It would mean the same thing, but "usted" is the formal form. "tu" is used with friends, family or people you know well and have a personal, "equal" relationship with (like old time colleagues). "usted" is used in more formal occasions: - your "superiors", like teachers, priests or managers - sign of respect, like elders or clients - no personal relationship, like the first time you meet someone (imagine the first meeting between two neighbours, but not two teenagers meeting at a party) Depending on the social circumstance, "tu" can be seen as impolite, even insulting, while "usted" can be used to keep your distance. As a rule, avoid using "tu" if you've been addressed with "usted". English speakers have it easy :-)
Yeah, that would especially apply when talking to a cop. Using the personal "you" then could result in a fast take down with one's face slamming hard into the concrete, and while definitely educational, it wouldn't be all that much fun.
What is the best idea, here, is learning what Duolingo is trying to teach us instead of venturing to rewrite the text book, as it were, and as if one had, at least, the least qualifications.
As I understand it, DuoLingo's Spanish is based on what you'd use in Mexico; vosotros, however, is mainly used in Spain. My guess would be that they don't test on it because, for most people, you need to be consistent with which plural form of you that you pick up. (It would be strange to switch between the two forms in a single conversation.)
There's nothing wrong with using vosotros forms in DuoLingo. I haven't tried using it a lot, but I've never had it rejected when I have tried it.
Miguel, as an English speaker, the only thing I would do differently is make the verb a contraction - "Why don't you start?" Every English speaker would understand it means the same as "Why don't you begin?" I hope all of you who wrote that will "flag" Duo, & tell the Owl it should be accepted!
Yes, they mean the same thing. I guess it's like 'start' and 'begin', they mean the same thing. If you want more info, here is a link: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=739060
Because that form of the verb can also refer to él or ella. Usted is a polite and formal construction so you say it to people you do not know, or who are older than you. It just infers a level of respect. Which is kind of nice really. In English it doesn't really exist although you may be called Sir or Madam in a shop or restaurant and that is sort of similar.
Hello RockinAbe: In Spanish the negation comes before the verb. OK let's walk through this. ¿Por qué no? You already know is Why not? Empieza (conjugated from empezar) can be he/she/it/you start. So to clarify the sentence usted (you formal), is added at the end. So you are very right the sentence does seem in English to be "Why not start you?", but you do get the meaning, right? If you do, just keep at it. You are right, many times the word order will be different. But remember we are here to learn Spanish, the MEANING is what is important. Don't try to shoehorn it into English, just roll with it, while you pick up patterns and begin to feel more comfortable with it. ¿Sí?