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Acciones Involuntarias

October 15, 2014
Verbs - Involuntary Actions
Italki Language Challenge

Italki Language Challenge

Acciones Involuntarias

Lesson 5: Today’s lesson with Andrés on Italki as part of the Italki Language Challenge was very interesting and again I have learned a whole bunch of verbs and verbal constructions that I can use in everyday conversation. These verbs are generally used to say that you did something by accident. Here’s what I learnt.

Problemas en la casa – se + accidentes (Problems in the house)

Vamos a ver qué diferencia hay entre: (what is the difference between)

He roto el ordenador y se me ha roto el ordenador ?

‘He roto el ordenador’ means that I broke the computer (maybe on purpose), whereas ‘se me ha roto el ordenador’ means that the computer broke by accident.

We use verbs such as: caerse (to fall); romperse (to break); quemarse (to burn); mancharse (to stain); estropearse (to break or stop working)’ derramarse (to spill); partirse (to break); olvidarse (to forget or leave).

And these verbs are generally used in the pretérito perfecto (present perfect) or pretérito indefinido (preterite).

Ejemplos de acciones involuntarias:
  1. Caerse

Se me ha caído el teléfono al suelo (I dropped the telephone on the floor (by accident); A Laura se le ha caído el jarrón (Laura broke the jug (by accident).

  1. Romperse

Se me ha roto el ordenador (the computer broke (by accident); se me rompieron las gafas (I broke my glasses (by accident).

  1. Quemarse

    (es muy frecuente usarlo cuando cocinamos algo; it’s very frequently used when we are cooking something)

Se me ha quemado la comida (I burnt the food (by accident); A Carlos de le ha quemado el pollo en la sartén (Carlos burnt the chicken in the frying pan (by accident).

  1. Mancharse

Se me ha manchado la camiseta con la copa de vino (I’ve stained my T-shirt with a glass of red wine (by accident); Se me manchó la alfombra con el café (I stained the rug with coffee (by accident).

  1. Estropearse

Se me ha estropeado el ordenador, creo que tengo un virus (I computer has stopped working/has broken down, I think that I have a virus); Ayer se me estropeó el ordenador (Yesterday the computer stopped working).

  1. Derramarse

Se me ha derramado la leche sobre mi camiseta/la mesa/ordenador (I have spilt milk over my shirt/the table/the computer (by accident); A Tania se le derramó el vino por toda la mesa (Tania spilt wine over the table (by accident).

  1. Partirse

Se me ha partido una uña (I have broken a nail (by accident); se me partió el lápiz (I broke the pencil (by accident).

  1. Olvidarse

Se me ha olvidado el abrigo, tengo que volver a casa (I have forgotten my coat (by accident), I must go back to the house); se me olvidó el paraguas en la oficina (I forgot/left my umbrella (by accident) in the office).

Podemos enfatiizar la involuntariedad de la acción usando: sin darme cuenta (without realising); sin querer (without wanting/meaning to); por accidente (by accident).

Por el contrario, podemos enfatizar la voluntariedad de una acción usando: a propósito (on purpose); aposta (on purpose/ deliverately); queriendo (wanting to).

As you can see, I learnt a lot of very useful verbs and verbal constructions that are going to prove very useful in everyday Spanish. I can now talk about things that I have broken, damaged, or forgotten by accident and so hopefully I will not be given the blame for things that either I wasn’t involved in, or which happened by accident.

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