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1 Vote

I'm trying to figure out the difference between "comer" and "comerse."

Comer = to eat Comerse = to eat up

I hardly say "to eat up" in English so I'm a little confused as to how to use it in Spanish because it seems like it's used a lot.

Any examples would help me a lot!

  • Posted Apr 2, 2010
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11 Answers

4 Vote

"Comer" means to "eat": "voy a comer" - "I am going to eat"

"Comerse" means to "eat something up": "Pedro acaba de comerse un pollo entero" - "Pedro just ate a whole chicken"

"Voy a comerme esa manzana" - "I am going to eat that apple".

By contrast: "Voy a comer manzanas" - "I am going to eat apples".

Edit:

To avoid confusion:

I added the example "comerme", because it is the same configuration of the verb "comer" using the reflexive suffix (sorry, one of the more "technical" guys would have to step in for a better explanation. I am just an able speaker grin ) The difference is "comerme" is in the first person, and "comerse" is in the third person.

1st person: A mi me gusta comerme la manzana entera - I like to eat the whole apple.

2nd person. A ti te gusta comerte la manzana... - You like to eat the whole...

3rd person . A él le gusta comerse la manzana... - he likes to eat...

1st person plural: A nosotros nos gusta comernos la manzana...

2nd person plural "vosotros" form: "A vosotros os gusta comeros la manzana.."

Everyone else is "comerse".

I hope that clears things up a bit.

  • As a learner too, I am just wondering if you really meant that as "Voy a comerme..." since you were explaining the use of "comerSe" - Rikko Apr 2, 2010 flag
  • Awesome lesson Gekkosan. - Goyo Apr 2, 2010 flag
1 Vote

I usually only hear comerse used figuratively. Ie.... cover someone with kisses = eat someone up with kisses. etc. but I'm not native.

1 Vote

Then what does "Voy a comer esta manzana" mean ? Not "I'm going to eat that apple" ? I've had this same problem and still don't get it. It appears natives switch from comer to comerse once the actual food is mentioned. I don't get that since the fact that you mention the food already points to the food doesn't ? Why do I need to make comer reflexive now ?

I seems to some making comer reflexive puts more emphasis on how much you ate or how much you liked eating it. Others seem to see it a s a way to point to the specific food you ate. Example:

Q : ¿Quieres cenar conmigo? A1 : Ya me comí. A2 : Ya la comí. A3 : Ya me la comí.

According to my spanish buddy A1 is completely wrong and literally means "I already ate myself". A2 and A3 are a mystery to me and he can't really explain it either.

1 Vote

It appears natives switch from comer to comerse once the actual food is mentioned. I don't get that since the fact that you mention the food already points to the food doesn't ? Why do I need to make comer reflexive now ?

It has nothing to do with the specific mention of the food. The pronominal (not reflexive) verb emphasizes the completion of the action/consumption. "Me fumé el pitillo." (I smoked the whole cigarette.), "Me bebí toda la botella." (I drank the entire bottle.). (From a song, and, thus, somewhat metaphorical,) "Me bebí mi propia vida en una copa mortal." (I drank/quaffed my own life in a fatal cup.)

1 Vote

I would not call it a reflexive usage, but a pronominal usage that adds completeness or intensity to the verb. Similar to the pronominal use of the verb olvidar to add the meaning of accidentally (olvidarse).

usos de se

Se dativo o intensificador del verbo.

Con el mismo valor: me, te, nos, os.

A veces, el pronombre reflexivo sirve únicamente para intensificar el significado del verbo, en construcciones transitivas o intransitivas. Puede añadir matices significativos, no siempre precisos ni claros.

Se presenta en dos tipos de construcciones

Concordados: la persona del pronombre coincide con el sujeto:

No concordados: la persona del pronombre no coincide con el sujeto:

¡No seas embustero!/¡No me seas embustero!

1 Vote

Doesn't the word "toda" here imply without a doubt that the whole bottle was finished ? Does this mean "Bebí toda la botella." does not suggest that I drank the entire bottle?

If you're bothered by the redundancy, eliminate the "toda" ("Me bebí la botella.") Spanish speakers are less likely to say "Bebí toda la botella." than either of the alternatives with "me". However, if they are not bothered by the redundancy, why should you be?

0 Vote

I've heard the reflexive form with tomar also, as in "tómatelo", for "drink it up". In Argentina it would be tomátelo. Is that right?

0 Vote

"Me bebí toda la botella." - Doesn't the word "toda" here imply without a doubt that the whole bottle was finished ? Does this mean "Bebí toda la botella." does not suggest that I drank the entire bottle ?

0 Vote

Samdie

Not bothered by it but it is interesting how learners get smacked when they say

"Yo hablo". They are told this is redundant and has no place in the sentence (most of the time anyway) Yet, there are times when Spanish is deliberately weirdly redundant like in this case or the classic "Le escribo una carta a mi mamá". Just trying to find my way through this jungle....

0 Vote

Wait, suddenly I think it makes sense to me!!! smile

I suddenly see the Spanish comerse as emphasizing the fact that the person ate the food HIMSELF...that is, no one else got any!!!

Right???

It's just that in English, we normally use the "ate up" phrase to get the same point across.

Am I on the right track here?

0 Vote

"Yo hablo". They are told this is redundant and has no place in the sentence (most of the time anyway) Yet, there are times when Spanish is deliberately weirdly redundant like in this case or the classic "Le escribo una carta a mi mamá". Just trying to find my way through this jungle....

Well the real problem with "Yo hablo" is not that it's redundant (languages have, and for good reasons) lots of redundancy. but that Spanish speakers usually omit the pronoun so that it sounds "odd" to constantly use the subject pronouns. I think justifying the elimination of the subject pronoun on the basis of redundancy is just because that sounds more "rational"/"logical" than saying "because we don't use them very often".

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