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https://www.duolingo.com/anniewicker

confused about 'se'

So this sentence: "Se tiene que ser muy vivo si se quiere sobrevivir en el mundo de la politicia" I understand to mean "You have to be very clever to survive in the world of politics". What I do not understand is why we use 'se' before the verbs in this case. I understand that we are speaking in general terms, is this why? Thanks.

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Yes, speaking in general terms I like to translate sentences like these as "One has to be..."

So, I would translate it as "One has to be very clever if one wants to survive in the world of politics."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anniewicker

Awesome, thank you. So if the sentence is more specific, it's not needed?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Correct! Then, you would use the various conjugations.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulaha88

"se" (without an accent) has seven different uses. Your sentence employs one of two of the seven.

  1. Impersonal pronoun. English uses indefinite subjects, one, they, you, etc. Se debe hablar con cuidado. One should speak with caution.
  2. Passive voice. Se habla español. Spanish is spoken.

I often can't tell the difference between the passive and impersonal se. Maybe someone else can explain the difference better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anniewicker

Thanks Paula, it's a start!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katiuska.pino

In Spanish there is "sé" and "se".

  1. Sé:

Corresponds to the imperative of the verb be. ejemplo:

a) sé bueno. b) sé discreto.

Also, the present of the verb know. Always used to talk that yourself know something.

a) No sé. I do not know

b) Ya sé lo que le regalaré. I know what you give away.

  1. the form without accent is a personal pronoun that has different values:

Se quedó callado.

¿Se lo compraste?

Se saludaron amablemente.

Se alquilan cuartos.

Se espera a los representantes.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anniewicker

Thanks Kate, I don't have an issue with the verb "saber". The sentence example is my confusion, used as a personal pronoun. Can you explain further?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejanN996

in fact, you can omit it and the phrase still has sense ->'tiene que ser muy vivo si quiere sobrevivir en el mundo de la politica''

3 years ago