Forms of Address

The polite speech in Spanish requires the usage of the special pronominal forms usted (for singular) and ustedes (for plural) followed by a verbal form in third person (singular or plural, respectively):

The form usted is an abridgement of the expression vuestra merced your mercy.

The form usted is often abbreviated as Ud. or Vd. and the form ustedes as Uds. or Vds.

This manner of polite speaking is paralleled in Portuguese (você / vocês), Catalan (vostè / vostès) and Italian (lei / loro); it was used also in French till the 19th century.

Spanish Verb

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© Zdravko Batzarov