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Old December 21, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Sentirse útil

How can I say "sentirse útil" in English? Here is the context:

"La abuela prepara la ensalada de frutas y yo luego la tengo que controlar porque quedan sin sacar semillas. A mí me llevaría poco tiempo el prepararla, pero yo la dejo hacerlo porque le gusta sentirse útil"

That is, feeling helpful and not as being a burden.
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Old December 21, 2010, 01:09 PM
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[QUOTE=aleCcowaN;102288]How can I say "sentirse útil" in English? Here is the context:

"La abuela prepara la ensalada de frutas y yo luego la tengo que controlar porque quedan sin sacar semillas. A mí me llevaría poco tiempo el prepararla, pero yo la dejo hacerlo porque le gusta sentirse útil"

That is, feeling helpfu(lgood translation) and not as being a burden(not a good traslation)QUOTE]
also to feel useful/ she likes to make herself useful
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Old December 21, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Thank you, poli. My problem is that "sentirse útil" implies having a reason to "saberse poco útil" or "saberse inútil" or "estar desempleado" or "estar sin oficio ni beneficio", sort of a practical "bueno para nada" not because any moral defect but because of aging, disability, unemployment or other powerful reasons.

Does "feeling helpful" convey or allow such kind of notions?
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Old December 21, 2010, 10:18 PM
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'To feel useful' is the correct meaning of 'sentirse útil', especially in the sense you used (... but I let her do it because she likes to feel useful). 'To make oneself useful' could be interpreted to mean the same thing, but only if the one who is debilitated says it (as in, "How can I make myself useful?"). If you say it to someone else, it is usually interpreted as derogatory in nature (as in, "Make yourself useful (do something instead of just sitting around doing nothing)).
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Old December 22, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Thank you very much, Rusty.
(And thank you again, poli)

I am so used to pronominal verbs in Spanish adding such nuances that I often fail to fully understand many intransitive verbs in English.

make yourself useful ---> sé útil / sirve para algo / sirve de algo

( highly critic / derogatory / extremely derogatory)
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