creer vs. creerse

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I know that both of these mean "to believe." (I'm not referring to the reflexive meaning of creerse, as in "Ella se cree la muy muy.") What, if any, is the difference between them in terms of how they are used?

For example, I read this yesterday: "En realidad no piensas que me lo creo, ¿verdad'" I know that this means "Honestly, you don't think I believe that, do you'," but how would the meaning or nuance change if I omitted the "me"? Is the pronomial form just an emphasizer of the verb'

15196 views
updated ENE 25, 2013
posted by 00bacfba

11 Answers

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If you say "En realidad no piensas que me lo creo, ¿verdad'" The "me" is only emphasising the verb creer. In different countries (Southern cone) you would almost never use "me"

updated ENE 25, 2013
posted by Peuco
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motley said:

A little bit more on this after I looked in Butt and Benjamin' tad,

butt and benjamin''''? what is it? If a site, I would be happy to know it.

They are the co-authors of a comprehensive grammar of the Spanish language (the best so far, in my opinion), called "A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish". Check it in Amazon, Abebooks or Google; it is worth having it.

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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*A little bit more on this after I looked in Butt and Benjamin?
*

tad,
butt and benjamin''''? what is it? If a site, I would be happy to know it.

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by motley
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¿Qué te has creído? = Who do you think you are?
¿Qué has creído? = What did you believe'

Ah, I see. But that is the reflexive sense that I mentioned in my original question (creerse meaning to think oneself). The reflexive here makes perfect sense to me, which is why I excluded it from my question. It was the other pronomial use that was the problem.

Thanks to you and the others, I think I get it now. (Not that I'll actually be able to use creerse like this in conversation, but at least I'll understand it when I meet it.)

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James Santiago said:

How would you translate this one?

¿Qué te has creído? = Who do you think you are?
¿Qué has creído? = What did you believe?

I believe this is more than just an emphasis. wink

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Great replies, Mark, Lazarus, and Tad. Very helpful.

Lazarus wrote:
It is also used to indicate that someone believes something without questioning it, or in an innocent way: "¡Se lo ha creído!".

I guess that would be translated as "He fell for it!" or "He bought it!" Or maybe even "He took it hook, line, and sinker."

in "¿Qué te has creído'", you cannot omit "te", or you'd modify the meaning of the sentence.

How would you translate this one'

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
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A little bit more on this after I looked in Butt and Benjamin?

creer/creerse was in a list of verbs describing 'se de matización'.
They say that the pronominal form can imply unfounded belief, although its use is often optional:
Creo que han llegado
Yo (me) creía que él había llegado (I thought he had arrived)

'they gave the 'arrogant belief? example (as from lazarus) as well.

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by tad
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Mark W said:

"Me comí una hamburguesa" vs. "Comí una hamburguesa". Both are grammatically correct.

Grammatically correct, maybe, but who says "¿Has comido ya la manzana'". Most people, almost all the time, would say "¿Te has comido ya la manzana'", and they'd probably look puzzled if you omitted the "te". This dative could possible be omitted sometimes, but it has its uses too: it indicates that a specific amount of food has been consumed; without it you assume it is unspecific.

Regarding the "me" with "creer", again, its presence is not just for mere emphasis: used with "creer" it can indicate that someone acts as if he is important, knows everything, and with disregards to others, used often by people to indicate someone's arrogance, like in "Se cree que lo sabe todo". It is also used to indicate that someone believes something without questioning it, or in an innocent way: "¡Se lo ha creído!". The nuances added by the "se" to "creer" are no different than those you obtain with many prepositions in phrasal verbs. For example, in "¿Qué te has creído'", you cannot omit "te", or you'd modify the meaning of the sentence.

updated SEP 24, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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James, I believe this would be classified as - un dativo de interés, que refuerza el valor subjetivo y afectivo de la frase pero que no es necesario desde un punto de vista gramatical.

This is similar to:
"Me comí una hamburguesa" vs. "Comí una hamburguesa". Both are grammatically correct.

updated SEP 23, 2008
posted by Mark-W
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Thank you both.

LadyDi, thanks for reminding me about "No te creas," which I have heard used in Mexico.

updated SEP 23, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Yes, I think so. It wouldn't have the same effect if you were to omit "me". In fact, I've heard a lot of people from Mexico use the expression, "no te creas" when they mean "I'm just kidding". Actually, I don't know if that's a Tex-Mex thing or if it really comes from Mexico.

updated SEP 23, 2008
posted by LadyDi