Yes, we are back! After enjoying a nice vacation in South America, through the tour company Intrepid, which took us to the likes of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, and enjoying the most amazing sights of Iguazú Falls, we are here with a new post!

Last summer we brought up the debate of teaching and using the “vosotros” form, which, as you know, is only used in Spain. Seems like a lot of us are split on this; According to our poll nearly 39% teach and require vosotros, while 36% teach it but don’t require it, and 26% don’t teach it at all. If you haven’t voted, you can continue to do so.

One thing that I brought up was the inclusion of “vos” in the classroom. Vos is used by a much larger population than vosotros. It can be heard in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and even parts of Colombia, Vos is essentially a replacement for .

For how do you form vos? Essentially, you drop the -r from the infinitive and add an “s” with an accent over the last vowel. For example: hablás, escribís, comés.
For the command form, simply drop the “-r” from the infinitive and add an accent: hablá, escribí, comé.
The form of ser is sos. Otherwise, you do not see many irregular or even “stem-changing” forms. For example, the present tense form of venir would be venís and the command would be vení.

Do I think it needs to be expressively taught? No. Same as vosotros, it is something that students can understand easily on the travels, and if needed could even pick up quite easily. Otherwise, it is best they stick to using the formal Usted or the standard . But, especially in upper levels, students should know that this form does exist and is used in the real world.

To see real world examples of vos in action, check out pictures of these advertisements and comic strips that I took during my recent time in Argentina.

Click to enlarge

About spanishplans

Spanish Teacher in Chicago. Have studied or traveled to Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Have taught level 1 at middle and high school levels. Degree in Spanish and Master's in Teaching and Leadership. Blogger www.SpanishPlans.org
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7 Responses to Voseo

  1. Susana says:

    Me encanta ver que estén explicando el vos.
    Soy de Guatemala y nosotros usamos mucho el VOS. Nunca me había detenido a pensar en la estructura para poder explicar la conjugación de verbos con VOS. Lo hiciste de maravilla.

    Quisiera compartir algo respecto al uso del VOS, si me permiten….

    El uso de VOS tiende a ser de uso coloquial. Usualmente es informal y solo entre amigos. Algo así como cuando puedes bajarte el pelo y relajarte. En ocasiones formales y para dirigirse a personas mayores que uno, se utiliza el USTED si hay un poco mas de confianza o a una mujer se utiliza el TU. (machos que no se acostumbran) :o) pero entre familia, amigos van ha oír el VOS casi hasta en la sopa (como diría Mafalda).
    Los sigo muy de cerca y hago el “repin” a las cosas que suben a su cartelera de Pinterest!!

    Sigan Adelante!

  2. spanishplans says:

    A great Picture showcase difference between Tú and Vos: http://pinterest.com/pin/269301252687962078/

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree that this tense should be mentioned in upper level classes but just as a heads-up. After studying Spanish all through college I had never heard of it until I moved to El Salvador and started noticing that it was used constantly between native speakers. However, being extremely informal it is unlikely that a Spanish student, without the aptitude to “pick it up” would ever be speaking Spanish with someone who they were that familiar with. I tell them, when in doubt always use used.

  4. Robert Leabo says:

    I think the “vos” form is fascinating. I’ll definitely study up and include in lessons on South America when I teach. Hopefully by then I’ll have visited these places and will have an authentic feel for it. I really didn’t encounter it in college Spanish either, even though I had one professor from Argentina and two from Chile.

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