Voseo in Spanish Grammar

Introduction

Voseo is the use of the pronoun vos in place of or vosotros in combination with a verb conjugated in the 2nd person plural.

Learn about the different variations of voseo in Spain and Latin America and master conjugation in different tenses. Then practise what you have learnt in the exercises.

Example

Javier: Mirá Javier, este es mi padre.

Marta: Vos sos idéntico. Vos tenés su misma cara.

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Forms of Voseo

There are two different kinds of voseo – one in Spain and one in Latin America.

Spanish Voseo

The Spanish version of voseo was the polite form in medieval Spain i.e. the equivalent to today's usted. Nowadays, you will only find this voseo used in historical novels, films, etc. It is similar to the English thee and thou. This voseo takes vos + verb in the second person plural.

Example:
Vos sois el rey de Castilla.You are the king of Castile.

Latin-American Voseo

The Latin-American version of voseo is often used instead of . The accompanying verb usually has a particular form that's different from the other “you” pronouns. The parallel to the Spanish vosotros (2nd person plural) is, however, always ustedes.

Example:
Vos sos idéntico. Vos tenés su misma cara.You look just like him. You have the same face.

Voseo is also used differently in different regions:

  • pure form of voseo: pronoune vos with the voseo form of the verb (alternate version of the 2nd person plural)
    Example:
    vos podés
  • pronoun with the voseo form of the verb (alternate version of the 2nd person plural)
    Example:
    podés
  • pronoun vos with the normal 2nd person singular verb
    Example:
    vos puedes

Pronouns with Pure Voseo

We only use vos to replace the forms and ti. The pronoun forms te, tu and tuyo remain unchanged.

Example:
Sí, te hablo a vos. ¿Es este tu bolso?Yes, I’m talking to you. Is this your bag?
Vos te levantaste de mal humor.You woke up in a bad mood.

Verbs with Pure Voseo

When using voseo, we normally use the regular verb ending for the 2nd person plural. However, there can be variations depending on tense, geographical location, and social class. Here, we’ll list the most important of these variations.

Present Indicative and Subjunctive

To conjugate voseo forms in the present indicative and present subjunctive, we generally take the 2nd person plural and simply remove the -i. However, sometimes the -e is removed, and very rarely, the entire diphthong remains unchanged.

Example:
present indicative → vos ponés
rarely:
vos ponís or vos ponéis
present subjunctive → vos pongás
rarely:
vos pongís or vos pongáis

For -ar verbs, however, the a in the present indicative cannot be removed.

Example:
present indicative → vos hablás
rarely: vos habláis
incorrect: vos hablís

Imperfect Indicative and Subjunctive

To conjugate voseo forms in the imperfect indicative and imperfect subjunctive, the 2nd person singular is used.

Example:
imperfect indicative → vos cantabas
imperfect subjunctive → vos cantaras

In Chile, it is also possible to use the 2nd person plural and simply remove the last -s.

Example:
vos cantabai (not: vos cantabais)
vos cantarai (not: vos cantarais)

Preterite

To conjugate the voseo forms for the preterite, we take the 2nd person plural and remove the -i. In some regions, the final -s is also removed.

Example:
vos volvistes or vos volviste

In the Venezuelan Andes and in Colombia there is another variation, in which the first -s in the verb is removed while the final -s remains.

Example:
vos volvites

Future

To conjugate voseo forms in the future tense, we usually take the 2nd person plural and remove the -i. However, sometimes the -e is removed instead, and very rarely, the entire diphthong remains unchanged.

Example:
vos viajarés
less common: vos viajarís or vos viajaréis

Conditional

To conjugate voseo forms in the conditional, we take the ending of the 2nd person singular.

Example:
vos soñarías

In Chile, however, you can also use the 2nd person plural and simply remove the final -s.

Example:
vos soñaríai (not: vos soñaríais)

Imperative

To conjugate voseo forms in the imperative, we remove the -d from the 2nd person plural.

Example:
mirá (instead of mirad)
poné (instead of poned)
escribí (instead of escribid)

In Chile is the imperative form identical to the Spanish version.

Example:
mira (tú)

Indicative Forms of Voseo by Country

countrypresentepretérito
imperfecto
pretérito
indefinido
futurocondicional
Argentina

cantás
comés
vivís

(as in
Spain)

cantaste
comiste
viviste

(as in Spain)
Paraguay cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
(as in Spain)
Uruguay cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
(as in Spain)
Chile cantái(s)
comí(s)
viví(s)

cantabai(s)
comíai(s)
vivíai(s)

cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarí(s)
comerí(s)
vivirí(s)
cantaríai(s)
comeríai(s)
viviría(s)
Peru cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)

cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarás
comerís
vivirís
(as in
Spain)
Bolivia cantáis/cantás
coméis/comés
vivís
(as in Spain)
Ecuador cantás/cantáis
comés/comís
vivís
(as in Spain) cantarís
comerís
vivirís
(as in
Spain)
Colombia cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes/cantates
comistes/comites
vivistes/vivites
cantarés
comerés
vivirés
(as in
Spain)
Venezuela cantáis/cantás
coméis/comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes/cantates
comistes/comites
vivistes/vivites
cantaréis/cantarés
comeréis/comerés
viviréis/vivirés
(as in
Spain)
Guatemala cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarés
comerés
vivirés
(as in
Spain)
El Salvador cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarés
comerés
vivirés
(as in
Spain)
Honduras cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarés
comerés
vivirés
(as in
Spain)
Nicaragua cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
(as in Spain)
Costa Rica cantás
comés
vivís
(as in Spain)
Panama cantái(s)
coméis(s)
vivís
(as in Spain)
Mexico cantás
comés
vivís
(as in
Spain)
cantastes
comistes
vivistes
cantarés
comerés
vivirés
(as in
Spain)

Subjunctive Forms of Voseo by Country

countrypresentepretérito
imperfecto
Argentinia cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Paraguay cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Uruguay cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Chile cantí(s)
comái(s)
vivái(s)
cantarai(s)
comierai(s)
vivierai(s)
Peru (as in Spain)
Bolivia cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Ecuador (as in Spain)
Colombia cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
countrypresentepretérito
imperfecto
Venezuela (as in Spain)
Guatemala cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
El Salvador cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Honduras cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Nicaragua cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Costa Rica cantés
comáis
vivás
(as in Spain)
Panama (as in Spain)
Mexico (as in Spain)

Imperative Forms of Voseo by Country

countryimperative
Argentinia cantá
comé
viví
Paraguay cantá
comé
viví
Uruguay cantá
comé
viví
Chile (as in Spain)
Peru cantá
comé
viví
Bolivia cantá
comé
viví
Ecuador cantá
comé
viví
Colombia cantá
comé
viví
Venezuela cantá
comé
viví
countryimperative
Guatemala cantá
comé
viví
El Salvador cantá
comé
viví
Honduras cantá
comé
viví
Nicaragua cantá
comé
viví
Costa Rica cantá
comé
viví
Panama cantá
comé
viví
Mexico cantá
comé
viví