se me antoja ir al cine

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" I feel like going to the cine" The verb antojarse is used here but I don't understand why se is here and if it's " I feel like" then why is it not " Me antojo ir al cine" Thanks.

James

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updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by James-Schneider

6 Answers

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:

I feel like going to the cine" The verb antojarse is used here but I don't understand why se is here and if it's " I feel like" then why is it not " Me antojo ir al cine" Thanks.

Let me answer your question with another question: why do you say "It seems to me that we have no choice", instead of "I seem that we have no choice"? Here you have an English construction almost identical to the one in Spanish you are enquiring about, so ask yourself why, in your own language.

Of course, this construction is more common in Spanish. The reason behind this type of common constructions in Spanish is that we normally avoid having a person as a grammatical subject, if this person is not performing a voluntary and controlled action, but being a rather passive subject that experiences things that he cannot choose. Verbs like "gustar" or "antojarse" are not things that you have planned or decided to do, but things that "happen" to you, and you just relay to us, so it makes sense, in a way, to describe them as some things (events, feelings, thoughts) being the ones that actually influence people, and these people being the objects of such impressions. Some verbs, like "olvidar" can be constructed both ways, but people prefer the "inverted" construction when they want to sound as if they are rather victims of an involuntary memory lapse, which has betrayed them somehow, rather than announcing that THEY have actually forgotten something, which sounds almost as if they planned to do so. In practice, the difference is not that sharp, but someone trying not to be blamed for forgetting something is much more likely to use the inverted construction than the English one.

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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samdie said:

Look for discussions about "gustar"; it's the same issue. In Spanish. The grammatical subject of antojarse is not the person experiencing the emotion but the thing(s) that provoke the feeling.

But samdie, gustar is a bit different, since it is not gustarse. We say "Me gustan las manzanas," but the same construction would be "Me antojan las manzanas," which doesn't really make sense.

I think a closer example would be something like "Se me olividó" or "Se le caen los libros."

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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In Spain it is frequently used like "in a whim"

Ayer se me antojó ir al cine. I went to the cinema in a whim.

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Look for discussions about "gustar"; it's the same issue. In Spanish. The grammatical subject of antojarse is not the person experiencing the emotion but the thing(s) that provoke the feeling.

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by samdie
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I agree with LadyDi. This verb seems to be used more in this construction than the basic one.

No hace más que lo que se le antoja = He only does what he feels like doing

By the way, antojarse can also mean parecer.

Se me antoja que va a nevar = It seems (looks) to me like (that) it's going to snow

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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A native speaker would likelier give you a better explanation but I think it's because something is making you feel like going to the movies--you're not making yourself be in that mood.

updated DIC 16, 2008
posted by LadyDi