Tú vs. Argentinian vos, with examples

Preamble

I wasn’t always known as ? Gringo Starr ?, a Yankee (that’s what they call those from the US here in Buenos Aires ?‍♂️) with a firm grasp of the subtleties of the use of vos in Argentina … One day, I decided I wanted to get serious and learn Spanish for real… I decided that I would travel to South America and get myself some of that sweet Spanish immersion ? ?? ?

One new thing I encountered when researching South American Spanish from the US ?? was the voseo—in brief, the use of the pronoun “vos” instead of the more familiar (for us gringos) “tú” and/or different verb conjugations depending on the country.

Reader: You said examples–enough SEO garbage!!!

Okay, okay. Bajá un cambio! Quick disclaimer: In this post I will focus on ?? Argentinian Spanish ??, but keep in mind that there are regional differences in the voseo.


Vos and Tú

Examples in the Simple Present: Tu vs. Argentinian vos

You sing really well! ? (-ar)

¡ cantas muy bien!
¡Vos cantás muy bien!

For -ar verbs, like “cantar”, you simply chop off the -ar, and add -ás.

Do you have coffee? ☕ (-er)

¿Tú tienes café?
¿Vos tenés café?

With -er verbs, again, chop off the -er, but add an -és… ? a pattern is emerging. Note that while the stem changes in the tú form, it doesn’t in the vos form. This is normal.

You live in Argentina? ?? (-ir)

¿Tú vives en Argentina?
¿Vos vivís en Argentina?

Chop off the -ir, add -ís, and Bob’s your uncle.


Stop—Grammar Time!

Did you catch the MC Hammer ? reference or am I just a grandpa? ??‍♂️

It is important to keep in mind that “vos conjugations” are different from “tú conjugations” only in the simple present and for commands. This plus the regularity of the pattern actually make it pretty easy to learn the vos conjugations. As you can see below, there are no changes in other tenses/moods.

VerbTense/moodVos
SerPreteriteFuisteFuiste
EstarPresent SubjunctiveEstésEstés
QuererFutureQuerrásQuerrás
IrImperfectIbasIbas
DecirConditionalDiríasDirías
HablarImperfect SubjunctiveHablarasHablaras
Conjugations remain the same in these tenses/moods

In the simple present, however, the conjugations do differ from the tú in many cases with a few exceptions.

VerbVos
SerEresSos
EstarEstásEstás
QuererQuieresQuerés
IrVasVas
DecirDicesDecís
HablarHablasHablás
Common Spanish verbs conjugated for tú and Argentine vos in the simple present

Wrapping up

Alright, Spanish lovers, I hope you enjoyed this free Spanish lesson and learned something about how to use vos.

Quick, dirty, but transparent plug: If you want to learn more Latin American Spanish, check out our website: https://www.wanderlust-online.com/

We offer private tutoring and group classes online and we have our “Headquarters” and flagship school in Buenos Aires, if you’re doing the nomad thing. You can get a free trial class with a native speaker with no obligation and buy more lessons to take your Spanish to the next level if you love it.

Peace, Love, and Spanish!
✌️ ❤️ ??
Wander on!

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Wanderlust was my second home during my 5 months living in Buenos Aires. I got to know Argentina through this amazing school and experiences while studying with my professor, Vicky.

- Rich