Usage of ‘Se’ verbs

The particle se has many functions, mainly referrig to the notion of oneself. It is used to change meaning of an transitive verbs (verbs that require direct object) to intransitive verbs (verbs that don’t require direct object). When we add se to a third person singular form of an intransitive verb referring to state, it means that the person carrying the action is almost overcome by that action. In other cases addition of se indicates that a person feels an inclination or desire to perform an action.

Express notion of oneself:

note: In expressing notion of oneself se is always in a second place in a sentence. The short forms of biti (enclitics), they must be placed immediately after the first stressed word in the sentence.  If we have a personal pronoun in a sentence se goes right after it otherwise goes after conjugated verb. However, if the pronoun is not used, the enclitic is placed after the participle: Došli smo, Vidjela si. See more examples below.

  • Zovem se Emma, or Ja se zovem Emma. / My name is Emma.
  • Školujem se, or Ja se školujem. / I am getting educated.
  • Osjećam se dobro, or Ja se osjećam dobro. / I feel good.

Express notion of ‘feel like’ :

note: When used to express a notion of ‘feel like’ se will be used after the personal pronoun . Keep in mind that to express notion of ‘feel like’ we need to use the conjugated verb in a 3rd person singular form.

  • Ide mi se u restoran na večeru. / I feel like going going to the restaurant for dinner.
  • Da li ti se ide u šetnju? / Do you feel like going for a walk?
  • Ne ide nam se na ovaj koncert. / We don’t feel like going to this concert.

Express passive voice:

note: When used to express general idea or something that is done certain way, we can use participle se by adding it after conjugated verb in a 3rd person singular form.

  • Kaže se ‘ Dobar dan.’ / It is said ‘ Good Afternoon.’
  • Piše se bijelom kredom. / It is written with the white chalk.
  • Ide se na odmor u augustu. / One goes on vacation in August.

Express reciprocity:

note: To express reciprocity between two people or a group of people we can use particle se by adding it after the subject or after the conjugated verb. In a question se comes after li.

  • Tarik i Selma se vole. / Tarik and Selma love eachother.
  • Mi se slažemo. / We agree.
  • Vidimo se sutra! / See you tomorrow.

Se in a sentence:

  • In a second place unless there is particle li, then it comes in a third place.
  • If we have subject (personal pronoun) se comes after it / 2nd place.
  • If we have da in a sentence se comes after da.
  • In a negation se is placed after conjugated verb and pronoun. ie. Ne ide mi se na večeru.
  • In future tense se is placed after conjugated form of ‘htjeti’ and before infinitive verb. ie. Da li ćete se vratiti na vrijeme? / Will you return on time?

Examples:

  • Da li se sjećate gospođe Smith? / Do you remember Mrs. Smith?
  • Ona se ne sjeća tog sastanka. /She does not remember that meeting.
  • Kaže da se ne može sjetiti te knjige. / He, she says that they can’t remember that book.

Se verbs that go together to express oneself:

  • Sjećati se / To remember
  • Kupati se / To bathe
  • Svađati se / To argue
  • Voljeti se / To love eachother
  • Pitati se / To wonder, ask yourself
  • Bojati se / To be afraid of..
  • Sviđati se / To like

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