se me tragó la pastilla

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Anita hk, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese
    what I want to say is I swallowed the pill involuntarily, but I don't know if 'se me tragó la pastilla' makes any sense.
    Thank you.
  2. micafe

    micafe Senior Member

    United States
    Spanish - Colombia
    No, you say "me tragué la pastilla involuntariamente".

    In more colloquial language we say "se me fue la pastilla"..
  3. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese

    Thanks a lot Micafe. I know my suggestion sounds weird.

    So, in order to use 'se' in the sense of involuntary action, the verb has to be an intransitive verb?
  4. micafe

    micafe Senior Member

    United States
    Spanish - Colombia
    I really can't answer that question.. I'm not a grammarian, but that could be the case.. :)
  5. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    If you were the one that swallowed the pill: me tragué la pastilla
    Second person singular: te tragaste la pastilla
    Third person singular: se tragó la pastilla
    If, for instance, you are talking to/about your son, you can add "me" (dativo de interés):
    Te me tragaste la pastilla.
    Se me tragó la pastilla.
    Their meanings are the same, but with "me" you can add a touch of feeling to the first statements.
  6. juan082937 Banned

    The 'me' is a dative of interest: El niño se me tragó la pastilla ( tragar transitive).
  7. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese
    thank you for your input, Adolfo Afogutu and juan.
    What I would like to do is how to construct a sentence with 'se' to indicate the element of involuntad. Micafe has provided an example and I wonder if only intransitive verbs could be used in such cases.
  8. aloofsocialite

    aloofsocialite Senior Member

    San Francisco / Oakland, CA
    English - USA (California)
    Se me ha perdido La Boba, mi gatita.
    Se me ha olvidó el paraguas en casa.

    "Perder" and "olvidar" in these examples are transitive.

    Intransitive verbs can be used without an object or direct compliment.

    La Boba regresó.

    Regresar es intransitivo.

    "Se tragó la pastilla."
    "¡Se me tragó la pastilla!" could mean that someone swallowed your pill, and also could imply that they did so without your consent, or that you aren't happy about it.

    Tragar es transitivo, tragarse es un uso pronominal. It doesn't necessarily imply unwillingness. Usually (and I think pretty much always) such constructions are made with transitive verbs, not intransitive verbs.
    "Se me comió toda la pizza" "She ate all my pizza!" This is transitive.
    "Se me rompió la dentadura postiza" :eek: Also transitive.

    I can't imagine such a construction with an intransitive use. The second you make such an statement, the verb, assuming it had an intransitive use (such as "comer"), ceases to be intransitive. :)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  9. juan082937 Banned

    Se me rompió el vaso
    Se abrió la puerta
    se me cayeron las llaves
    Se te olvidaron los libros
  10. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese
    Thank you aloofsocialite for your examples.

    My book says 'se' can be used for 'procesos que le ocurren a alguien sin su voluntad' and gives the following example:

    Al niño se le ha cerrado la puerta y nos hemos quedado fuera sin llave.

    So I thought by using ´se´ I could imply something happened ´sin mi voluntad´.
  11. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese

    Thank you for your examples Juan.
    I´m comparing your examples with my 'se me tragó la pastilla' and wonder what the difference is.

    Could it be that in your examples, I broke somebody else´s glass and not mine, I dropped somebody else´s keys?
  12. micafe

    micafe Senior Member

    United States
    Spanish - Colombia
    Those two sentences are very different. If you were talking about your dog swallowing your pill you could say "mi perro se (me) tragó la pastilla".
  13. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese
    Thanks Micafe. I understand your example perfectly.

    So in ´se me rompió el vaso´, who broke who´s glass?
  14. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Senior Member

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    "Se me tragó la pastilla" does make sense meaning something else: "He/she/it swallowed my pill".

    Se = pseudo-reflexive particle matching the unmentioned subject. It brings a sense of a completed/enjoyed/opportunist action.
    Me = I.O. pronoun in its possesive function, indicating that was my pill.
    Tragó = third-person singular simple past tense indicative of "tragar".
    la pastilla = D.O.

  15. Anita hk Senior Member

    Hong Kong Chinese
    Thanks Milton Sand.
    So ´se me rompió el vaso´ = somebody broke my glass, right?

    The book also has another example:
    Perdona, se me ha caído al suelo y se me ha roto.

    Because of the ´perdona´, I have always thought that the sentence means ´I dropped it on the floor and I have broken it´. Maybe my understanding is incorrect?
  16. aloofsocialite

    aloofsocialite Senior Member

    San Francisco / Oakland, CA
    English - USA (California)
    In "se me rompió el vaso" the construction is passive. Nobody in particular broke the glass. "The glass broke on me."
    "Se me ha caído al suelo y se me ha roto" is the same case. It doesn't imply a specific person dropping the object. It is a way to de emphasize the force /person acting upon an object.
  17. aloofsocialite

    aloofsocialite Senior Member

    San Francisco / Oakland, CA
    English - USA (California)
  18. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    We have an equivalent expression in English, though it's quite colloquial and not standard English: "The glass broke on me." (Hispanoahablantes: the "on me' does not refer to the glass physically breaking on the person; it's idiomatic.) Often it appears with "just" as in "It just broke on me" which we natives understand as a statement in which the speaker is announcing a fact (it broke) but not taking any responsibility for the breakage. What's implied is "Hey, I didn't do it."

    The "se" can have a number of different effects, making the verb reflexive, pronominal (quejarse), indicating reciprocity, passive, or unexpected or involuntary action. But the latter only applies to certain verbs, I believe. It's not a tool for implying that in all cases. For example, salir with se becomes salirse, which implies that something is escaping or getting out when it should not. And the verbs for to break and to forget typically take se. But it isn't any kind of general rule.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  19. Pitt Senior Member

    Se me rompió el vaso = I broke the glass (accidentally)
    el vaso = sujeto
    me = complemento indirecto
    se = componente del verbo pronominal intransitivo romperse

  20. juan082937 Banned

    A thing always has or a cause or an agent to get broken
    SE= Is an accidenl marker because It has IMPERSONAL connotation relating with agent or cause.
    Vaso receives the action ( this is more a middle voice) between passive (subject is the direct object)
    ME= Dative is Indirect but here is a expletive dative ( me refers to I the one that caused the accident ( unintentional action).
    Yo rompí el vaso (active)
    Passive ( se rompió el vaso) active form without 'BE' and por agent or cause.
  21. Pitt Senior Member

    Otra vez el ejemplo: Se me rompió el vaso.

    Todo es una cuestión de la terminología. Creo que se es un componente del verbo romperse (con el significado SE accidental).
    Me es un complemento indirecto (necesario), no es un dativo (en general eliminable).

    ¿Qué opináis?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  22. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Maybe someone will comment on why it's not possible to say "Se me tragó la pastilla" with your intended meaning, but we can say "Se me atragantó la pastilla" = the pill got stuck in my throat/I nearly choked on the pill. (Involuntary actions).
  23. micafe

    micafe Senior Member

    United States
    Spanish - Colombia
    "Se me tragó la pastilla" is like saying "se me lavó el pelo"
  24. juan082937 Banned

    Recall Pit that dative is an indirect object, but in that sentence is an expletive dative 'me' implying that the one who the glass broke is ME. Se is impersonal ( subject intentionally not mentioned)
    regardless saying me ( no name is mentioned).

    Se rompió el vaso ( That I would say if I) were 7 years old, because my mum can spank me.
    If I were in a dinner and everyone knows each other, I can say Se me rompió el vaso= I unintentionally did that, I=ME, you can drop also ME, and just uitter se rompió el vaso

    Why 'SE' is chosen as a marker for accidental actions? because 'SE' could be singular or plural, he, she, it, they. It has this mark of IMPERSONAL conniotation. And is a marker of pronominal verbs, marker of passive and Synctatic IMPERSONAL(only third person singular) = marker se respeta a los ancianos.

    Se me tragó la pastilla el niño, here is clear that 'SE' indicates an accidental action of the child, 'me' is an expletive dative, that emphasizes that it was my pill swallowed by the child, and 'se' the action was done accidentally the child put it in his mouth and swallowed it. All this happened within the child the only external thing was the tablet.

    Se tragó la pastilla
    Se me tragó la pastilla

    This ME is not indicating that you swallowed it , but the child.

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