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https://www.duolingo.com/Anna__Leo

What does "se" mean?

While reading Harry potter in Spanish, I stumbled across this sentence:

Eran las últimas personas que se esperaría encontrar relacionadas con algo extraño o misterioso, porque no estaban para tales tonterías.

I can catch the drift of it, but I don't quite get what "se" (The sixth word) means, or where it's for. Anybody an idea? Thanks! :)

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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It sometimes can be used impersonally, sort of like "one" in English. (In your example, the first part of the sentence would translate roughly as "They were the last people that one would expect to find connected with something strange or mysterious..." Often it's reflexive - for instance "se pregunta" = "he asks himself," "she asks herself or "you ask yourself." Other times, it shifts the meaning of the verb subtly. And sometimes it's just the way things are phrased in Spanish - "Se gustan los gatos" is equivalent to "He likes the cats," for instance. A literal translation to English would be something like "The cats are pleasing to him."

By the one, "se" is one of a set of pronouns. "I like the cats," for instance, would be "Me gustan los gatos" and "We like the cats" would be "Nos gustan los gatos." [Anyone who notices any grammatical or translation errors I may have made, please correct them.]

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejoPF
AlejoPF
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Él se pregunta = He wonders

He likes the cats = Le gustan los gatos.

"Se gustan los gatos" is a really odd option for "los gatos se gustan" = the cats like themselves or the cats like each other.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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This is a "reflexive" form of the word "esperar" which means "to wait". In this case it simply gives a different meaning to the verb. It is "esperarse" which means "to be expected". So, scroll down at this site until you get to "esperarse", notice that the conjugated form separates "se" and places it in front of the verb. http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/esperarse The particular conjugation in your quote "se espararía" is translated as "would be expected". http://context.reverso.net/translation/spanish-english/se+esperar%C3%ADa

se: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7618989

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulaha88

se has seven different uses in Spanish. This does not include "sé" which means "I know," because sé has the accented e.

  1. Reflexive pronoun, 3rd person, singular & plural. Eduardo se acostó a las siete.
  2. Impersonal pronoun. English uses indefinite subjects, one, they, you, etc. Se debe hablar con cuidado. One should speak with caution.
  3. Passive voice. Note, I can’t tell the difference between passive & impersonal se. Se habla español. Spanish is spoken.
  4. Alternate form of le/les. If the direct and indirect objects are both third person pronouns, we don’t say “le lo.” le converts to se. Juan se lo dio. John gave her it.
  5. Unplanned occurrences. An unplanned event, especially unwanted or unpleasant. lose, break, forget, drop, etc. The wallet lost itself to Eduardo. A Eduardo se le perdió la cartera. Structure: (to someone) + se + ind. object pronoun referring to the victim + verb in 3rd person. El vaso se me cayó. In reality, it’s simply a use of reflexive.
  6. Emphatic reflexive. (Pronominal?) "Se va." salir, llegar. Also with some transitive verbs to put emphasis on completion or intensity): Ella se come la torta. She is eating up the cake.
  7. Reciprocal. María y Carmen se vieron. They see each other.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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I wash myself.

subject: I

verb: wash

object: myself

Since the subject and object are the same, the verb is reflexive.

I wash the car.

subject: I

verb: wash

object: car

Since the subject and object are different, the verb is not reflexive.

When a verb is reflexive, the infinitive ends in "se."

lavar

to wash (non-reflexive)

lavarse

to wash oneself (reflexive)

rascar

to scratch (non-reflexive)

rascarse

to scratch oneself (reflexive)

I borrowed most of this information from StudySpanish.com. You should read this page and take the quiz. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/reflexive1.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulaha88

For me, se is the hardest word in Spanish because it fills so many roles, and all of them are grammatical.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna__Leo

Muchas gracias a todos! This really helped :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Steve53246

Test

2 months ago