What does 'se que' mean in this instance | SpanishDict Answers
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5 Vote

Hi all,

I saw the following saying on a poster on a friend's facebook page, and though I think I understand the whole thing, there are two words in a row, "se que" in the second half, that I don't quite get, and which frankly don't change the meaning if I just ignore them

(which is probably a good indication that I don't really understand after all)

Could someone please check me?

Thanks (and yes, I realize there may be some accent marks missing - I'm just typing what I see directly).

Por que se me ocurrio querer te

si se que no puedo tener te...

Why does it occur to me to love you if __ ____ I can't have you.

That second half would be "if I can't have you" without the se que, but I don't understand what they mean, and what it overall means with those two little words in there.

Thanks for any explanation.

  • Posted Jun 25, 2012
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  • It should also be *quererte* and *tenerte* - diagonx Jun 25, 2012 flag
  • This is a perfect example of where accents are crucial to understanding. - --Mariana-- Jun 25, 2012 flag
  • Thanks. Makes sense now, and it IS a great example. As a beginner, I can get confused pretty easily. - rogspax Jun 25, 2012 flag

6 Answers

5 Vote

Por qué se me ocurrió quererte

Why did it occur to me to want you....?

si se que no puedo tener te...

I don't understand the second sentence, maybe because the accents are missing?

Edit: Got it if I add accents and correct punctuation.

Yes, I know that I can't have you....

Sí, sé que no puedo tenerte

  • Could that last part be "i sé que no puedo tenerte" "if I know that I can't have you" ??? I think that would fit best, no? - rogspax Jun 25, 2012 flag
  • I think the same... 'si sé que...' - NikkiRivera Jun 25, 2012 flag
5 Vote

It should read sé que, meaning I know that, that's one of the times when using the tilde would make things easier to understand

  • And thanks to you too. The key part was me not being clever enough to interpret 'se' as 'sé'. Thanks! - rogspax Jun 25, 2012 flag
4 Vote

OK, it seems I did manage to stumble upon a good example of why accents matter (not that I wasn´t already convinced), so I´m going to try to post the link here now.

enter image description here

It´s kind of funny that although I knew there were probably accent mark issues (I was thinking of ocurrió and por qué) it didn´t even occur to me that the second se was in play too. Funny what the mind misses.

4 Vote

To put the sí before the sé que gives the sentence an extra emphatic meaning it is like saying I know so well that I can't have you. It is known as the emphatic "sí" e.g. Maria sabe como tocar el piano. Maria can play the piano. Maria sí sabe como tocar el piano. Maria really does know how to play the piano. In other words she is a really good piano player.

  • Nice addition, Ken. I did not know that one. - katydew Jun 25, 2012 flag
  • Thanks. I know of few of those little flavoring particles, some for emphasis, in German, but haven't run into them (and/or was not equipped to recognize them) in Spanish. Muchas Gracias. - rogspax Jun 25, 2012 flag
3 Vote

Why did it occur to me that I want you when I [already] know that I can't have you?

2 Vote

To me this looks like

¿Por qué se me ocurrió quererte si sé que no puedo tenerte?

Why did I think of loving you if I know I that cannot have you?

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