|Professor Jason YouTube|
Of course, to make life more interesting, sometimes it has an accent and sometimes it doesn't.
This particular exploration is about the particle "se," not the verb saber which uses sé for I know ... or the imperative form of ser meaning "Be!" (One might think they ran out of words somewhere along the line.)
#1 Reflexive, third-person pronoun
It's good to remember that it is the intended meaning and the pronoun that makes a verb reflexive ... the actual conjugation remains the same. Reflexive verbs reflect back to the subject agent.
In this example, levantar which normally means raise or lift, when reflexive it means to stand up. Me levanto - I stand up. Se levanta - he or she stands up; se levantan - they stand up.
If the infinitive or gerund is used, the se is attached ... John quiere levantarse - John wants to stand up. Or John está levantándose, but here this could also be John está se levantando.
There is also a "reciprocal reflexive" ... Juan y Ana se besan. This example helped me understand this ... Mis hermanas se escribían ... my sisters used to write to each other. Without the "se," it would be ... my sisters used to write. Not necessarily to each other.
#2 Double object pronouns
This sounds mind-boggling, but it's not. Sometimes you need to say things like: give it to me. "It" might be an apple or a baseball bat but you're using the pronoun "it" to replace whatever it is. Because you're giving it to me, me is an indirect pronoun. So, you need two types of pronouns.
In order to explain this part of the "se" journey, we're going to get some help from Senor Jordan who reminds us about Direct Object Pronouns:
|Haz clic aquí por el vídeo|
And, sometimes you want two pronouns as when you want say "give it to me." Here's the visual of Senor Jordan's explanation:
"Se?" This is where it goes off the rails a bit. Where did "se" come from? Well, it turns out that when you put the direct object pronoun with the indirect object pronoun, it changes in third person. Here's the chart:
Here's Senor Jordan's wrap-up. If you are still confused, watch his full video ... maybe more than once.
#3 Passive voice
Before you get excited, you see this in action all the time ... se vende, se renta. When I first came to Mexico, I thought that said: for sale. It means that but actually says that it is being sold by an unnamed agent. It doesn't say "I am selling this" which would be Estoy vendiendo esto.
SpanishDict.com, a great grammar consultant, says:
- The passive voice is generally used to talk about a person or object without making mention of whoever or whatever is performing the action on that person or object.
- Passive se constructions are one way of using the passive voice in Spanish. Only transitive verbs (verbs that require a direct object) are used in passive se constructions.