* What is the 'no-fault
se'?Sometimes things happen to people and they don't want to
admit that they had anything to do with it. In English, we might say 'I
knocked over the glass of wine.' However, in Spanish, there is a way of
expressing this event (the glass getting knocked over) without admitting any
fault: 'Se me cayó la copa.'.
This is the 'no-fault se'.
* How do you form the 'no-fault
Follow this pattern to form the 'no-fault
se': (Notice that the part between brackets and in italics is
optional: you generally use it to clear up ambiguities, but it is not really
['A' + PERSONAL PRONOUN
(mí/ti/él/ella/nosotros/vosotros/ellos)] + SE
+ INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN (me/te/le/nos/os/les) + VERB +
'Se me cayó la
copa'. (= The glass fell over on me. OR: I knocked the glass over.)
'A ti se te acabó la
leche'. (= The milk ran out on you. OR: I finished the milk.)
Juan se le perdieron las
llaves'. (= Juan's keys got lost on him. OR: Juan lost his keys.)
As you can see, the INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN (in the last sentence, 'le')
agrees with the PERSON the event happened to ('Juan'), and the VERB
('perdieron') agrees with the OBJECT ('las llaves'). Note the concordance in the
following sentences (to clear things up, indirect object pronouns and the
person are blue, and the verb and the object are red):
'A mí se me perdió la llave'
'A mí se me perdieron las
'A nosotros se
'A ti se
'A ellos se
les cayó la copa'