September 18th, 2009

pirate king

Spanish and the vosotros form

I live in the US, so all of my Spanish teachers have been from Mexico or South America and have refused to teach the vosotros form of verbs, saying it's useless. Currently, I'm studying on my own with workbooks, and out of habit I kept substituting the ustedes form whenever a question asked for the vosotros. However, now I'm wondering whether I should start teaching myself this form.

Is the vosotros form really optional (or useless) if I plan to use my Spanish for something other than just conversing with people from Latin America? For example, I'm considering taking the DELE exam at some point in the future, is it required for that? I suppose if I study Spanish at the graduate level, I'll be expected to know it? Is it used regularly in Spain or less commonly?

I'm sorry if this question seems ridiculous. All I've been told by the native speakers I have spoken with and taken classes from is that the vosotros is useless and there is no reason to pay attention to it, but there has to be a reason that it's in all my Spanish texts.

Abraham begat Isaac

When a woman gives birth to a child, what would the baby's father say to state the fact (from his point of view, with the baby as the subject of the sentence, or otherwise)? A dictionary prompts to use the construction "a son/daughter was born to me" but it sounds a bit too formal to me.
What do common Anglophones normally say in this situation?