréis vivido
present perfect subjunctive hayáis hablado hayáis comido hayáis vivido
past perfect subjunctive hubierais hablado hubierais comido hubierais vivido
future perfect subjunctive hubiereis hablado hubiereis comido hubiereis vivido

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One Response to Guide to Vosotros

  1. Jackson June 9, 2014 at 7:16 AM #

    Just wanted to let you know how helpful your blog posts are! As I am trying to teach myself Spanish independently at home, I am always looking for more articles to inspire and help me get to the level of Spanish that I want to achieve. Also I had never heard of BEDA before this article, and it is something I would absolutely love to do!

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