"Él se quedó en el hotel."

Translation:He stayed in the hotel.

January 27, 2013



Would a spanish speaker understand the above sentence without the reflexive SE? I understand its proper diction but what would it mean without the SE? Im trying to get a grasp on "reflexives"

June 30, 2013


Great lead into what I wanted to talk about. I am getting this after several attempts at the reflexive verbs. I checked my dictionary to see if quedarse is a reflexive verb. Yes it was and one definition was "to stay or remain in place". What I learned from this exercise is if you have a conjugated verb and 'se' you may need to check the meaning since reflexive verbs can have different meanings to the non-reflexive verb. Use the infinitive plus 'se' to verify. This is a big step for me and I hope it will save you time and hearts.

August 6, 2013


I still don't understand why the reflexive pronoun se is necessary, unless you omit él. It seems to me that, if él se itself cannot be omitted and quedó en el hotel cannot stand alone, if either or is used, the other should be omitted. Am I wrong? What am I not understanding?

Both "él quedó..." and "se quedó...", and even "él se quedó...", seem redundant to me.

Wouldn't it be much easier and just as effective to say "Quedó en el hotel"?

February 24, 2014


The verb spanish speakers use to mean "to stay" is quedarse. We can conjugate the verb to indicate the tense therefore in this case se quedó. We can't drop the 'se' because spanish speakers won't understand. Se is not replacing El but rather it is necessary to describe the action = stayed. Who stayed =He stayed, he being the subject. Se quedo = action.

February 24, 2014


Isn't the verb merely 'quedar'? What's the difference, if any, between quedar and quedarse?

From what I've read it seems that se can be either tacked on to the ends of verbs in order to demonstrate that the verb is reflexive or placed before the verb to represent a reflexive pronoun (as opposed to modifying the verb)...

I've been looking at a conjugation chart (http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/quedar) and apparently Quedó means S/he, you stayed, so I'm still lost as to why the reflexive pronoun is necessary in this case?

EDIT: Okay, you say that Se represents the subject in the phrase "Se quedó," but I guess what I'm trying to ask is why can't Se be omitted like how Yo is omitted when you say something like "Creo que..."? Why is Se required to make such a statement?

EDIT2: Does it have something to do with the verb, quedar, being used intransitively?

February 24, 2014


As I understand it, Quedar = to remain or to be left, Quedarse = to stay (to leave oneself). The 'se' (himself) distinguished the conjugation between quedar and quedarse (because the rest of the conjugation is the same). Check out the conjugations on spanishdict.

June 27, 2014


Quedar and quedarse are 2 different verbs with 2 different meanings. As rmcgwn says above, whenever you see a verb+se, look it up in the dictionary to see how its meaning is different.

July 8, 2014


quadarse is a nonreflexiv verb in ENGLISH, and means to stay/ remain. The Spaniards have this same "to stay" as a reflexiv verb, "to stay himself". Quedar without the se means be left, be left over or have left, él quedó en el hotel= he was left over in the hotel

And SE is the OBJECT

March 25, 2015


The verb is quedarse not quedar. Se is not the subject but part of the action ie verb quedarse = se quedo.

February 24, 2014


it does not represent the subject like a personal pronoun— if it translates to anything, it represents the subject in the sense of meaning "himself/herself/itself."

June 19, 2014


Quedarse is more along the lines of staying back. Maria y yo queda en un gran hotel circa del centro. Cuando ví a la biblioteca, Maria se quedo en el hotel.

January 16, 2016


Man me and you are having the EXACT same issue with Spanish. This has bugged me for a while now and it seems I'm not getting any better with it

October 12, 2015


Silver chickens are awesome

April 5, 2016


It seems so weird to me, in my head "El se quedo" comes across, "he himself stayed".

January 25, 2016


thanks, that was nicely explained.

January 7, 2016


I think of it as meaning "he kept himself in the hotel". (i.e., he stayed.) If you leave out the "se" then you'd be saying "he kept in the hotel", and it wouldn't make sense anymore.

March 26, 2015


Very helpful to me. Thank you. It is understood that "he kept himself in the hotel" but is said that "he stayed in the hotel". Thank you. I think I get it now. "se" was causing my brain to send smoke out my ears! Thank you.

November 10, 2015


That's the trick. What Spanish words and phrases mean in Spanish and what they translate to in English are two different things.

November 20, 2015


Good way of looking at it. However if you leave out the "se" it actually does make sense in Spanish and in English it becomes something like "he remained at the hotel" or "was left at the hotel". This is because "quedar" can mean several things in English, not just "to keep".

December 7, 2015


This is helpful and informative.

July 9, 2016


How would you say "he left it in the hotel"?

February 5, 2016


Él lo dejó en el hotel.

February 5, 2016


Él lo (or la) quedó en la hotel. This uses the direct object pronoun. Since it would be obvious from the actual context what he left, it would agree in gender with the object.

February 5, 2016


Wow thanks, now that make a lot of sense.

August 22, 2016


If the subject and the object is the same, use "se." If the two are different, don't.

Juan se lava la cara. Juan washes his face.

Juan lava su carro. Juan washes his car.

I hope this applies to everything.

May 23, 2016


That pretty much applies to most of the issue. Of course se is only the third person pronoun. If the subject is in the second or first person, then appropriate direct object pronoun should be used. Two issues should be noted. The first is that in some cases the difference between the regular and the reflexive verb seems to be more than just being both the subject and the object the same. Verbs like ir and irse seem just to be slightly different. A list of some of those verbs is contained in this link.


The second issue is a big one mostly because Duo doesn't cover it at all as far as I have seen. If you have a sentence with le as an indirect object pronoun and la or lo as the direct object pronoun, the le becomes se and it does not make it a reflexive pronoun. Yo le tiro la pelota a Juan becomes Yo se la tiro a Juan NOT Yo le la tiro. The same is true when they are added to the appropriate verb form (Puedo tirarsela I can throw it to him or Déselo! Give it to him!). In these cases se is not reflexive.

May 23, 2016


The difference between quedar and quedarse is essentially volition. Quedar is used mostly for objects and is translated as is left or remains. But when you are talking about a person you are talking about a choice that he is making about himself (his body) When remaining is a choice or a senscient act it is quedarse. It is true that you really have to look up reflexive verbs because the way they affect the meaning of the root verb is unpredictable, especially from an English language perspective. Just look at ir vs irse for the easiest example.

September 17, 2017


I had been wondering about why I was seeing infinitives with "se" on the end! Thanks a bunch for the clarification!

July 18, 2015


Quedar is a verb with many meanings.

Remain, left. Quedan cuatro libros en el escritorio. Four books remain on the desk.

Be located. Mi casa queda cerca del colegio. The hotel is close to the school.

Plan to meet. Quedé contigo a las seis. I arranged to meet with you at six o'clock.

And, like in the exercise, STAY, be in a place , no left. Quédate en mi casa. Stay in my house.

With this last meaning you have to use the reflexive. If not, it can be confused with arrange to meet.

Me quedo en casa. I stay at home. Quedo en casa. I meet at home (with friends).

Él se quedó en el hotel. He stayed in the hotel. El quedó en el hotel. He meet in the hotel.

March 11, 2015


This is THE most helpful kind of comment: facts, examples, translations in a list easy to see for tired eyes....after hours of looking things up, it is a grace. Gracias. come back often.

August 25, 2017


I checked the English Wiktionary, and it seems that leaving out the "se" makes this sentence mean "He was in the hotel.", so a bit different.

November 13, 2013



November 7, 2014


I think the difference is rather:

quedarse: stay at a place (for a person)

quedar: to be left (as in there is some bread left)

but I don't know spanish better than you guys it is just what I get out of the translations from the exercises we've done so far.

April 21, 2014


The problem is that they dont want!

April 18, 2017


I think you are mixing up the verb quedar(se) which means to remain with the verb querer which means to want. While the infinitives are similar, querer is a irregular stem changing verb. The third person singular preterite of querer would be quiso.

April 18, 2017


Quedar - 'to be left', 'to remain' Generally we have a subject, verb, and an object. John (the subject) eats (the verb) an apple (the object). Juan come una manzana. With Quedar, we need a subject and an object; John (the subject) left (the verb) ...what did John leave behind? Himself. As John is the subject and object, we have a reflexive verb, and so we use the reflexive pronoun for 'himself' - 'se'. Juan se quedó (reflexive pronouns, like indirect and direct object pronouns come before the verb). Not sure if I am correct or not, feel free to comment.

January 20, 2015


But you could also say Juan se come una manzana and would mean the same as juan come una manzana. I asked my argentinian friend and he said that he would use the former rather than the latter. The use of se in that particular sentence is unclear to me.

But your explanation here of leaving himself as the object was a good one.. :)

August 3, 2015


I, too, have encountered native speakers that add reflexive pronouns to verbs that I didn't think were reflexive. This seems to be a regional variation, and like a lot of regional variations, what is acceptable in one area is not always acceptable in another. So try to stay in the realm of good grammar, and what you say will be accepted anywhere (of course, when it comes to vocabulary, you sometimes just have to pick one). In general, "Juan se come una manzana" would not be accepted by a Spanish speaker. That would be an example of a regional variation. Reflexive verbs that you see here on Duo will be generally accepted in the Spanish-speaking world.

October 27, 2015


what is Juan is 3 and ate the apple himself, a landmark?

August 25, 2017


i hope this is right..but i think the reason for 'se' is because this particular verb form comes from the reflexive verb 'quedarse' not 'quedar' therefore it needs the reflexive pronoun. they have similar meanings - quedar is to stay, remain, be left (indicating location) and quedarse is slightly different and means to stay (behind), or remain (behind). i guess because reflexive pronouns must be used with that particular verb, that's why it will be understood and not so if you miss it out.

March 20, 2014


Yes, quedarse means to remain or stay behind, when others went somewhere. Quedar means remains as if there is no milk remaining.

May 14, 2014


I just had a sentence with a non-reflexive 'quedar' and it meant "remained." There's no difference between "to stay" and "to remain" in english, so I'm failing to see how the reflexive form changes the meaning...

October 21, 2013


The reflexive means you are applying the action of remaining/staying on yourself. I don't know what the other sentence you refer to is so can't comment further.

October 22, 2013


There is a difference stay = remain but remain does not = stay remain is to stay after others have gone

November 1, 2013


I'm trying to understand the explanations offered here (including yours, celesteparsons), but your use of equal signs and the lack of punctations got me dizzy and more confused :).

November 15, 2014


Okay, so let's try these examples. "Me quedé en casa" means "I stayed at home". That's a reflexive verb, quedarse, meaning "to stay". The "me" is a necessary part of the meaning of the verb. "Sólo quedaron dos bananas" means "Only two bananas remained". That's a non-reflexive verb, quedar, meaning "to remain, to be left". There are other meanings of "quedar", also, found here: http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=quedar Does that make more sense?

October 27, 2015


It's been eleven months since I posted that, and I think I've finally understood the idea of "quedar" and "quedarse". My gratitude to all who have posted answers and explanations, and who are still posting, and have been helping other students including me. Thank you, espanola_amanda, for making the effort and taking the time to help me with my question. People like you in this forum are the reason learners like me find it a little less difficult learning this beautiful language. I love Duolingo and I love the community. :) Please, have three lingots on me as my appreciation for your reply, and as I'm sure other students will find your post and the link you provided helpful.

October 27, 2015


Putting "Él se quedó en el hotel" and "Él quedó en el hotel" into the Google translator, both translated to "He stayed in the hotel." It seems to me that you would use the reflexive quedarse when talking about people, and quedar when talking about things.

November 3, 2014


When you use the pronominal verb (use of reflexive pronouns), it means someone remained or stayed behind, while others went somewhere else,

November 4, 2014


What does se even mean?

May 15, 2014


Se as a reflexive pronoun (as it is in this example), simply indicates that the direct object of the verb is the subject. To better see this, think of the English translation of this Spanish sentence as "He kept himself in the hotel." He is both the keeper and the kept.

It translates to: himself, to himself, herself, to herself, itself, to itself, themselves, to themselves, yourself, to yourself, yourselves, to yourselves, oneself, to oneself, each other, or to each other. All those English words/phrases represent reflection, the subject of a verb also being the direct object of it—in other words, something acting on itself.

January 27, 2015


Myself, yourself, himself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves....those are English reflexive pronouns. They may behave a bit differently in Spanish than English. In French, they can indicate a passive voice when used with etre for instance. The differences between English Refliexive verbs and Spanish reflexive verbs: . http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/106797/pronominal-verbsreflexive-pronounsI realize this was 3 years ago you wrote but google says that other language reflexive verbs are more situational, more than grammatical or something.

August 25, 2017


how would one write (say), "he, himself stayed in the hotel" -- as if he had purchased tickets for someone else to stay there but ended up staying there himself.

November 17, 2014


I think it is: él mismo se quedó en el hotel, at least himself=él mismo or maybe él, él mismo quedó ... or both

April 16, 2015


why can't it be "he remained at the hotel" ?

February 12, 2013


Your answer is the answer that I put and it was accepted. Also the DL translation above gives me the feeling as if someone checked in and stayed in the hotel. But I believe this verb means to stay as in 'we went shopping and he stayed (or remained) in/at the hotel'.

September 13, 2013


That should be fine.

November 13, 2013


Why "se"??

April 13, 2014


I have a really dumb question. Is quedarse a conjugation of quedar? The way I hear everyone talk about both words it sounds like, use quedarse INSTEAD of quedar or vice versa, depending, and this has me totally confused. I can see they are different words but are they the same word, conjugated to become a "se" verb? Help! Thank You!

January 2, 2015


I see you're level 21 as of this writing, so I'm sure you figured it out by now, but for others benefit I will answer this question.
It isn't a conjugation, but rather a signal that it's being used in the reflexive meaning of quedar. Quedarse is still an infinitive, and could be used where you would use an infinitive in a sentence, provided the subject was in the third person.
Example: Ellos van a quedarse. They are going to stay.
If you want to use it as a the main verb of the sentence, you need to strip the se off the end of the verb and put it in front of it. Then conjugate the verb to the subject.
Example: Ellos se quedan They stay.
Of course you're not limited to quedarse...
Voy a quedarme I'm going to stay.
Hopefully that helps someone.

February 4, 2015


There is no such thing as a dumb question

April 22, 2015


Not that I can give an all understood answer, but the difference is between the use of a verb and a reflexive verb. For reflexive verbs/infinitives, the person does it to himself, like for afeitarse, me afeito means that I shave myself, and would be used to describe my shaving in the morning, which I usually do. Afeitar non-reflexive, I'm shaving something else. For quedar/quedarse, I think the reflexive verb is more likely used when talking about people and non-reflexive when talking about things. There are still uses of the reflexive that I don't have down pat, so maybe someone else can add more.

January 2, 2015


It would be nice if this discussion did not center around 'reflexive' verbs since that is meaningless to many people

June 9, 2015


Why not "He was at the hotel"???

May 30, 2014


Would it carry the meaning to use permanecí rather than quedarse?

December 11, 2014



January 26, 2015


What's wrong with "he was staying in the hotel"?

February 13, 2015


why is "he was in the hotel" not accepted?

February 20, 2015


It omits the core info in the statement. He wasn't just there at that moment; he didn't leave.

February 28, 2015


I put "He was at the hotel by himself". In the hover hints was is there, how do you know when they would use "was" vs "stayed"? Would "He stayed at the hotel by himself" have been correct?

June 25, 2015


Why is "he kept himself in the hotel" wrong?

February 25, 2015


Does this translate more directly/literally to "he left himself at the hotel" ?

April 6, 2015


Is this the same "se quedo en el hotel"?

April 18, 2015


It also says that he was in the hotel in the hint, but did not accept it. Why?

April 22, 2015


oh god it's been so hard since i started with the past tense :( i'm so frustrated

May 23, 2015


pls could someone explain me why is there 'se' ?? would it be correct without 'se' ?

June 13, 2015


The Spanish mind's thinking goes like this: "He, himself, he stayed at the hotel." And this same language structure and form of thought applies to similar appearing sentences. While you could think of it as: "He, himself, stayed at the hotel," in my view the former sentence provides the easier way to understand what is being said. Perfectionists about English need to step aside or get run over.

As we move along here in our study of the new language we need to leave good English, and ultimately all thinking in English, further and further behind or we'd better start preparing a Rubber Room for inhabitation.

July 5, 2015


Could you translate this to "He stayed en the hotel himself" or "He, himself, stayed in the hotel"?

That would make sense, I think.

August 6, 2015


No, because in your translations the Spanish object himself becomes the subject. He, himself in subject form is Él, el mismo not se

Subject question: Who stayed? Ans: he, él

Object question: What did he stay? Ans: himself, se

To get everything in place, you can make a word by word translation: " he stayed himself at the hotel", where "himself" is the object as it should be and then give "he stayed at. the hotel" to Duo since nobody uses stay reflexively in English

August 6, 2015


Why "He himself stayed at the hotel " is wrong?

September 1, 2015


One question: why does "he stayed by himself in the hotel" incorrect? Thank you!

October 28, 2015


Why was, not stayed?

December 23, 2015


I wonder how much this is like an Ancient Greek middle voice verb, if that's helpful to any of you Classicists out there.

January 27, 2016


Somebody please help my understand the "se". If I don't put it in the sentence it marks it wrong. I don't know where to place it in the sentence. I keep seeing it. I'm so confused. I would be very grateful if somebody could just explain it. Thanks!

February 20, 2016


Unbelievable that quedo means stayed, when queda means left

March 10, 2016


Actually that little strangeness is actually something to plague learners of English more than Spanish. Quedar means to remain. No queda leche. There is no milk remaining. Our English word remaining is in this sentence a synonym of left. There is no milk left. Quedarse is the reflexive verb for when a person remains at a location. Se queda (se quedo) en el hotel. He remains (remained) at the hotel. This remain is synonymous with stay. He stays (stayed) at the hotel. So in this case the "left" is not the opposite of stay at all. It is a totally different meaning of left. As I said, it is the English here that is strange.

March 10, 2016


Thank you. I had decided never to use quedar or quedarse. Maybe I will dare to use them now, thanks to you

March 10, 2016


Entonces, quedarse y permanecer son los mismos verbos en espanol? Digo, con una misma significacion?

Therefore, quedarse and permanecer are the same verbs in spanish? I mean, with the same meaning?

March 27, 2016


JoMoai left you a great link which shows the meanings of permanecer. If you look up quedarse on that same site you will find that there are many more meanings of quedarse, including one synonmous to morir. But in terms of this sentence permanecer would work perfectly. Using a Spanish to Spanish dictionary as you begin to be able to understand the definitions given is helpful. Instead of just giving you a list of which English words might be translations under different circumstances, it gives some context to various meanings.

March 27, 2016


Can someone explain the meaning of "se"/"ser" their uses?

April 7, 2016


After reading your comments, I have one more question: Would anyone be kind enough to explain to me how to conjugate the same sentence using "I, You, Us and Them"?? It would really help me grasp the concept.

May 5, 2016


This sentence is in the preterite. Here are the congugations

Yo me quedé en el hotel Tú te quedaste en el hotel Nosotros nos quedamos en el hotel Ellos se quedaron en el hotel

As with other congugations, the subject pronoun can be omited and is very likely to be. The third person, either singular or plural, is the only one that is ever likely to be ambiguous and in context may well not be. Reflexive verbs just "reflect" the action of the verb back on the subject so the subject pronoun (if a pronoun is used) is in the same person as the direct object pronoun. But they use the same direct object pronoun and have the same rules for placement so you might also have constructions like

Puedo quedarme in el hotel

or the command Quedate in el hotel!

May 5, 2016


Muchas gracias amiga : ) That helped a lot.

May 5, 2016


Here. The subjects (actors) are classified according to Spanish.

1:st person singular: I stayed = (yo) me quedé

2:nd person singular: you stayed = (tú) te quedaste

3:d person singular: he, she or You stayed = (él, ella, Usted) se quedó

1:st person plural: we stayed = (nosotros, nosotras) nos quedamos

2:nd person plural: you stayed = (vosotros, vosotras) os quedasteis

3:d person plural: they or You stayed = (ellos, ellas, Ustedes) se quedaron

http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/quedarse From this one you can ask for any verb you want and get it conjugated in every mode and tense and translated to English for the first person singular. I have asked for quedarse. If you ask for quedar you will see almost the same thing: quedarse without the reflexions: me, te, se, nos, vos, se The translation is the same to stay but note the note for quedarse:

Quedarse can also mean to stay in the sense of stay at a hotel. Quedarse normally means to stay or stay/remain behind intentionally; in contrast, the nonreflexive form quedar typically means to stay in the sense of to be left.

P.s. I see that lynettemcw already answered you in a short and accurate way. I leave this because it has some more information

May 5, 2016


Your elaboration is much appreciated. This topic keeps confusing me. Thanks a lot :)

May 5, 2016


in my opinion they shouldn't start using these dificult matters while learning the past itself is very difficult. these are examples of words that should be learned by heart rather than trying to understand how they work. unfortunatelly this happens a lot in learning new languages. native speakers just know, students just have to try to learn by heart. my native language is dutch and -trust me- in dutch there is a lot of words native speakers just know.

May 10, 2016


Why is the "se" necessary if quesdo means stayed? 'El quesedo'

May 26, 2016


It is necessary because "to stay" is a reflexive verb (quedarse...not just quedar) in Spanish. "Quedar" on its own means something else.

September 6, 2016


Who was a character on James Bond, the guy who threw his hat – Quedo? He definitely was going to ‘stay.’ No-one was going to make him leave!

June 10, 2016


You are a little off on that. The Bond hat throwing villan was Oddjob. You are perhaps confusing him with Cato Fong, the manservant of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (AKA the Pink Panther). Of course since his job was maintaining Clouseau's training and reaction times by sneak attacks, staying in one place was not really his speciality.

June 10, 2016


Él se quedó en el hotel – He stayed at the hotel Él quedó en el hotel – He remained at the hotel This doesn’t make sense to me!

July 9, 2016


I am not quite sure as to what doesn't make sense to you. Stay and remain are synonyms. In English, it is true, if you said that someone stayed at a hotel without other context it would be assumed that they were sleeping there, but the same would not necessarily be true of remain. But this difference is only one of common English usage. If a group of tourists, for example, we're checked in to a hotel and some went out on an excursion, there would be no difference between saying that the others stayed at the hotel and the others remained at the hotel. Conventional usage sometimes clouds our perspective on meaning. That is actually the reason why I recommend to always first translate quedar and quedarse as remain. The difference on the English translations can be really confusing. Él se quedó en hotel - he STAYED at the hotel, but No queda leche- There's no milk LEFT. That looks confusing, but if you translate both with remain, you will understand that they are essentially the same thing. In this case it is the conventional English usage that is strange, but it can equally be something strange in Spanish or any other language.

July 9, 2016


Since the verb is quedarse, if you were to say I stayed at the hotel, would it be yo me quede en el hotel?

September 5, 2016


This is pretty confusing

September 18, 2016


wow that sounded really mangled- good job we have the slow version lol

October 26, 2016


"He stayed in the hotel," (Duo) With Cheese. Yuck. JK. I love cheese. But not blue cheese..... :(

October 29, 2016


Why is "he stayed put at the hotel" not also accepted? I figured since it was one of the word options, it might also be accepted. Now im curious, How would that be expressed? Se quedó situado?

November 4, 2016


Ok, let's go through the possibilities in English. 1) Sometimes Joe stays at our house and sometimes at the hotel (the only one in town). This time, he stayed (overnight) at the hotel. 2) When we all left the hotel to go to dinner, he stayed (was left behind) at the hotel. 3) He was going to go out, but when he heard it was raining, he stayed (did not leave) at the hotel. 4) After everyone else was gone, he was the only person remaining at the hotel. Let's eliminate (1) and (4) as too obscure. My understanding is that in Spanish (2) would be "Quedó en el hotel." To make it clear you are talking about a person and not a purse, you would clarify with "El' quedó en el hotel." For (3) he is the only one involved, so we use quedarse instead of quedar. Probably doesn't matter though. Only (4) would clearly use quedar instead of quedarse, right?

January 5, 2017


My understanding is that all four would use quedarse. Both as a reflexive and a pronomial verb quedarse implies some degree of intent so that for a person it would always be quedarse. Quedar is more like remaining as in being left.


January 5, 2017


I am also trying to grasp on the reflexive "se"

June 7, 2017


Getting a handle on the reflexive in Spanish can be a daunting task. There are some that, although not used in English, are easy to learn. Me llavo las manos. I wash myself the hands is not what we say, but has a logic that is easy to learn. Here the sense is sort of like He kept himself at the the hotel. In other words the remaining was an action he did to himself. Less obvious, but this has some logic. But there are also some verbs where the reflexive form has an unusual change in meaning,like Ir and irse. If you see a se that does not make sense to you, there are a couple of steps to figure it out.

  1. Is the sentence in passive voice? The se passive is the most common Spanish passive voice. With it the Spanish speaker is essentially saying that the verb performs itself. Aquí se habla español. This literally means Spanish speaks itself here, but the correct translation is Spanish is spoken here. It is the same with se puede hacer and other se passive voice sentences.

  2. Are there more than one object pronouns present? The indirect object pronoun le changes to se when it proceeds the direct object pronouns lo or la. Él le tiró la pelota a ella Él le tiró la pelota Él se la tiró. But I haven't seen two object pronoun exercises on Duo.


  1. If that doesn't help, look up the root verb on Spanishdict.com. If you scroll down towards the bottom, you will find definitions and examples of any reflexive and pronomial versions.
June 7, 2017


Thank you great help

June 15, 2017


Very good, Lynette. Have a lingot.

September 9, 2017


why the use of "se" ?

August 12, 2017


It is the difference between the verbs quedar and quedarse. We use different words to translate them into English, although English doesn't use reflexive verbs the way Spanish does. Quedar has a couple of specialized uses like clothing fitting or suiting, but quedar most commonly is translated as is left or sometimes remains. No queda leche. There is no milk left. The passive voice construction shows awareness that some unnamed agent did not leave any milk. You use it in active voice as well. Él dejó a su esposa. He left his wife.

But quedarse is translated as stay. Me quedo en casa. I stay at home. But according to the Spanish point of view you are saying I leave myself home. It is an intentional choice I make about my body.

August 12, 2017


The English could also be "he remained in the hotel." http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/quedar

September 9, 2017


I am still a newbie but it seems to me quedar and quedarse have two different meanings so you need both in different situations quedar is more like something just temporary like someone is held up somewhere or staying somewhere but that isn't their permanent resident or final place to live, like a hotel or you're expecting someone but they are held up somewhere without them or you knowing if their final decision will be to still come, quedarse seem to mean more like the person decided to keep himself where he is, he or she made a permanent decision to stay in the hotel or to stay behind in that place and not come with you or go see you... Quedarse is the stronger more stringent decision.

October 25, 2017


Actually it is less about the strength of the decision and more about the ability to make a decision. Quedarse is used for people, whether they are staying un minuto or cincuenta años. Quedar is used for objects that are left or remain somewhere.

October 25, 2017


Is there a way to differentiate in Spanish between 'He stayed at the hotel' (he booked in and lived there for the period that he was in the area) and 'He stayed in the hotel' (we all went out but he shut himself in his room!)?

April 16, 2019


Mostly context. And that is actually the same answer in many different expressions going both ways. The bottom line is that some things can be definitively expressed better in one language than another. We tend to notice the distinctions you can't make in Spanish before the other way around. For example, a teacher cannot ask a child to have something signed by "a parent" since that word doesn't exist in the singular in Spanish. But there are also many examples the other way as well. And here the ambiguity can also exist in English. If you were attending a function at a hotel where you were not staying, you might say that someone stayed at the hotel when you went to pick someone up without meaning he checked in. And in Spanish, if it were important to stress that he was inside the hotel or the room you could say dentro del hotel or dentro de su habitación,but that would not be the common thing.

April 16, 2019
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.