In English, "her" is an object pronoun and "herself" is a reflexive pronoun. "Se" is a Spanish reflexive pronoun for the third person singular female, and "herself" is one of the English equivalents for "se." "Se" can also be the Spanish third person singular male reflexive pronoun (himself) or a neuter singular reflexive pronoun (itself).
If the sentence reads "Ella no la quiere," the sentence means that she doesn''t like her (another female person). If the sentence reads "Ella no la quiere a la ella," it is another way of saying "She doesn't like her (another female person). The additional "a ella," is used for clarity when the sentence is complex and/or unclear. I am not certain, but perhaps the second "a ella" is also used for emphasis. Can anyone confirm this?
I have learned that having "ella" in both subject and predicate is not improper Spanish grammar. (I chose the words "not improper" instead of the word "proper" because I don't know if the two "ellas" are preferred by Spanish-speaking people.) I suspect the pronoun repetition (to an English speaker's way of thinking) is why the subject of a Spanish sentence is often left unsaid whenever context makes omission possible. For example, "No se quiere" can also mean "She doesn't like herself." IMO, if the context is unclear, one could say "No se quiere a ella" either to mean the transliterative "One doesn't like herself" or to mean the more traditional translation "She doesn't like herself." I don't know if I am right or not. Can anyone be definitive about this?
In both Spanish and English, a reflexive pronoun reflects back on the noun or pronoun it modifies. For more about reflexives, see: http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/reflexive_pron.htm
"Querer is a very important verb for a beginning student." I have looked at a lot of texts, and it is never listed as a reflexive verb although it is used that way in this sentence. Welcome to life in Duolingo Land. Most of the time, chicos, we will be using QUERER to mean: to wish or to want. For example: ¿Qué quiere Ud. beber? If they wish to teach us reflexive pronouns, there are much better verbs to choose, in my humble opinion. To remind everyone: the singular reflexive pronouns are: me, te, se. The plurals: nos, os, se. That last one is tricky becuase it's used for both singular and plural! Por ejemplo: Pablo se lava. Ellos se levan. Another tricky thing: "If you are dealing with a reflexive pronoun, it is normally placed in front of an object pronoun" Me lo puse (I put it on.) Then I found three sentences that puzzled me: Se me perdió. Se me olvidó. Se me rompió. Profe-Maite explains them below...
It's complicated! Not all uses of se are "reflexive".. There is, for example "accidental" use of "se". In spanish you don't allways want to take the blame for what you do.. so "you blame the object" "Se me perdio/ olvido/ rompio.." It lost itself, forgot itself , broke itself"!! ;D Or "!Cuidado! Se te va a caer el libro". The book will take the blame for falling!
What it sounds like is that Spanish reflexive pronouns can be used the same way English uses the passive voice. With the passive voice, all helping verbs are some form of the "is" verb. One of the characteristics of English passive voice is that it turns the object of a sentence into its subject. For example: "Paul broke the vase" is English past tense active voice. "The vase was broken by Paul" is English passive voice using a past tense form of "is" as the helping verb. By dropping the prepositional phrase "by Paul," so that the sentence is now "The vase was broken," the sentence no longer indicates who should pay for a new vase. As Profe-Maite says, the blame is removed.
The literal translation of "Se me perdió" is "It was lost by me." This sentence is an example in which someone has used the reflexive pronoun to distract from the fact that he or she is responsible for a loss. It is but one step to "It was lost," a sentence in which no one in particular is named as the loser. In English, the shorter, better, and more usual translation is "I lost it," which is preferred by native English speakers (except, of course, for politicians who LOVE passive voice).
It is the context of the sentence. Love is often considered a strong word, used only when you actually do or do not love any noun. So "she doesn't love herself" would be a more harsh dislike of herself, while "she doesn't like herself" is less harsh. Also, if they wanted a direct translation of "she does not love herself", then they probably would have asked you to translate, 'ella no se ama'.
I wouldn't mind learning how to order a simple beer or bocadilla, and sound more like a native, than a stilted, boring, awkward hot-mess.
But, hey, let's learn how to discuss our existential crises, and how to tell strangers that we love them first.
(A native told me "Puedes traerme", but I'm not saying it confidently)
You can tell because "se" is the pronoun used instead of "le." See: http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/reflexive_pron.htm
This is really confusing. I thought se could mean him/her/it, and I know that quiere can also mean want, so I tried "She doesn't want it" just for variety. Wrong, of course. So please explain to me how can I tell that this particular "se" must be the direct object "her" rather than him or it?