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se and te?


can somebody please explain to me the difference of these two? they confuse me...

is te gusta like "you" informally? and is se like "you" formally?

updated AGO 13, 2009
posted by sarahjs

3 Answers


With gustar (intransitive verb) the informal and formal indirect object pronouns are te and le for "you" [singular]; not te and se.

¿Te gustan (tú) las películas espantosas?

¿Le gustan (Vd.) las películas espantosas?

gustar is not being used as a pronominal verb (gustarse)


¿Te vas? (tú)

¿Se va? (Vd.)

If you are talking about pronominal usage (reflexive pronouns) your original statement is correct. The pronouns with gustar are indirect object pronouns, however.

updated AGO 13, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507

Por ejemplo: A usted [,] le gusta el perro. We know the speaker is addressing the "You" in the formal.

Just one comment: in Spanish we don't use that comma after "A usted", unless we want to make a dramatically long pause there. This orthographic rule is different between Spanish and English.

updated AGO 13, 2009
edited by lazarus1907
posted by lazarus1907
It does, hgowever, correspond to the usage of (rouglhly) the 17th century in Englisn, when a comma or a semicolon simply sugested the length of a pause. The rules now are more complicated (and involve semantic considerations, rather than just rhetorical e - samdie, AGO 13, 2009
"rhetorical considerations" - apparently one cannont edit (correct mistypings) in comments. - samdie, AGO 13, 2009

It really depends on what verb you are wanting to use...for example...

gustarle and arreglarse

When using the verb gustar "to please" we are using an Indirect-Object Pronouns. Me-me Te-you Le- He, She, or Usted (the formal "You") Nos- Us Les-Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes

The sentence: Le gusta el perro.. literally means, " the dog pleases him, her, or you(formal). To clarify to whom the speaker is speaking to, a el, a ella, and a usted is generally added to the beginning of the sentence. Por ejemplo: A usted, le gusta el perro. We know the speaker is addressing the "You" in the formal.

When using the verb arreglarse which means "to get ready" we use reflexive pronouns. Which are almost the exact same as Indirect-Object Pronouns except for two changes. Me-me Te-you Se-He, She, or Usted Nos-Us Se- Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes

The sentence: Se arregla para viajar a Argentina...means He/She/You(formal) get(s) himself/herself/yourself ready to travel to Argentina. To clarify in this case, you simple place El, Ella, or Usted at the beginning of the sentence. "Usted se arregla para viajar a Argentina." So in a way your correct in saying te meaning you informal and se meaning you formal but you wouldn't use se with the verb "gustar" which uses le instead. Se is for reflexive verbs.

updated AGO 13, 2009
posted by ajwhitsell
Great minds think alike. :-) - 0074b507, AGO 13, 2009
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