Ask a Question

(Create a thread)
Go Back   Spanish language learning forums > Spanish & English Languages > Grammar

Is comprar reflexiv?


This is the place for questions about conjugations, verb tenses, adverbs, adjectives, word order, syntax and other grammar questions for English or Spanish.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 05, 2018, 05:17 AM
elfstone elfstone is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1
elfstone is on a distinguished road
Is comprar reflexiv?

In my online spanish course I just stumbled about "¿Dónde se puede comprar pescado fresco?" as translation for the german "Wo kann man fisch kaufen?" which is literally translatable to "Where can one buy fish?" and is used as "where can you buy fish?"

When I use google translate to translate that sentence to spanish, i get "¿Dónde puedes comprar pescado?"

Can someone explain the difference between the two spanish sentences? I googled, and it seems comprar is not reflexive, or am I mistaken.

Thanks for helping :-)
Reply With Quote
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
Old February 05, 2018, 07:50 AM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,663
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
It's not reflexive. Se, in this case, is an example of the passive tense. A direct translation of this sentence in English would be, where can fresh fish be bought?

If you want to say, where can I buy fresh fish, in Spanish without using the passive, you can ask. ¿Dónde puedo comprar pescado fresco?
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
Old February 05, 2018, 08:14 AM
Rusty's Avatar
Rusty Rusty is offline
Señor Speedy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,020
Native Language: American English
Rusty has a spectacular aura aboutRusty has a spectacular aura about
Actually, you're dealing with the "impersonal 'se' " in this case. This is used when no one in particular is being addressed. It's the equivalent of "Where can one buy fresh fish?"
In colloquial English, we can substitute 'you' for the impersonal 'one' and get "Where can you buy fresh fish?"

The second translation, where 'you' is listed as the subject pronoun, is an example of the colloquial substitute for the impersonal pronoun 'one'. And the 'you' is the second-person familiar form (as conveyed by the verb's -es ending).

You/One can also use the second-person formal form of the verb (with the -e ending).

These sentences all mean the same thing:

Where can one buy fresh fish?
¿Dónde se puede comprar pescado fresco?

Where can you buy fresh fish?
¿Dónde puede comprar pescado fresco?
¿Dónde puedes comprar pescado fresco?
Reply With Quote

impersonal se, passive voice


Link to this thread
HTML Link: 
BB Code: 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Site Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Comprar + preposición laepelba Grammar 6 January 17, 2011 03:01 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:25 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.