The `se`

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The `se`
with “se”
Impersonal Constructions with “se”
• You can use the pronoun “se” to avoid
specifying the person who is doing the
• Using “se” before the verb can make the
sentence ambiguous / general.
The ‘se’ impersonal
• In English we often use they,
you, one, or people in an
impersonal or indefinite sense
meaning “people in general.”
¿Cómo se apaga la aspiradora?
• How do you / how does one turn off the vacuum cleaner?
¿Cómo se dice … en español?
• How do you/How does one say ... In Spanish
Se ha dicho que los mayas eran muy
• They say the Mayans were very advanced.
Impersonal Constructions with “se”
• Notice that here the third person
singular of the verb is used.
Se apaga la luz durante el día.
One turns the light off during the day.
You turn lights off during the day.
They turn lights of during the day.
The ‘se’ of the passive voice
• Here the se is used because the
agent is not the doer of the
sentence, yet appears as if it is the
 Se vende coche
Car for sale
 Se habla español
Spanish is spoken (here)
 Se alquila apartamento
Apartment for rent
The ‘se’ pasivo
•Note that you don´t know who
performs the action.
•The word that follows the verb
determines whether the verb is
singular or plural.
• If referring to ONE thing, use the USTED
form of the verb:
 Se vende coche = Car for sale
 If referring to MORE than ONE thing, used the
 Se venden coches = Cars for sale
¿Cierto o Falso?
Se habla español en Brasil.
Se comen tacos en México.
En España se cena después de las nueve.
Se puede esquiar en Argentina en julio.
Se ve una película en la biblioteca.
Se permite comer en la biblioteca.
• Dog for sale =
Se vende perro.
• Looking for secretary =
Se busca secretatia.
• Cars repaired here =
Se reparan coches (aquí).
• At what time do stores close?
¿A qué hora se cierran las tiendas?
• Where are CD´s sold?
¿Dónde se venden discos compactos?
The ‘se’ impersonal
• The verb can be in the present or
past tense as well.
• Se creó una página web.
• Se crearon las computadoras para
ordenar la vida.
The ‘se’ impersonal
When the word following the
conjugated verb is an infinitive,
the singular form is used.
Se necesita construir un edificio nuevo.
• You have to work hard if you want
Se tiene que trabajar duro si quiere tener
• Smoking was prohibited in the restaurant.
Se prohibió fumar en el restaurante.
• Computers were sold here.
Se vendieron las computadoras aquí.
One should learn from their elders.
Se debe aprender de los mayores.
This church was built thirty years ago.
Se construyó esta iglesia hace treinta años.
They believe it will be an excellent movie.
Se cree que será una película excelente..
El fin
Fly UP