Object Pronouns - Se - how do you use this word?
Hi, i don't understand how this word is used, the tips & notes section explains le lo te les los las etc... but not se?
Direct object pronouns: me, te, lo, la, nos, los, las.
Indirect object pronouns: me, te, le, nos, les.
The indirect object pronouns "le" and "les" become "se" when they are used together with the direct object pronouns lo/la/los/las. That is to faciliate pronunciation.
She gave him a letter = Ella le dio una carta
She gave it to Bob = Ella la dio a Bob
She gave it to him = Ella le la dio (incorrect to leave it like this) - Ella se la dio
"Se" is also used reflexively, for e.g., "¿Cómo se llama?" - What do you call yourself?/what is your name? And I think I've seen it used to mean "one", an indefinite person - unknown whether he, she or it is meant - se paga en la oficina. Would ceaer pls. comment on the latter use?
That's the passive voice. A good overview here: http://spanish.about.com/cs/verbs/a/passive_se.htm
Perhaps, ceaer, but I don't think so. The article you refer to does state that Spanish does have a true passive but it doesn't involve "se"; it would be translated like the English passive - the ball was thrown by John as compared with the active voice - John threw the ball. I think - not sure, though - that "se paga en la oficina" should be translated, "one pays in the office" - making that sentence a true passive would seem to be almost impossible - payment is made in the office, perhaps, but that sounds awful.
It says that Spanish does have a true passive voice (it uses ser + participle) but it also says that it's much more common to use constructions with "se". The true passive voice is not used very often in Spanish. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100024/passive-se#.UzQXKfldXZI
It could also be, depending on the context, the "impersonal se". You'll see that a lot particularly with generalizations, like "En españa se usa 'vosotros'" - "In Spain, 'vosotros' is used". And in English, when we would start a sentence with a rhetorical "they say", you would use "se dice" in Spanish.
Or another example: many stores and businesses where I live have signs that say "Se habla español" - perhaps literally "one speaks Spanish" but it is translated as "Spanish is spoken here".