The function of the pronoun "se" in the following sentence

The function of the pronoun "se" in the following sentence


Me di cuenta de que "se" me habia olvidado ponerme los pantalones. Me di cuenta de que (I realized that) me habia olvidado (I had forgotten) ponerme los pantalones (to put on my pants). What is the function of "se"?

updated JUN 7, 2010
posted by iamppdoc

2 Answers


I may be wrong but it looks to me like the "se", along with the "me", is turning "olvidar" into a pronominal verb. I am not sure as to how it affects the sentence without the "se", other than without it, the second sentence may not portray the same meaning.

updated JUN 15, 2010
edited by Eddy
posted by Eddy
Do you mean, then, that the subject of "habia" is not yo but "it"? It forgot itself, to me, to put the pants on me. - iamppdoc, JUN 7, 2010

"Se" is used like this, apparently to distance the idiot who did, forgot, broke whatever from the reality of having done it. This is how I understand it.

The classic case is "I dropped it" = "lo cayé" but spoken as "se me lo cayó" = "it fell from me" or "well sir/ma'am, it just dropped out of my hand".

As an exercise, consider and transform "se me lo quebró" along similar lines.

updated JUN 7, 2010
edited by geofc
posted by geofc
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