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[ARCHIVE] How and when to use the impersonal SE

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EranBarLev
Israel

[ARCHIVE] How and when to use the impersonal SE

Post by EranBarLev »

Original post by HelpfulDuo | Archived post

In Portuguese, you can use an impersonal sentence with se when you want to express a thought about an action without associating it with a specific person, or in a general statement or question that in English would be expressed with you, they, one or a verb in the gerund form.

PortugueseEnglish
No Reino Unido, às vezes se come feijão cozido no café da manhã.In the UK, they sometimes eat baked beans for breakfast.
Não se permite falar na biblioteca.- You are not allowed to talk in the library.
- Talking in the library is not allowed.
Se come boa carne no Brasil.- They eat good meat in Brazil.
- In Brazil, one eats good meat.

Although there is no definitive rule for which English sentences should use the impersonal se in Portuguese, in general we use impersonal statements with se to talk about customs, rules, and generalizations.

Note that there are two ways to use se:

Image

PortugueseMeaning
- Se come bem nesse lugar.

- Come-se bem nesse lugar.
Food is good in this place.
- Se proíbe fumar aqui.

- Proíbe-se fumar aqui.
Smoking is prohibited here.
- Se trabalha muito nesse escritório.

- Trabalha-se muito nesse escritório.
They work a lot in this office.
- Nos Estados Unidos se usa muito a internet.

- Nos Estados Unidos usa-se muito a internet.
In the United States they use the internet a lot.
- Se aprende português rapidamente no Duolingo.

- Aprende-se português rapidamente no Duolingo.
You learn Portuguese quickly on Duolingo.

Want more Portuguese language tips? Check out our full list of posts for Portuguese learners.

🇮🇱N :uk:C1 :es:B2 :fr:B1 🇵🇹B1 :ru:A1 🇸🇦A1

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