Contraction of vostra (“your”) mercè (“grace”), attested from the 16th century.
- Vostè is a very polite form of address for a single person. It is used with the third-person singular form of the verb. (Compare the polite usage of você in Portuguese and usted in Spanish.) Traditionally it was only used with judges, doctors, and so on, with vós being used in most polite situations, for example with elderly people, and tu being used in informal situations. Nowadays, tu is the most common form, even in formal contexts, and vostè is becoming more common than vós because of contact with Spanish. In Valencian, this word is usually spelled vosté, since it has /e/ instead of /ɛ/.
Catalan personal pronouns and clitics
- ^ “vostè”, in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana, 2023
- “vostè” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
- “vostè” in Diccionari normatiu valencià, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
- “vostè” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.