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Alternative forms[edit]


From vuestra merced (lit. "your mercy" (etymological) or "your grace" (idiomatic)), an honorific style.[1] In 17th-century Spanish, there were a number of variants, including the intermediate forms vuesasted and vusted. Cf. Portuguese você, Galician vostede and Catalan vostè. The following list has the variants reported by Coromines and Pascual[2], with their reported first year of attestation:


  • IPA(key): /usˈted/, [usˈt̪eð̞]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ed


usted m or f (plural ustedes)

  1. second person formal; you (singular)
  2. (Costa Rica, Colombia, chiefly Bogotá) second person informal; you (singular)

Usage notes[edit]

  • Functionally, usted and ustedes are second person pronouns, but grammatically, the verbs they govern are conjugated in the third person. (This is the same distinction as seen in English with the difference between "You are welcome to stay here longer" but "Your Excellency is welcome to stay here longer.") See Appendix:Spanish pronouns for details.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Gonge, Bob (2005), “El desarrollo de las variantes de vuestra merced a usted”, in Actas del II Congreso de la Región Noroeste de Europa de la Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina (ALFAL), ISSN 1139-8736
  2. ^ Coromines, Joan; Pascual, José A. (1983), “usted”, in Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico (in Spanish), volume Ri-X, Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN, page 844

Further reading[edit]