I found myself in quite a bit of confusion, and this may/may not be due to the fact that the same grammatical "term" has different names but are/may be the same thing.
I have spent hours trying to decipher these various terms and wonder if you could please tell me
1) if any are the same thing and
2) what possible synonyms/terms could we come across in both Spanish and English for each of them?
3) a short explanation for each (and/or referral to a lesson)
Terms in question:
The Passive Se
Impersonal Se (pronoun “one”/impersonal "you")
Se impersonal refleja
Thank you for your help.
There is always confusion about these terms because there are different names to refer to them, but we are always talking about two types of sentences. There are two different lessons in Kwiziq to explain both of them separately.
1. Pasiva refleja ( also the Passive Se)
These are a type of passive construction that we tend to use to avoid the Pasiva perifrástica, which sounds too formal ( = ser + past participle, los libros fueron vendidos). You can find the verb in the 3rd person singular or 3rd person plural:
Se vende un libro.
One book is sold.
Se venden muchos libros.
Lots of books are sold.
Here is our lesson for Pasiva refleja
2. Impersonal Se (or Se Impersonal refleja)
These have the same structure as before, but the verb can only be conjugated in 3rd person singular (not plural) and there won't be any direct object. You can't turn these into a passive. For example:
Se vive bien aquí.
One lives well here/ People live well here (~ live is good here)
You cannot try and make it a passive because you would need a direct object to make it a subject and there is none here. Impersonal sentences of this type are formed with intransitive verbs (no direct object)
Here is our lesson for the Impersonal Se.
Just so you know, this topic is quite complex, and even the grammarians struggle to agree. We have made the lessons in a simple way to show these two types of sentences that are used a lot, but you may find more complex sentences where it's really difficult to see if they are using the passive se or it is an impersonal se sentence, especially if the verb is in 3rd person singular.
I am also giving you these links for some detail explanation (they are in Spanish though, so it may be a bit tricky to understand, but you can have a go)
Video 1 Passiva refleja
Video 2 Impesonal Se
Video 3 Differences
I hope it helps.
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