Main Differences between Spanish (Spain and Latin America)

There are some general differences between the Spanish from both continents, such as that the Latin American Spanish has a stronger R and has a relatively clearer pronunciation than Peninsular Spanish. Let us list some of the most known ones in grammar and pronunciation :blush:

  • Use of VOS vs. USTED vs. TÚ: The singular form of YOU is TÚ, USTED and VOS. Peninsular Spanish uses the form VOS whereas Latin American Spanish uses the forms USTED for formal and TÚ for less formal communication. In some parts of Latin America (such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Costa Rica and some other parts of Central America) they also take the form VOS. The only difficult thing for you using the VOS form is memorizing their conjugations or endings, but once you start using the language, it’ll come automatically to you.

  • Use of VOSOTROS vs USTEDES: It’s the same case as above but in the plural form. In Latin American Spanish, the plural form is always USTEDES. However, in Peninsular Spanish, you can use both. These forms of addressing will depend on who you are addressing, which you’ll learn in your daily use depending who you’re talking to and the different situations you may go through.

  • Leísmo: It’s the substitution of the direct object pronoun LO/LA for LE. For instance, “A Juan no le vi ayer” (instead of using LO). This normally happens in Peninsular Spanish.

  • Pronunciation of “CE”/”CI”: Often called seseo, refers to the pronunciation of those syllables as with the “S” sound (emosión). Peninsular Spanish pronounces them as the sound “TH” in English (emothión). This might sound like a lisp to you, but it isn’t; it’s a valid sound.

What do you think of these differences? Can you come up with another one? :thinking:


Something I noticed is that here in Argentina we don’t use the Perfect Continous tense when speaking as much as other countries :thinking:

For example: “I’ve been to many concerts, but that one was the best of all”
In Argentina we would say: “Fuí a muchos recitales, pero ese fue el mejor de todos” (Simple past, “I went”)
But in Spain they would say: “He ido a muchos recitales, pero ese fue el mejor de todos” (Perfect Continuous)

We would only use it in formal contexts, such as when giving a speech.


Hi :wave: Yes! You’re totally right!! :relaxed: We don’t generally use it and it’s quite odd when hearing it, at least in Argentina. Once a professor told us we did that in order to make the speech simplier and kept focus on the main idea