What are the main differences between Tu and Lei in Italian?
Learning the differences between Tu and Lei is essential to communicate in Italian.
As in many other languages, the informal or formal way to address people reflect on the language we use.
It means that depending on how we talk to, we modify the way we make sentences.
How does that happen?
Basically we use different words and forms of the verb.
For example, every time we want to be formal with someone, we need to remember which form to use.
Considering how often we swap to talk to different people, it is very important to practice!
At the beginning it may sound quite hard, especially if you are not used to this difference in your language.
But don’t worry, you will get familiar with that very soon!
This lovely video tutorial will help you understand this difference better.
You can also repeat after it to improve your pronunciation.
Let’s watch it!
In Italian we have two ways to say “you”: Tu and Lei.
Uso Lei in situazioni di formalità con qualcuno più grande di me oppure a lavoro.
I use Lei to speak in a formal way with someone older than me or at work.
Per esempio uso Lei con il mio capo, con un professore o con un poliziotto.
For example I use Lei with my boss, a professor or a policeman.
Il Lei corrisponde alla terza persona singolare.
Lei corresponds to the third person singular.
Uso il Tu in situazioni informali, ad esempio con gli amici.
I use Tu in an informal situation, for example with friends.
An informal dialogue could be:
Ciao! Come stai?
And a formal one:
Salve, come sta?
Would you be able to make other equivalent sentences in the formal and informal way?
Try to practice!
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