As an action verb, the English present progressive “I'm sleeping” can be translated either with the Spanish present indicative ‘Duermo’ or present progressive ‘Estoy durmiendo’ [note the spelling of the present participle, with ‘u’ in place of ‘o’]; the latter is more commonly used when the continuing nature of the sleep is important. The English present indicative “I sleep”, in contrast, can only be translated with the Spanish present indicative ‘Duermo’. The English predicate adjective “I'm asleep” corresponds to ‘Estoy dormido’. While English has a distinct adjectival form for this verb, the Spanish adjective is the same as the past participle “slept”.
Yes, but is it not one of those sentences that it is logically impossible to say??! I am sleeping [right now meant by this construction]. Knowing how learners on this thread love creating bizarre scenarios to justify perverse interpretations, to save time I'll throw in "... unless they were talking in their sleep"!
It was light-hearted really and was following on from posts of SaulH and Andreas above who were discussing "estoy durmiendo" formulation. I think my point is valid though - you could say I am sleeping all night these days or I am sleeping every afternoon, etc, etc, progressive tense in English but simply 'duermo' in Spanish whereas the Spanish present progressive (estoy...) meaning "right now" is a bit like saying "I am dead". You're telling lies, pal..!
Indeed -- the moment of initiating an action is definitely one of the things the reflexive gets used for a lot. "Sentarse" (to sit down) is also one of those.
"Él sienta." == "He sits." (is continuously seated)
"Él se sienta." == "He sits down."
In this case, English actually has a parallel construction: "He seats himself."
"Sentirse" is arguably similar -- it can convey something more like the onset of a different feeling. So, "Nosotros nos sentimos bien hoy," doesn't just mean "We feel well today," it suggests that we have a sense of the onset of good feelings -- we feel better today than average, or good compared to yesterday.
‘yo’ is indeed the subject form, and ‘me’ the object form. The ‘yo’ is implied here by the 1st-person-singular form ‘duerm-o’, but you can just as well say ‘Yo me duermo’. And ‘me’ is the object here. This is a reflexive verb. Reflexive verbs are far more common in Spanish than in English. Literally translated, ‘Yo me duermo’ is “I'm putting myself to sleep.”, and ‘Disculpe si me duermo.’ is “Excuse [me] if I put myself to sleep.”.
While the reflexive form "dormirse" does at some hyper-literal level mean something like "sleep one's self", contextually it's used for the "act" of becoming asleep. The reflexive pronouns (me, te, se, nos, os, se) are weird, and I'm surprised they were included in the same lesson with the indirect pronouns (me, te, le, nos, os, les). They really deserve their own whole separate section.
Reflexives are also used to convey things like, "Spanish is spoken here." == "Se habla Español aquí." On a word-for-word translation, that means something like "It speaks itself Spanish here." But the third-person reflexive there conveys something more like, "Anyone that speaks here, speaks Spanish."
Verbs with or without reflexive pronoun. These are majority of verbs. Meaning of those verbs sometimes changes depending on using or not reflesive “se”.
ir /irse, levantar/levantarse
María va al trabajo en bicicleta (to go to = direction) María se va del trabajo porque no le gusta (to leave) Levanto el brazo y siento mucho dolor (to raise) Se levanta a las 7 para estudiar (to wake up)