When and how to use verse with a past participle in Spanish
As well as the formal passive construction with ser or estar, there is a more colloquial construction using verse + past participle that also adds an extra nuance. This construction denotes a "resulting state" provoked by a change. It's used with participles that imply a positive or negative effect on the person. For example:
Se vio rodeado de cámaras y le entró el pánico.He was/found himself surrounded by cameras and he panicked.
Nos hemos visto humillados y hemos decidido abandonar la reunión.We've been/felt humiliated and we've decided to withdraw from meeting.
No te preocupes Raquel, te verás beneficiada con el cambio de contrato.Don't worry Raquel, you will benefit by the change in your contract.
Los pobres estudiantes se ven frustrados por la falta de organización del colegio.The poor students are finding themselves frustated because of the school's lack of organisation.
Se está viendo manipulado por su novia y no sabe qué hacer.He is being/finding himself manipulated by his girlfriend and he doesn't know what to do.
Los empleados se vieron compensados por la nueva normativa de la empresa.The employees were/ended up better off with the new company regulations.
The general meaning is usually to find/discover yourself in a certain way, depending on the nature of the participle used each time, the translation may vary - but always with the sense that the result is due to this change.
Sometimes this structure is used with participles that denote some kind of "obligation or influence", and the person feels forced/the need to do something. For example:
Desafortunadamente me veo obligado a despedirte por tu falta de profesionalidad.Unfortunately I am forced/I have to fire you because of your lack of professionalism.
No te veas tentada de llamarlo. No te merece después de lo que ha hecho.Don't feel tempted to call him. He doesn't deserve you after what he's done.
Nos vimos forzadas a llamar a la policía cuando la chica empezó a insultar a todo el mundo.We were/found ourselves forced to call the police when the girl started to insult everyone.
These participles are generally followed by a preposition - the preposition will vary depending on what is said, for example:
verse tentado de/a ...., verse forzado a..., verse manipulado por..., verse beneficiado por/con...
But remember that after these prepositions there must be an infinitive.
There is always gender and number agreement between the participle and the subject of the sentence:
- Ella se vio obligada a ...
- Ellos se vieron rodeados de...
- Las chicas se vieron forzadas a...
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