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Upper Intermediate Spanish Lesson 46: Spanish impersonal sentence constructions

This lesson is part of the Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course
(74 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 3 mins)

Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course

In this free Spanish lesson we will see Impersonal Spanish sentence constructions including how to use the Impersonal Spanish SE. English statements such as: “They say he is a great footballer” or “One never knows how he will play” are Impersonal Expressions. With the Impersonal Voice we don’t have anyone specific in mind when we say “They say…” or “One…” or ” You…” and are referring to “people in general”. In this lesson we will see how to use “Dicen que…” (People/They say that…), “Creen que…/Piensan que…” (They believe/think that…), and SE + 3rd person. “Se” has many uses in Spanish. It is used as the third-person reflexive pronoun and as a replacement for the indirect object complement pronoun in certain combinations. It is also used to express an impersonal subject and this is the use that we will be concentrating on here. “Se” is a little word that confuses many students and this is usually because they haven’t fully explored and mastered all of its various uses. It is an extremely common and vital element of the Spanish language and must not be shied away from. Basically, the Impersonal Se sentence construction is a way of talking about things that get done when the person doing it is unknown or unimportant. In English “Se” might be translated as “One”, “You”, or “People”

Lesson notes:

(In general) Dicen que…: People/They say that…

Dicen que este fin de semana va a hacer sol: People/They say this weekend it is going to be sunny

(A specific group of people) Creen que…/Piensan que…: They believe/think that…

He visto la previsión del tiempo y creen que va a hacer sol: I have watched the weather forecast and they think it is going to be sunny

SE + 3rd person (singular or plural)

En España se bebe mucho vino: In Spain people drink a lot of wine
En España se comen muchas naranjas: In Spain people eat many oranges


Make Spanish impersonal sentences from the following…

La gente cree que los italianos comen mucha pasta
Todos saben que cada persona es diferente
He visto las noticias en la televisión y el presentador ha dicho que es posible que mañana haya mucho tráfico en esta carretera

Here are some possible answers to the last activity:

Si no me equivoco Peter es inglés
No sé mucho de este asunto, pero creo que tienes que ir al dentista
Por lo visto mañana lloverá
Puede ser que me equivoque, pero creo que tienes que estudiar más


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