The meaning of "sentir" changes when it is used with a reflexive pronoun (sentirse), so that the action of the verb affects the subject of the sentence. Using reflexive pronouns is good for translating English passive voice into Spanish and vice versa, as in La mujer no se siente bien = The woman is not feeling well (An alternative to the translation "The woman does not feel well.") This is called mediopassive (middle) voice.
Definition of mediopassive as per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Mediopassive voice is considered a form of middle voice, which asserts that a person or thing both performs and is affected by the action represented. In the dictionary, mediopassive voice is defined as "a form or voice of a transitive verb which by origin is of the middle voice or is reflexive and shows by its meaning that it is developing toward passive use, or is used in both middle and passive meanings, or is used only in passive meanings."
The definition implies that mediopassive voice demonstrates a shift of sorts in verb usage. The verbs are classified as ergative verbs, in which the objects of transitive verbs and subjects of intransitive verbs are typically marked by the same linguistic forms.
From the MIL website: Middle voice is a voice that indicates that the subject is the actor and acts upon himself or herself reflexively for his or her own benefit. In the case of plural subjects, the actors may, perhaps, act upon each other.
One more example I'm confused with: "lo que tu sientes" means "what you feel", but "te sientes feliz" means "you feel happy". when do we use "te" instead of "tu"?? Thanks :)
Why is there a "se" in the Spanish sentence? Let's try to explain: in Spanish "sentir" is a transitive verb, so it always needs an object. When there is no object in the English sentence (because the real object is the subject) in Spanish you must use the reflexive pronoun: me, te, se, nos, os. I feel pain: siento dolor. But I fell fine: ME siento bien.
thanks a lot for explain, it really helped me figure it out :) we have same thing in Slovak, so it is good to find some features in a new language.
I thought 'sentir' was a reflexive verb just like in the first one we encountered a few questions ago? Confused!
Sentir can be used reflexively, but it is not a reflexive verb per se. The issue is that sentir needs a noun object. So if you say that you're feeling a noun (like "the table", "your presence", "hunger", or just "it"), you use it in its base form, sentir. But if you feel somehow, i.e. you describe your feeling with an adjective (like "good", "hot", "tired"), you need to use the reflexive form, sentirse.
- Siento la mesa. - I feel the table.
- Podemos sentir tu presencia. - We can feel your presence.
- Él siente hambre. - lit. "He feels hunger."
- ¿Lo sientes? - Do you feel it?
- Me siento bien. - I feel good.
- ¿Ustedes se sienten calientes? - Do you feel hot?
- Sé que se siente cansada. - I know that she feels tired.
I think you are confusing "ser" with "se", here the verb is "sentirse" meaning "to feel". For example se siente means she feels, me siento means I feel, te sientes means you feel, and so on...
ella se siente bien, she feels well
ella esta bien, she is well
Looks like you cracked the sentir/sentirse thing. It's not easy, I know.
Same mistake as in English I suppose. People don't "feel well". People "are well" or "feel good".
Many native English speakers do, even teachers, but it's still technically wrong. You don't "feel badly" either, you "feel bad". You could "be badly", but I've never heard of that.
Linda_, "Y'all" can't blame THAT one on the South - we don't say "be badly"!
Is the woman not feeling well physically or emotionally? Can you use "se siente" when talking about physical health?
Either physically or emotionally health can be described by "se siente."
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The woman does not feel good. Does not bien, mean good also, so why cant it be used in this sentence???