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7.2: ¿Qué haces todos los días?

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    246032
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    A: ¿Qué haces todos los días?

    B: Me levanto, me visto, desayuno y me cepillo los dientes? (I get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush my teeth.)

    Thinking about the grammar: 

    Why is there a ¨me¨ before ¨levanto¨, ¨visto¨ y ¨cepillo¨, but no ¨me before ¨desayuno¨?

    Look at these two sentences:

    1. María se despierta a las cinco de la mañana.

    2. María despierta a sus hijos a las seis de la mañana.

    Why is the ¨se¨ used in the first sentence, but not in the second?

    It is because in the first sentence, María is waking herself up, but in the second, she is waking up someone else.

    Note that the reflexive pronoun is placed before the conjugated verb. However, if there are two verbs together, the pronoun can be placed before the conjugated verb or attached to the infinitive.

    ejemplos:

    Necesitamos levantarnos para (by) las cinco y media para llegar a tiempo. 

    Nos necesitamos levantar para las cinco y media para llegar a tiempo. 

    Note that if we are communicating that an action is necessary, important, healthy, unhealthy, good, bad, etc. in general and we are not specifying for whom specifically, we don´t conjugate the verb.

    ejemplos:

    Es importante estudiar mucho. 

    Es bueno levantarse temprano. 

    Es necesario vestirse en ropa (clothing) apropiada al clima. 

    La gramática: Situaciones Reflexivas

    • A reflexive situation is one in which the subject is the same as either the direct object or the indirect object.

    • In the previous two examples, who is the subject? Who is doing the action? María.

    • In the first example, who is having the action done to them? Also María. This is a reflexive situation.

    • In the second example, who is having the action done to them? María´s children. This is not a reflexive situation.

    me         nos

    te          (os)

    se           se

    • A subject pronoun can be used in addition to the reflexive pronoun, but it is not necessary. When used, it is often for putting emphasis on the subject for the purpose of comparing or contrasting. 

    ejemplos: Yo me levanto a las cinco y media. / Me levanto a las cinco y media.

    Real world language note

    Many people say María despierta without the ¨se¨, likely because in that case it is understood that María is waking herself up in that sentence.  

    Language awareness and testing skills

    An infinitive with a ¨se¨ at the end is referred to as a reflexive verb. Many verbs can be used reflexively or non reflexively.

    ejemplos: mirar - to look at / to watch - Miro la televisión un poco todos los días. (not reflexive)

                   mirarse - to look at oneself - Me miro en el espejo (the mirror) antes de salir al trabajo. (reflexive)

    on a test: If you see a ¨se¨ at the end of a verb, be sure to use the reflexive pronoun. 

    ejemplo: Marta y Juan _________________(despertarse) tarde los sábados. You should fill in the blank with ¨se despiertan¨. Even if in real life with this specific verb it may be acceptable to use it without the reflexive pronoun, even in a reflexive situation, you know by the ¨se¨ at the end of the infinitive that it is a reflexive situation and you are expected to use the reflexive pronoun. In real life, you will most often use the pronoun based on whether or not the situation is reflexive. You will have to make that decision. 

     


    7.2: ¿Qué haces todos los días? is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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