Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Grammar Me alegra que se te ocurriera la idea.

Me alegra que se te ocurriera la idea.

yademas people...
Would one of you please explain the "se" in this sentence? 


Well, that counts me out...

Dan? Jeff? Ricardo?

Speaking of which, did the Real Academia Española ever follow-up on our complaint that there were too many of these things in the Spanish language?


Hola a todos,

I had a hunch this might be reflexive, actually it's pronominal. I searched, which doesn't qualify me as a smart person, but this link should help.




Más información.


I wasn’t in the top half of my class but I did make it possible for those who were.

Ricardo gave a terrific explanation for those in the half where I wasn’t. So for those of you who were with me at the back…

I had to deal with these in learning French where there are likewise a lot of subtleties in using “se” (many of which I still don’t get). I concentrate on those where the meaning changes significantly with its inclusion: eso no se hace, se habla español aquí, … and those where its exclusion is flat out false (me acuerdo de).

I thought “ocurrir” required the “se” but there are examples where it’s not included and the difference is not at all obvious to me either. So for these and things like it (por/para, ser/estar, …), I just try to assimilate examples over time.


Hola todos.  Yes it is pronominal.  Yes it also happens to be reflexive, which if I understand correctly is a type of pronominal.

​definitions from my Larousse dictionary follow:
​ocurrir - to happen (suceder, acontecer)
​ocurrirse - to come mind (venir a la mente un pensamiento, una idea)

​So to answer the original question, the se changes the meaning of the sentence and perhaps in this case even making the sentence awkward or of no real meaning.

Me alegra que se te ocurriera la idea. -- It makes me happy that the idea came to you (you had the idea or thought of the idea).

Me alegra que se te ocurriera la idea. -- It makes me happy that the idea happened to you. (came to pass to you)

​It's always important to remember that at times, the reflexive form changes the meaning of the verb, though not always.  I followed the links that Ricardo gave and the definitions given for  ocurrir  and ​ocurrirse ​ show the same differences that my dictionary gave.  At one time I had a list of common verbs that changed their meaning by using the reflexive.  I ought to search for it to review it again.


Thanks for the great feedback.  I'm sure I'll be back to review it many times before I have a  grasp on it.  
I'm about 70% through the Travelogue, and while I'm definitely learning stuff, I sometimes feel out of my depth. 
Having been out of school for many years, my lessons in diagramming sentences,  and the different components of language, are not things that have stuck with me.  I've had to (and continue to) relearn some of the basic rules of English to understand what I'm trying to learn in Spanish.  



I too was out of school for many years ,close to 50, when I started Rocket. I bought a book titled English Grammar for Students of Spanish by Emily Spinelli and I found it very helpful.



Ricardo, Thank you for the book recommendation.  I'm looking at some PDF files online from it, and will probably order it shortly.  I have 4 or 5 books and workbooks already that I have trouble finding the time for, but this one might be a "must have" for me.  



Another little question, from today's lesson:

"Ciertamente es un continente de extremos, y esa no es mi culpa."

Why do they use "esa" here? 


 No estoy seguro pero puedo reformular la frase de otra manera que explique (tal vez) el usaje de "esa" aquí:
- Esa es la razón que no es mi culpa.
o mejor dicho:
- Esa es la razón por la que no es mi culpa.


"Pero yo no le recomiendo que usted use el sauna o el vapor."

Every now and then, I come across a sentence where I'm not certain if they are using the imperative or the subjunctive.  



Good question. In this case, it's the subjunctive. It can be tricky:
- No use el sauna
- Que no use el sauna

With the tú form it's a bit more straightforward which is which.

btw, I suggest putting new questions like this one in a different thread - that way it will make it easier for others to find and profit from your question.


Thanks, Steven.  I was leaning towards the subjunctive.  
I'm vaguely remembering a lesson now that talked about "que" and how it can trigger the subjunctive?  
Time to go back and review.  =)
I really appreciate your answers.   


Con mucho gusto, amigo. Además tienes muy buenas preguntas.

El subjuntivo se vuelve realmente interesante cuando el contexto permites usarlo o no pero cambia la significación de la frase con su uso. Cuando lleguemos a usarlo correctamente así, sabremos que somos realmente bilingües.


Si te embarcas en dicha empresa, te prometo que iré contigo y te ayudaré.

I wonder why they don't use the subjunctive here for embarcar?


Se puede usar le subjuntivo, pero en ese caso, tienes que cambiar la frase (y la significación) un poco:
- Si te embarcaras en dicha empresa, te prometo que iría contigo y te ayudaría.
- If you were to embark on such an Enterprise...

Me acuerdo de esta construcción gramática (que es bastante común por cierto) de una canción de Shakira ():
Si algún día decidieras alejarte nuevamente de aquí, cerraría cada puerta para que nunca pudieras salir.


No bebas nada de alcohol.  
¡No pagues por ese emparedado!

These are sentences from a "subjunctive" module on Duolingo.  
Same question, really, except I would guess these as negative imperatives, but they are included in the subjunctive module.  


Yademas, I would guess that they are included together because the subjunctive and the negative imperative are the same form while the affirmative imperative requires a different position for the object pronouns and as you also know, the tu form and the vosotros form are conjugated differently than the subjunctive.


Check out this thread I started about the "if clauses."


Bien, ¿no eres tú la fuente del conocimiento?
Well, aren’t you the fountain of knowledge?

Is there a fast rule of when to use de vs. del?   I know that del is a contraction of de and el, but I sure see it used a lot in places that I wouldn't expect an article.


The only rule I know is that you always use the contraction when el follows de. That being said, the rule depends more on using el  at the correct time.

There is however, one exception. (maybe more, but I don't remember).  That would be if the el is part of a proper name.  The one that comes to El Salvador.

El es de El Salvador.  This never can be done with the contraction form.

As far as being the fountain of knowledge, my wife would probably disagree.  lol


"Yo creo que ella le está enviando un mensaje de texto a otra persona."

Is the "le" required in this sentence?


Creo que no, pero es una forma muy común.

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