How to use pronoun ‘vos’ in Spanish?

A young woman wearing a backpack walking down a street.

If you’ve ever traveled to Argentina or Central America, you will have heard the pronoun vos. This pronoun is the equivalent of (you), and it’s used in many parts of Latin America. In this post, we’ll show you how to use pronoun vos and how to conjugate verbs in this form. Want to impress your Spanish speaking friends with your mastery of vos? Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

What is ‘vos’ and where is it used?

Vos is a Spanish subject pronoun used for the second-person singular in a familiar context — the same way you would use the pronoun “tú.” There is no difference in meaning, the difference lies in the regions it is used. In some regions it fully replaces the pronoun “tú” and in others it is used alongside “tú.”

  • In Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, vos is used instead of .
  • In Central America, vos is used alongside . The predominant pronoun is vos.
  • In only certain regions of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Cuba, and Southern Mexico, vos is used alongside . The predominant pronoun is .
  • In Chile it is used alongside , but slightly different (keep reading to find out how).

In the Spanish-speaking countries, the art of using “vos” is called “voseo” and as an interesting fact, about 40 percent of Spanish speakers use it. That’s a lot of people! So, it is definitely worth giving it a shot, but don’t worry if you don’t master it fully — all Spanish speakers will understand you if you end up using “tú.”

How to conjugate verbs using the ‘vos’ form?

Pronouns and vos share most of the verbal conjugations; however, they differ in the present tense (indicative and subjunctive) and in the imperative. We’ll go over this next!

Present indicative tense

To form the present indicative in the vos form, remove the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and add the following endings:
-ar verbs: -ás
vos cantás
you sing
-er verb: -és
vos comés
you eat
-ir verbs: -ís
vos vivís
you live
There are no stem-changes in this form (YAY!) compared to some verbs that have a stem-change in the form. Observe:
                                     Stem-change       No stem-change
                                           ⇩                              ⇩
jugar (to play):              tú juegas              vos jugás               you play
tener (to have):             tú tienes               vos tenés              you have
dormir (to sleep):         tú duermes          vos dormís            you sleep
And, there are three irregular verbs in the vos form: ser (to be), ir (to go), and haber (to have), but the last two are identical to the form tú (tú or vos vas; tú or vos has). The only notable exception is the verb ser:
ser (to be):
tú eres
vos sos
you are

Note that verbs dar (to give) and ver (to see) are regular in the vos form, except they do not require a written accent: vos das (you give) and vos ves (you see).

Curious to know more about Spanish accents? Then head over to our post!

Present subjunctive tense

The verb forms of the present subjunctive in Spanish are very easy for pronoun vos. Use the same forms as for pronoun , but change the stress to the last syllable. This means that in writing you will add an accent to the last vowel, and in speech you will say the last syllable with more emphasis.

cantar (to sing):
tú cantesvos cantés
comer (to eat):
tú comasvos comás
vivir (to live):
tú vivasvos vivás
This includes all irregular verbs! For instance, the verb salir (to leave):
Quiero que (tú) salgas temprano.
Quiero que vos salgás temprano.
I want you to leave early.

⤷TIP In Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay the forms of the subjunctive are used instead of the vos forms, but continue to use pronoun vos. The above example would be said like this:
Quiero que vos salgas temprano.

How to use commands with pronoun ‘vos’?

Vos commands in Spanish have one form in the affirmative and another form in the negative.

Affirmative commands

Vos commands are formed following a simple rule: drop the -r from the end of the infinitive form of the verb and put a written accent on the last vowel. This applies to all verbs, except ir (go), so there is no difference between regular and irregular in this case.

Verb ending-ar-er-ir
to sing
to eat
to write
Rule → Drop the -r and add accent to the last vowel
If you compare these forms with the regular forms of equivalent , you’ll notice that they are the same, except for the change in stress (aka the accent):

(tú) habla   →       hablá vos (speak)
⤷stressed ⤷stressed

The other great feature of vos is that, since you’re using the infinitive as the base, there are no stem-changes in the affirmative!

volver (to come back)

(tú) vuelve(vos) volvé (come back)

Reflexive verbs take the pronoun te, and it’s attached to the vos affirmative command:
dormir (to sleep) → dormite (go to sleep)
lavar (to wash) → lavate (wash yourself)

When adding the pronoun, the written accent is not needed. However, the stress of the word remains in the same syllable as the command without the pronoun:
pará (stop) → parate (get up)
⤷stressed ⤷stressed

In affirmative commands, the verb ir (to go) is replaced by andar (to walk, to go), which follows the rule above, so in Argentina you would say: ¡Andá a la escuela! (Go to school!)

Negative commands

The negative takes the same form as the commands regular and irregular, but an accent is added on the last syllable. This accent changes the pronunciation; now, the stressed or prominent vowel becomes the last one instead of the second to last.

Verb formRegularIrregularIrregular
negative commandno bailes
don’t dance
no digas
don’t say
no tengas
don’t have
vos negative commandno bailés
don’t dance
no digás
don’t say
no tengás
don’t have

However, there are a few verbs that don’t follow this rule: -ir verbs that have a stem-change in the present tense like sentir (to feel), repetir (to repeat), vestirse (to get dressed), servir (to serve), dormir (to sleep), and morir (to die).

Stem-changing verbs ending in -ir follow these patterns:
  • -o is replaced with -u
to sleep
no durmás
don’t sleep
  • -e is replaced with -i
to prefer
no prefirás
don’t prefer
Check out our tables for more irregular verbs in the vos form!
The forms shown above are considered the most widespread forms of “voseo,” but Spanish cannot be Spanish without variety, meaning that there are other forms of voseo. For instance, in parts of Venezuela, they use the same verbal forms as the “vosotros” (you-plural) forms, but paired with pronoun “vos”:
Vos estáis loco si pensáis que vais a salir vestido así con este frío.
You are crazy if you think that you can go out dressed like that in the cold.
Furthermore in Chile, they use slightly different endings. In the present indicative tense, the endings are:
-ar verbs: -ái
-erand-ir verb: -í(s)
The Chilean vos forms also differ from the standard vos form in other tenses (for a full chart of forms comparing verb conjugations in the , vos, and Chilean vos forms, click the link). However, they do not use the vos forms in commands, but the forms instead.

What pronouns should I use with ‘voseo’?

Most of the time, you will use the same pronouns you would use with “tú.

Same pronouns as ‘tú’

Reflexive →
Vos te levantás temprano.
You wake (yourself) up early.
Direct object pronoun→
Te vi (a vos) en la tienda.
I saw you in the store.
Indirect object pronoun →
Te dimos las llaves a vos.
We gave you the keys.
Double object pronoun →
Te lo dijo a vos.
He said it to you.
  • When using possessive pronouns, use “tuyo” (tuya, tuyos, tuyas) and “tu” (tus) for the possessive adjective.
¿Este libro es tuyo?
Is this book yours?
Vení acá con tus hermanos.
Come here with your siblings.

Different pronoun than ‘tú’

Use “vos” after a preposition (aka prepositional object pronoun) or as a subject pronoun.
Estos boletos son para vos.
Estos boletos son para ti.
These tickets are for you.
No queremos ir con vos.
No queremos ir contigo.
We don’t want to go with you.
Vos sos especial.
eres especial.
You are special.
Voseo is a very interesting style of speaking and it’s by no means cut and dry. There are speakers that mix “voseo” and “tuteo” (the use of ); that means that some speakers might use the pronoun “vos” with a verb in the form, or vice versa, the pronoun with a verb in the “vos” form. For example:
¿Vos quieres venir conmigo?               ¿Tú querés venir conmigo?
             ↳ form                                               vos form
Do you want to come with me?

In Chile, for example, it’s considered rude to use the pronoun vos with the verb in vos form (aka standard voseo), so the familiar way to address someone is by using the pronoun “tú” with a verb in the vos form – in the Chilean form: tú querei (you want). Interesting, isn’t it?

To sum up

So there you have it, you now have all the ins and outs on how to use “vos.” Just remember that with vos there are fewer irregularities than its counterpart and that the stress usually goes in the last syllable. And when it comes to pronouns, use the same ones as you would use with pronoun , except after a preposition or the subject pronoun. Easy, right? Now, ¡andá a las actividades! (head on to the activities!)
Are you interested in learning more about Spanish Grammar? Check out our Spanish Grammar Homepage.
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Extra Resources:

Pronoun vos table


Pronoun vos activity


Pronoun vos activity

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