Transitive? Reflexive? Pronominal? - Verbs and pronouns
Find below a rather technical description of some verb structures in Spanish. This is not intended for beginners (...or highly advanced learners), although anyone is welcome to have a read through.
1) Verbs that can take a direct object are called transitive. When this direct object is a specific person (or something personalised), it takes the preposition 'a'. Objects can be replaced by the direct object pronouns 'lo, la, los, las? (many native speakers use 'le? and 'les? instead sometimes, but this is not always standard):
Veo un camión ? Lo veo (I see a lorry ? I see it)
Veo una casa ? La veo (I see a house ? I see it)
Veo a tu hermano ? Lo veo (I see your brother ? I see him)
Veo a tu hermana ? La veo (I see your sister ? I see her)
2) If the object matches the subject, we talk about reflexive (direct object) pronouns:
Me veo (a mí mismo): I see myself
Te ves (a ti mismo): You see yourself
Se ve (a sí mismo): He/she sees himself.
3) When someone does something to others, and the rest do the same, and of course, back to this person, we talk about reciprocal (direct object) pronouns, like in 'each other'. I give, and others give to me:
Nos vemos ? We see each other (literal translation) = see you (correct translation)
Se ven ? They see each other
4) If the indirect object matches the subject, we talk about reflexive (indirect object) pronouns:
Le lavo la espalda a mi hijo ? 'I wash the back to my son? (non-reflexive)
Me lavo la espalda ? 'I wash myself the back? (reflexive)
Of course, in English you'd say something like 'I wash my son's back? and 'I wash my back?
5) Sometimes a pronoun is used to indicate completeness. Sometimes it is hard to translate these:
Me comí una manzana ? I ate (up) an apple
Me bebí la cerveza ? I drank (up) the beer
Me fumé el cigarro ? I smoked the cigarette
Me leí el libro ? I read (the whole) book
In the examples above, both the apple and the beer were totally consumed. It is very unusual to omit these pronouns (and it sounds a bit strange), but you cannot use them if there is no specific amount to consume:
Me comí arroz (wrong sentence. you cannot use 'me')
6) Intransitive constructions don't have a direct object. Intransitive verbs like 'gustar? use the indirect object to specify who 'likes? what (or whom):
Me gusta el chocolate ? 'To me, is pleasing chocolate? (I like chocolate)
English has a few verbs like this. One of them, 'disgust? is directly related to 'gustar', and it also uses an indirect object to indicate who doesn't like something (we don't say 'who disgusts something', like in Spanish):
Me repugna el chocolate ? Chocolate disgusts me.
People say 'I like chocolate', but not 'I disgust chocolate'. The second one is the construction used for 'gustar? in Spanish.
7) When the indirect object matches the subject, we talk about reflexive (indirect object) pronouns:
Me gusto ? I like myself (compare: I disgust myself)
8) When you do something to others, and others give to you, we talk about reciprocal (indirect object) pronouns:
Nos gustamos ? We like each other
Se gustan ? They like each other
En una escala del 0 al 10 te doy.................[url=http://www.sweetim.com/s.asp'im=gen&lpver=3&ref=11" target="_blank][/url]................. un 100 !!
[url=http://www.sweetim.com/s.asp'im=gen&lpver=3&ref=11" target="_blank][/url] hay nada que decir.
Yes, this must be archived for easy access. When is the next lesson'? :
I, too, am just beginning to learn the passive voice. It is the last lesson in my beginner's text and I guess that if I get it down, (as we say colloquially here in US English) I can consider myself graduated to the intermediate level!
So far, the passive in Spanish seems fairly easy to form: it is simply a matter of using the correct form of "ser" with a participle. Oh, but to be sure....the participle must then agree with the subject.
The examples my book gives are:
El texto va a ser traducido. The text will be translated.
El texto ha sido traducido. The text has been translated.
Los textos son traducidos.
By the way, having just read a tutorial from the University of North Carolina to better understand the passive voice in English, I was particularly pleased to read in my text about how to express the acting person in Spanish. You do it with "por", as in
La poesia ha sido traducida por un poeta español.
That said about the passive voice, I, too, am not always sure about the impersonal - but think that it always has a "se" in the sentence somewhere and corresponds to our English use of "one" as in "one just shouldn't do that" - a form that almost no one I know in the US uses anymore in spoken English. People instead say "you" but don't mean really the person to whom they are speaking at all, but rather some "general" you.... - some "one"
This is indeed a great tutorial! Something that's always a miss when it comes to explaining concepts deeply is the ability to explain the different usages with pedagogical examples, and Lazarus cuts through in an impressive way. On my wish-list would be deeper explanation of the difference between impersonal and passive sentences (not a beginner's concept, I know, but something that's often asked in forums). Given Lazarus' nack for teaching clearly, I would wish for a more decisive way of choosing between the impersonal and the passive, and how to distinguish between the two. This is something that I personally struggle with sometimes.
Once again, THANK YOU!
I have copied this to a document on my desktop for quick access at any time!
This is indeed a great tutorial!
Something that's always a miss when it comes to explaining concepts deeply is the ability to explain the different usages with pedagogical examples, and Lazarus cuts through in an impressive way.
On my wish-list would be deeper explanation of the difference between impersonal and passive sentences (not a beginner's concept, I know, but something that's often asked in forums). Given Lazarus' knack for teaching clearly, I would wish for a more decisive way of choosing between the impersonal and the passive, and how to distinguish between the two. This is something that I personally struggle with sometimes.
Pruebo una palabra nueva y a escribir en español para añadir mi voz a las voces de lo más. Le doy las gracias.
To the most helpful person on the internet - A HUGE THANK YOU!
I can only come up with one word for this post... sorry I am speachless. I will be refering to and using this post for a long time to come. That one word is WOW!
Once again, Lazarus has heard the cry of his people and responded promptly.
Thank you so much!!!