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Reflexive verbs.

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If anyone can answer this question I would be grateful.
Two people are in a picture dancing with each other. Which would be correct.
Ellos bailan, Ellos están bailando or the reflexive case Ellos están se bailando.

A little confused with the exercises in my workbook.

Shelley

4286 views
updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by Shelley

13 Answers

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ahh i see. that really helps, thanks!

updated MAY 19, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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David,

Thanks man! Sure is a better explanation that my book raspberry

However, I'm still confused. My book (McGraw Hill Puntos de Partida 7) gives "Nos hablamos con teléfono con fequencia" as an example of use of reflexive actions. Is that only OK because it translates as 'We speak TO EACHOTHER' instead of 'with eachother''

updated MAY 19, 2008
posted by Rob-Lynn
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notice the difference between the examples, and it may help to clarify.

they meet each other/ellos se encuentran
they kiss each other/ellos se besan

in these cases, there is no intermediate preposition that follows the verb. we go directly into the reciprocal relationship.

they dance with each other/ellos bailan juntos

in this case, the verb is separated from the reciprocal relationship by the preposition 'with'. in order to use the reflexive in this context, the verb would have to work like 'they danced each other'. since it doesn't, the reflexive isn't likely to work either.

updated MAY 19, 2008
posted by David-H
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Discupleme por favor! Fui incorrecto. Creo que lo recordé incorrectamente.

(BTW, bad idea to try and understand grammar after drinking. Especially in your second language....)

updated MAY 19, 2008
posted by Rob-Lynn
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though we can say..
"ellos se encuentran" for they meet each other and
"ellos se besan." for they kiss each other, right?
here besar and encontrar are reflexive'

updated MAY 19, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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how would one say "they dance together (or with each other)'"

updated MAY 18, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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No Rob, as Eddy said before, you cannot use "bailarse" in spanish.
-> If two people were a couple ( or they didn't know each other) and were dancing for the sole purpose of being together, you must be say "Ellos bailan" or "Ellos estan bailando"
->If you are dancing alone, you cannot say "me bailo", but bailo or estoy bailándo.
-> If somebody is dancing alone he/she dance or is dancing: Spanish el/ella baila ó está bailándo.You cannot say "te bailas or te estás bailando", but "bailas ó estas bailándo"
No es correcto en ninguna de sus formas aplicar el reflexivo me, te o se, para este verbo.

updated MAY 18, 2008
posted by Vernic
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Comprendo que el verbo no necesita una pronombre reflexivo, pero, si una persona quiere decir "They do something with eachother" pueda poner una pronobre reflexivo antes del verbo aun cuando el verbo no ser reflexivo para decir cuando digo casamiento, ¿no?

That is, in English, I can say "They dance" (Bailan), "They are dancing" (Están bailando), and "They dance with eachother" (Se bailan). The only one I'm confused about here is the last one. I was taught that "Se bailan" means "They dance with eachother" i.e., they're not just dancing on the dance floor at the same time, they are actually involved in the same dance together as a single unit. They could be dancing on the same floor to the same song (perhaps with eachother but not as a couple) if I said "Bailan", but if I say "Se bailan", they're dancing on the same floor to the same song as a couple, bound to each other on a higher level than if I had not included the reflexive pronoun.

For example, if two people were on a dance floor dancing, but they didn't really know each other, I would say "They dance" (Bailan). However, if it were obvious that they were a couple and were dancing for the sole purpose of being together, I would say "They dance together (Se bailan)".

I know my English is correct here, but is my Spanish'

updated MAY 18, 2008
posted by Rob-Lynn
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ya entiendo. gracias smile

updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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El motivo principal de esta confusión es que "bailar" no puede ser un verbo reflexivo (ya que en ninguna de sus formas acepta hacer recaer la acción sobre el sujeto, iniciando o terminando en "me", "te" o "se") como lo dicta la regla.

Sino que estamos ante un verbo intransitivo (que no requiere especificar objeto directo). Otros ejemplos de verbos intransitivos, aunque no hay muchos, son llover, nevar, entrar, caber, delinquir.
Bailar algo/alguién no tiene sentido en español formal ( a no ser en forma de slang, como ya lo mencionó Eddy).

updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by Vernic
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i thought "se" could mean each other here also.
would the third be correct if it were "Ellos se están bailando."? or even "bailándose"'

updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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In my Spanish II class, we were taught using the reflexive pronoun before a verb can be used to say "eachother" ie:

nos hablamos: We spoke (to each other)
se bailaron They danced (with each other)

"Ellos bailan" would connote "They dance", and "Ellos están bailan" would say "They are dancing" although in this case, they would both work.

(I hope I'm right and this was helpful - this is my first time replying to a grammar question and not ASKING one!)

updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by Rob-Lynn
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The first two are both correct, ie they can both be used. I am sure you cannot use bailarse as a relexive verb in this instance. I believe in mexico that bailarse a alguien means to thrash somebody.

updated MAY 17, 2008
posted by Eddy
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