Tú vs Tu

Common Mistakes in Spanish

The words and Tu in Spanish frequently confuse English speakers. They are pronounced the same (homophones), are written a little differently but have completely different meanings.

When to use Tú

is a subject pronoun (pronombre personal in Spanish).

means You in English (informal you). Remember there are two ways of saying YOU in Spanish: and Usted. is informal and Usted is formal.

A) can be used before a verb:

However note that when is before a verb, it is often omitted since the ending of the verb (conjugation) makes it clear that we are referring to Tú (singular second person informal). So normally you will hear:

B) Tú also comes after certain prepositions such as entre and según

Remember that we normally use an object pronouns, not subject pronouns, after prepositions.

When to use Tu

A) Tu is a possessive adjective and goes before a noun. It shows possesion or that something belongs to someone.

The acute accent

The acute accent is the little mark above a vowel in Spanish, in this case the letter U in Tú. The acute accent is used on a vowel in a stressed syllable in words with irregular patterns. It can also be used to distinguish words that are spelled alike though have different meanings or functions (as is this case).

Note, in informal writing you will sometimes see Tú (you) written without the accent mark (as in Tu). This is not really correct though happens a lot either because the writer was writing too quickly or maybe even because they don't know the correct grammar rules.

In Summary

Basically the difference can be summarized as:

Tú: (a personal pronoun) You (informal)

Tu: (possessive adjective) Your (informal)

The difference between Tú and Tu in Spanish

Next Activities

Try our interactive game online to practice the difference: Tú vs. Tu Game

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