HomeQ&ASe comió la torta vs. La torta se comió

Se comió la torta vs. La torta se comió

0
votes

Which is more common to say.

3906 views
updated JUN 30, 2009
posted by ravensty

14 Answers

1
vote

Can you think of any other examples where both would be common.

Many:

Se estropeó la tele.

La tele se estropeó.

Se calló el cuadro.

El cuadro se calló.

This is so unusual. It makes me almost believe that Lazarus is human like us.
Unless he meant that the picture shut itself up. smile

updated FEB 25, 2011
posted by 00e657d4
0
votes

In Spanish, the main focus is generally placed on the first part of the sentence.

Thanks, Lazarus. I guess in the "barco" example above, I am imagining how stress and intonation might be applied if the two sentences were spoken, and in doing so, I am unconsciously supplying a context. It would not have to be enunciated so, necessarily.

I was aware of that generality (first part of the sentence), but I didn't know if there were any written or unwritten rules of syntax that deal with where the focus (emphasis) is.

updated JUN 30, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

In Spanish, the main focus is generally placed on the first part of the sentence.

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Okay so would the same go for Se hundió el barco vs. El barco se hundió

Here both are common, depending on whether you want to highlight the boat, or the sinking. The difference here is that there is only one possible interpretation (in the absence of an agent, that is), whereas in "se comió" could be "he/she ate" or "was eaten". I guess that the order of the words must be more strict if there are multiple interpretations.

I have been wondering about this for some time. In my study of Greek, I learned that the order of placement of subject, verb, and direct object (and sometimes indirect object) highlights a pronounced order of "importance" or "significance" in the sentence.

To what degree is this true in Spanish? In the above example, "Se hundió el barco" vs. "El barco se hundió", it seems to me that the emphasis is on what comes later in the sentence. Is that right'? I am basing that solely on my exposure to spoken and written Spanish.

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

This is so unusual. It makes me almost believe that Lazarus is human like us.

Unless he meant that the picture shut itself up. smile

¡Qué vergüenza! red face ¿Cómo he podido meter la pata de semejante manera'

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Can you think of any other examples where both would be common.

Many:

Se estropeó la tele.
La tele se estropeó.

Se cayó el cuadro.
El cuadro se cayó.

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Are there also many examples like "se comió la carta vs. la carta se comió".

Hard to tell, but I guess it will apply at least to most cases of transitive verbs that have this kind of "delimiting" SE:

Se saltó el semáforo
El semáforo se saltó (''')

Se tomó el café
El café se tomó (''')

Inverting the order, the new sentence will be interpreted in most cases as if "el semáforo" and "el café" are the subjects, and "se + verb" is a passive-like construction (ie. the coffee was drunk), which is not the interpretation we get when the verb appears first (ie. he/she drank the coffee).

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Are there also many examples like "se comió la carta vs. la carta se comió".

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by ravensty
0
votes

Can you think of any other examples where both would be common.

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by ravensty
0
votes

Okay so would the same go for Se hundió el barco vs. El barco se hundió

Here both are common, depending on whether you want to highlight the boat, or the sinking. The difference here is that there is only one possible interpretation (in the absence of an agent, that is), whereas in "se comió" could be "he/she ate" or "was eaten". I guess that the order of the words must be more strict if there are multiple interpretations.

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Okay so would the same go for Se hundió el barco vs. El barco se hundió

updated JUN 29, 2009
posted by ravensty
0
votes

Eddy's interpretations are the most common ones, although in riddles, poems or Yoda's speeches, it is possible to use the second one with the same meaning as the first:

Y después de pensárselo, la torta se comío.

Even though it is not grammatically incorrect, people don't normally talk like that.

Yes! thought about it, I did.

updated JUN 28, 2009
posted by Eddy
0
votes

Eddy's interpretations are the most common ones, although in riddles, poems or Yoda's speeches, it is possible to use the second one with the same meaning as the first:

Y después de pensárselo, la torta se comío.

Even though it is not grammatically incorrect, people don't normally talk like that.

updated JUN 28, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Which is more common to say.

I may be wrong but they are both OK albeit having slightly different nuances.

Se comió la torta - someone ate the cake

La torta se comió - The cake was eaten (by someone)

updated JUN 28, 2009
posted by Eddy
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