The Spanish ‘Se’ (Flashcards)

You may have noticed that the Spanish 'se' serves many purposes. If you would like to recognize what kind of se is being used in a sentence these flashcards may help.

Read each sentence and then decide if you think the 'se' is:

1) Reflexive se

- the person doing the action of the verb is also receiving the action of the verb.

Me ducho. I'm showering (myself).

2) Reciprocal se

- more than one subject does and receives the action of the verb.

Nos besamos. We're kissing (each other).

3) No fault or accidental se

- (not a true grammatical term btw) - this se serves the pupose of avoiding laying the blame on someone.

Se me olvidaron las llaves. I forgot the keys. or lit. The keys were forgotten to me.

4) The intransitivizing se

- this se essentially makes transitive verbs intransitive avoiding the need for a direct object.

Se hundió el barco. The boat sank (itself).

5) Pronomimal se

- this se is just part of the verb.

Desmayarse = to faint

6) Impersonal se

- this se doesn't identify who is doing the action of the verb, it is impersonal and could be translated using the impersonal English equivalents, 'one', 'you' or 'they' without actually referring to specific people. With this construction only the third person singular form of intransitive verbs can be used and the only direct object that can be accepted is a known person or person introduced with the personal 'a'.

Se puede entrar por aquí. One can enter through here.

7) Passive se

- similar to the impersonal se where the one doing the action of the verb is either unknown or unimportant and the influence is placed on the action and not the doer/actor. The verb can only be in 3rd person but it can be singular or plural to agree in number with the subject, which is normally placed after it.

Se venden carros aquí. Cars are sold here.

8) False se

- this se replaces the indirect object pronoun so that it sounds better.

Le lo he dicho. becomes Se lo he dicho. I have told him (that).

9) Intensifying se

- this se intensifies or highlights the completeness of an action.

Comer = to eat Comerse = to eat up


  • Se me rompió la mesa.
    The table broke. (No fault se)
  • Se me perdió la tarea.
    My homework got lost. (No fault se)
  • Aquí se habla español.
    Spanish is spoken here. (Passive se)
  • María se ve por el espejo.
    Maria sees herself in the mirror. (Reflexive se)
  • El perro se comió mi tarea.
    The dog ate my homework all up. (Intensifying se)
  • El niño se lavó la cara.
    The boy washed his face.(Reflexive se)
  • En mi casa se come mucha comida chatarra.
    At my house lots of junk food is eaten. (Passive se)
  • Ella se perjudica por fumar.
    She's hurting herself by smoking. (Reflexive se)
  • Se escribe el libro en Italiano.
    The book is written in Italian (Passive se)
  • Se comió la torta.
    The cake was eaten. (Passive se)
  • Él se lo dijo a ella.
    "He told her. (False se, replacing le)"
  • Se pagan las multas los viernes.
    The fines are paid on Fridays. (Passive se)
  • Se dice 'hola'.
    You/One says 'hola'. (Impersonal se)
  • Roberto se cansa.
    Robert is getting tired. (Reflexive se)
  • La casa se quemó.
    The house burnt down. (Intransitivising se)
  • Se levantan a las 7.
    They get up at 7 o'clock. (Reflexive se)
  • Ellos se miran.
    The look at each other. (Reciprocal se)
  • Nunca se debe llegar tarde.
    One should never arrive late. (Impersonal se)
  • Se vendió la computadora.
    The computer was sold. (Passive se)
  • Se prohibe fumar.
    Smoking is prohibited. (Passive se)
  • Carlos y Roberto se pegan.
    Carlos and Robert are hitting each other. (Reciprocal se)
  • Se maneja rápidamente en Guayaquil.
    People/They drive fast in Guayaquil. (Impersonal se)
  • Se necesitan vendedores bilingues
    Bilingual salespeople are needed. (Passive se)
  • Puede vestirse.
    You can get dressed. (Reflexive se)
  • En Ecuador se baila mucho la Samba.
    The Samba is danced a lot in Ecuador. (Passive se)
  • En Ecuador se baila mucho.
    They dance a lot in Ecuador. (Impersonal se)
  • Se dice que va a llover.
    They say that it's going to rain. (Impersonal se)
  • Se gustan.
    They like each other. (Reciprocal se)
  • En mis classes se aprende mucho español.
    In my classes a lot of Spanish is learnt.(Passive se)
  • Se entregaron dos premios
    Three prizes were awarded. (Passive se)
  • Se puede vivir bien si se trabaja duro.
    One can live well if they work hard.(Impersonal se)
  • No se puede entrar por aquí.
    You can't come in here. (Impersonal se)
  • Se hablan varios idiomas aquí.
    Various language are spoken here. (Passive se)
  • ¿Ella se desmayó?
    Did she faint? (Pronominal se)
  • Se invitó al presidente.
    The president was invited. (Impersonal se)
  • Se entrevistó a los niños.
    They interviewed the children. (Impersonal se)
  • Se entrevistaron los niños.
    The children were interviewed (Passive se)
  • La niña se peina.
    The girl combs her hair. (Reflexive se)
  • Se arrepintió de lo que había hecho.
    He regretted what he had done.(Pronominal se)
  • Se me olvidaron los libros.
    I forgot the books. (No fault se)
  • Se cayó la pluma.
    The pen fell. (Passive se)
  • Juana se cortó el dedo.
    Juana cut her finger. (Reflexive se)
  • El barco se hundió.
    The boat sank. (Intransitivizing se)