Passive voice and other tenses

"Se dicen" is "one says," "they say," "it is said."

Does this generally change tense/aspect? My examples may not be perfect examples, so let's not leave the question to correct them overmuch if they're not ;)

"It used to be said that women could not..."="Se dicían que mujeres no pueden..."?

"If that's how they say it in Mexico"="Si se digan en México"?

"One would say José is handsome"="Se dirían que José es guapo."?

Or are any of these just "se dicen"?

April 13, 2018


[That is not passive voice, it is only sentences in active voice (?) where subject is impersonal].

This type of sentece doesn't have plural, it is always "se dice"/"se decía", never "se dicen" (that means "they say themselves" or "they say each other"). They change tense or aspect, but not number and I suppose they always are in Indicative mood.

1- "Se decía / solía decirse que las mujeres no pueden... (i.e.: fly) / no podían... (i.e.: drive a car)".

2- "Si así es como se dice en México"

3- "Se diría que José es guapo".

April 13, 2018

Great, thanks!

I was surprised to hear about the passive voice, but I see you're right! "Finally, we use “se” constructions with non-personal subjects. While it’s often translated to the passive voice in English, “se” constructions are not considered passive voice in Spanish."

April 14, 2018

You're welcome.

Oh, yes. English has passive voice for those senteces. In Spanish, passive voice is made in the same way: "to be + participle": I am known as Batman = Soy conocido como Batman.

If I remember correctly, those non-personal sentences are in a so called "voz medio-pasiva" (middle-passive voice) used also for "Se venden casas" (~ Houses are sold) or "Se prohibe fumar" (~ Smoking is forbidden)

April 14, 2018

"Voz medio-pasiva" definitely rings a bell from somewhere. Hard to imagine where else but here, then!

April 15, 2018

Dicían, indicative imperfect past tense (used to)

Digan, subjunctive present tense ( expresses uncertainty) if

Dirian, indicative conditional tense ( would, could, should) any verb with , examples, "ría" as part of the verb extension expresses conditional....ex: dirian, podria, Comeria, hablaria, tomaría, etc ...

Se dice/dicen que, yes, I take it to be , present tense, "he/she/it/They say.....

April 14, 2018

*"Decían". But it is impossible to say "se decían" for this type of sentences.

April 14, 2018


April 14, 2018
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