Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Spanish ar and ****?

so i'm learning spanish and i don't know what the difference is between ar verbs and ar*e. (won't let me type the s). for example: casarse means to get married right? but would i be able to say casar too? whats the difference?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Best Answer


    I'm a native spanish speaker but not an expert on the spanish language..

    At first I was going to say that adding "se" to a verb means "get to____" because that's the case with "casarse" ,,, for instance "ella quiere casarse" means " she wants to get married"

    however I decided to add "se" to other verbs and I didn't get the same results ..

    for instance "ella quiere registrase al concurso" means "she wants to sign up for the contest"


    "ella quiere probarse los pantalones" "she wants to try the pants"

    So in these examples i made up, when translating them into english you might not see why it was required to add a "se" to such verbs... I really can't explain why... however if the 'se" wasn't added the sentence would be incorrect... it would sound weird to say "ella quiere registrar al concurso"

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Technically speaking, verbs ending on -arѕe, -erse or -irs are so-called reflexive verbs (cf.:

    It's really very simple. The "se" part is equivalent to "oneself" in English. Where you have a verb that always takes a reflexive pronoun in English, the verb in Spanish just "glues" the reflexive pronoun at the end.


    English: to wash oneself (I wash myself, you wash yourself, he washes himself, etc.)

    Spanish: lavarse (me lavo, te lavas, se lava)

    There not really that much more to it for the casual learner of Spanish.  :-)

    ETA: I just saw finc's answer and realized I didn't remember to mention that there are verbs that are reflexive in one language but not another.

    The example casarse is an interesting one. A native Spanish speaker apparently thinks of the process of marrying yourself to another person, hence the reflexive casarse. In English, usually you use the construction "get married" instead of marry, right? You'd say "Lisa and Tom got married last month.", not "Lisa and Tom married last month."

    One could probably analyse these features but it simply occurs that things are phrased differently in different languages.

    Funnily enough, in my native German there are two verbs for getting married, one reflexive (sich vermählen) and the other not reflexive (heiraten).

    So, there isn't always a logic in languages. Many times verbs that are reflexive in English are so, too, in Spanish. "I see myself in the mirror." - "Me veo en el espejo." --> "to see oneself" - "verse"

    But occasionally, there are verbs that are reflexive in one language and not the other, like in the case of casarse. You'll just have to learn it and go with it.

    The good thing is that after a while you won't even consciously think about this anymore!   ;-)



    Fun fact: if you speak French, you'll recognize the "se" but in French it appear in front of (and separated from) the verb. But the idea is identical.

    French: se laver (je me lave, tu te lave, il se lave, etc.)

    Spanish: lavarse (me lavo, te lavas, se lava)

    The parallels are a lot more striking given the closer relationship of the languages.

    Pro tip: You can get around the Yahoo censorship but using some Cyrillic letters that look just like letters from the Latin alphabet.

    Useful ones are the letter dze (ѕ) and the dotted i (і). You can find them on Wikipedia or other places and cut & paste.

    I used the dze to have -arѕe appear nicely.

    Don't tell the Yahoo developers!  ;-)

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