For reflexive verbs, try taking a look at http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/reflexive1.htm (Reflexives II is right under it in the menu on the left hand side). Most personal hygiene things are reflexive: bathing, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, shaving, putting on makeup. A number of other things are reflexive as well. A partial list can be found here: http://www.drlemon.com/Grammar/reflex-list.html#.UfUUe41vPTI
Along with StudySpanish.com, WordReference.com is a great resource. I recommend bookmarking and using them. WordReference has both a bilingual English/Spanish, Spanish/English dictionary, as well as a monolingual Spanish dictionary. The bilingual dictionary has definitions, translations, example sentences, if the word is formal/informal/slang/vulgar, and, if a certain expression is not universal it tells you which countries use it. It also has the part of speech, including whether verbs are transitive or intransitive (sometimes the English verb is one and the Spanish equivalent is the other, so it's good to look at that), Even better, at the bottom of the page, there's a link to any Forum discussions involving the word or phrase you looked up.
Ceaer just reread your comments and things are starting to really sink in. Identifying the reflexive verbs by checking the dictionary will help me to learn even more. So thanks for info and links,
@ceaer thnx, this will ease the pain with understanding. Although i already have so many links saved...
My Spanish teacher told my class about his friend who learned this the hard way..... :P
What arturohiero is getting at, is that "yo me cago" has a completely different meaning to "yo me caigo" - I won't repeat it here, but suggest you look up the verb "cagar" :-)
Oh i thought they meant like "I" as in "yo" haha I know what cagar is :/ (:
Since "caer" is not generally accepted as transitive, "Yo caigo" refers to the subject "yo" as well.
"Caer" is intransitive or pronominal... it's more complicated to tell.
Someone else explained this in another discussion, but I'll repeat it here:
For some verbs the reflexive (or more accurately, pronominal) version kind of means "doing something to completion" rather than "doing something to myself/yourself/himself/herself/etc".
Therefore "caigo" gets translated as "I fall", while "me caigo" gets translated as "I fall down".
I've found that, aside from where the reflexive meaning is obvious, it's best to regard the reflexive version of verbs as having their own related but separate meaning.
Just learning about transitive verbs. They require a direct object which is 'me' correct? Could we use caerse?
"caer" is an intransitive verb (no direct object). El plato cae de la mesa: The plate falls off the table.
"caerse" is a reflexive verb (the action happens to the person performing the action). Spanish uses reflexive verbs more often than English does. Sometimes the meaning of the verb changes depending on if it's reflexive or not (ir, to go, vs irse, to leave).
Me caigo de la escalera - I fall off the ladder.
In this case "me" is the reflexive pronoun, not a direct object pronoun. Reflexive pronouns are: me (yo), te (tú), se (él, ella, usted), nos (nosotros), se (ellos, ellas, ustedes).
I think both 'Yo caigo' and' Yo me caigo' can be used here to mean 'I fall down'. They are fairly interchangeable.
'Yo me caigo' (caerse) seems to emphasize that the fall was accidental whereas 'Yo caigo' (caer) might emphasize who it was that fell down (e.g., answering the question 'Who fell down?').
Good to see your reply. Just saw the term transitive/intransitive yesterday. So you are saying caer is intransitive. Makes sense what you said. Great to know the term. How can it help me knowing what it is I guess is the question?
Perhaps I am putting my question poorly regarding reflexive verbs like caerse, or levantarse, marcharse and others people have mentioned. That is the area we haven't had any exposure. How do I know when to use, is there a list of them, when should I not use, do they change anything about sentence structure. I know it can change meaning. Why do we use these? You can tell I know very little about reflexive verbs.
I guess we could think of it as "I let myself fall." Now how could I let that happen! No, so really, "I fell down.", but even though in English if it is completed, you can be telling someone. "Really, you should have seen it. I fall down. Packages everywhere! I shouldn't have tried to carry so much."
I totally agree with you. It seems like a reasonable translation. Remember that "all" possible translations on duolingo are "not" in the database. Report any translations that you think are valid and duolingo might add them to the database.
there are often problems with British English on Duolingo. Not a surprise considering there's US flag used as a symbol for English course.
bgulla -- I think that "I hang myself." would be "Yo me ahorco." or "Me ahorco."
That's right, but why is there "hang" as a translation? Is it possible to use it in this sense, or not? possibly as "hang a picture"
Why isn't "me caigo" an acceptable translation for this sentence? Sometimes I think duolingo uses the pronouns too often!
This could way to easily be translated as "I hang myself". I never would have expected the "correct" solution.
That would not be correct, whether easy or not. The pronominal verb caerse is not reflexive in that way. You want the reflexive form of a transitive verb like colgar or ahorcar.
You're probably mixing up the idea of hang as a transitive verb with the intransitive verb caer, which can mean "hang" in the sense of describing how something is suspended. For example, la capa de Superman cae de los hombros - "Superman's cape hangs from his shoulders."
Is 'yo se caigo' okay? I thought reflexive meant you have to use 'se' - why is it 'me' here?
it is reflexive but "se" means "itself" "himself" "herself"
ME caigo. means "I fall down (MYSELF)
I translated it as "I am falling" - not sure why it is incorrect. I thought the English present progressive could be used for Spanish present tense where appropriate, but duolingo doesn't seem to agree. I guess the "down" is part of the idiom, not a literal translation anyway.
In common usage, the present tense can also be used for the present progressive, so in real life, "I am falling" is a good translation.
But in Duo, they keep these tenses separate. "I am falling" would be "Me estoy cayendo"
People would understand you, but since the verb is traditionally reflexive/pronominal, it would be grammatically incorrect.
The preferred form is "me caigo" (with an implicit "yo").
Is 'down' even needed in the translation? Last time I checked, gravity only works in one direction.
Since this is basically "I drop myself", i think "I trip" is slightly more accurate than "I fall".
I don't think there's a good way of saying this in English, except "I trip and fall". "Yo me caigo" sounds like it's accidental, whereas i assume "yo caigo" could describe something intentional like skydiving.
Am i understanding this alright?
It's meant to be used in context. "What happens when you trip?" "I fall down."
Kristen, it seems to be a "stand alone" complete sentence: subject, verb, and adverb (?...help me English scholars if "down" isn't an adverb). "I fall down" is an action in progress, or a completed action in the present...happening "now" as I understand it. Otras, weigh in por favor. Evelyn, I think your contextual addition really helps too. Mis dos centavos.
I still don't quite understand why "me" is necessary. I know we learned it awhile back but I still don't understand why "Yo caigo" isn't correct.
The woman says "cho me cargo". Grrr! I visit Spain three times a year, and I have never heard the kind of language "she" uses in in the fast versions.
It sounds better to me : Yo me caigo.
Caer is a pronominal verb : It can have the pronoum before and after. ( se ,te,nos..) this verb can not have the pronoum as well.
Yo me caigo al suelo ./ Yo caigo al suelo.
Yo me caigo sounds better than yo cargo.
It is like comer : Él comió una manzana. Él se comió una manana. He ate an apple.
"Se" with this verb puts emphasis in who makes the action.