Reflexive verbs (I): Comer or comerse (B1)

comerIf you are studying Spanish, you’ll have wondered  why we use comer and comerse, if they express the same action: To eat. Today we’ll try to help our students on

As you already know, in Spanish there are some reflexive verbs. This means that we have to use some pronouns next to the verb (me, te, se, nos, os, se). One group of these verbs are “the ingestion verbs”: comer, beber, tomar, fumar…(to eat, to drink, to have, to smoke…).

The problem is we can use them as reflexive verbs or not: comer or comerse, beber or beberse…You might have heard that you can use them in both ways and the sentence means the same. It’s not true. Let’s see the proper uses:

1. Non reflexive verbs:

a) If we don’t specify the food or drink we have:

No comas mucho (Don’t eat much).

Bebe más despacio (Drink slower).

b) If we talk about kind of food, types of drinks…

No puedo tomar bebidas alcohólicas (I cannot have alcoholic drinks).

No me gusta esto, yo no como pescado. (I don’t like this, I don’t eat fish).

c) If we talk about undetermined amounts:

Ayer comí muchos dulces. (Yesterday I ate many sweets).

¿Quieres tomar un poco de vino? (Do you want to have some wine?).

2. Reflexive verbs:

a) If we specify the food or drink we have or we use determined amounts:

¿No te has comido las verduras todavía? (Haven’t you eaten the vegetables yet?)

Me he bebido tu zumo. (I’ve drunk your juice).

Estoy muy nervioso. Me voy a fumar tres cigarros. (I’m very nervous. I’m going to smoke three cigarettes).

Remember, if you don’t follow these rules, we’ll understand you, but sometimes the main point is not what you say but how you say it. On we’ll show you the best way to learn Spanish from your own house. Only Skype needed.

By | 2017-02-15T22:32:16+00:00 Julio 31st, 2013|B1, Pocket Grammar|Sin comentarios

About the Author:

I was born in Badajoz (Extremadura) and I currently live in Bilbao (Basque Country). I studied a Bachelor degree in Spanish Language and Literature and an International House degree as a qualified teacher of Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. I think languages are the key that opens the doors to new cultures and I love teaching mine.

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