The word “SE” in Spanish and its different uses.

“The word “se” in Spanish and its several uses . How to use “se” in Spanish

If the world “SE” is not the one with the most different uses in Spanish, it will be quite close.

We have lot of ground to cover so let’s dive in!

The word “se” and its different uses.

1-Valor reflexivo.

It is the reflexive bit on reflexive verbs that goes with the third from (singular or plural).


Mónica se ducha por las noches

Joaquín se afeita dos veces a la semana

Mis hermanas se levantan a las 8 de la mañana

Remember that “se” goes only with “él, ella, ellos, ellas, usted and ustedes”, if we are talking about someone else we will use the reflexive bit for them, For  example “yo me acuesto a las 10 cada día”.

2-valor recíproco.

Verbos recíprocos are the ones where the subject (people) do the action to each other at the same time. Therefore we will need to have two people at least for that to happen, right?


Pepe y Julia se casaron,

Se enamoraron

Y se quieren mucho

Again it is “se” only for the third form,  if we have another subject we will use the recíproca part that goes with them, like in “vosotros os casastéis en 1999, y nosotros nos conocimos un año después”

3-when we have a indirect object pronoun followed by a direct one.

Indirect pronouns are “le” and “les” and they mean “a él/ella/usted” “para él/ella/usted”, “a ellos/ellas/ustedes”, “para ellos/ellas/ustedes”

For example

If I want to used the object pronoun in the sentences

escribo a Pedro” it will be “le escribo”,

but if I have the sentence

escribo una carta a Pedro, it will be Le la escribo, as here I also have a direct object, then here we have an indirect object (le) followed bu a direct on “la” therefore we need to change LE  to SE, then the sentence using the pronouns would be se la escribo.

4-valor impersonal

The sentence does not have a particular subject, it is general. Who realized the action is not important.


Se come muy bien en ese restaurante

En esa empresa se trabaja mucho

5-valor pronominal

In this case are verbs that they don’t have any sense without the “se”


El chico se arrepintió de su comportamiento.

Sometimes it also indicates the beginning of the action: El niño se ha dormido hace dos minutos.

Other times intensifies the action: Miguel se comió toda la tarta.

And others it points a different in the action, it is different to say  “se abrió la puerta” that “Carla abrió la puerta”

6-dativo ético

It intensifies the action


Carmen se leyó el libro en una noche

Se comió toda la comida

7-valor pasivo reflejo

The subject doesn’t realize the action, but receive it. The verb is conjugated in the active voice.


Se vende casa

Se destruyeron muchas casas

If you have studied the passive voice in Spanish you could see that these two sentences can be said in a passive voice too:

Se vende casa –> casa es vendida

Se destruyeron muchas casas –> muchas casas fueron construidas

That’s it! It is over! You probably thought this wasn’t gonna end, but it has.

I know there is a lot to take on, so don’t try to learn all at once, come back to this post as many times as you need it.

If after reading this you still have doubts, questions etc. leave a comment letting me know and I will get back to you.

Also don’t that practice makes perfect, so  leave a comment with at least one sentence using one of the uses of “se” you learnt today If you prefer to learn this lesson in video format, come over to youtube and have a watch

Abrazos virtuales

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