‘Se’ with unintentional events
• How Do I Use the Word ‘Se’ With an
Unintentional Event?
• If an action is accidental, unintentional, or
unprepared, use ‘se’ before the
appropriate indirect object pronoun (to
describe who was affected by the action).
The ‘se’ will always precede the pronoun.
• Again, this format identifies an unintentional event. So, what types
of actions are usually intentional? What about these?
acabar – to run out of, to finish
• caer – to fall
• descomponer – to break down
• faltar – to be missing / lacking
• olvidar – to forget
• parar – to stop
• perder – to lose (something)
• quedar – to remain, to be left (behind)
• quemar – to burn
• romper – to break
La formación
• Se
+ Verb
• In using this formation, the se (which identifies that the event was
unintentional) must be used with an indirect object pronoun to
identify what occurred. Keep these points in mind:
• The verb agrees with WHAT is lost, dropped, etc.
POR EJEMPLO: Se me perdieron las entradas = I lost the tickets.
• The person who accidentally does the action is represented by an
indirect object pronoun, which may be clarified or emphasized by a
phrase with a: a mí, a él…
POR EJEMPLO: Se le perdió la maleta en el aeropuerto. (a Juan)
POR EJEMPLO: (A mí, siempre se me olvida traer los libros a clase.
POR EJEMPLO: Se les rompieron las gafas (a los muchachos).
The pilots left their suitcases at customs.
We ran out of money in Puerto Vallarta.
I checked out, but I left things in the room.
You guys (ESP) broke the door at the shop.
I (intentionally) lost the credit cards because
she spent my money.
My bottle of Pepto Bismol opened in the purse.
The cod fell onto the floor. But, he picked it up.
The car stopped on the highway; I forgot to