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  1. #1
    dae
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    Default se hace

    I need some explanation of the meaning and correct use
    of "se hace".

    For example,
    Cómo se hace para preguntar a alguien cómo está
    which I roughly trans as:
    How to ask someone how he/she is.

    But I leave out 'se hace'. Is it a passive form? What does
    se refer to? What are the subject/object in the example
    phrase?

    - dae

  2. #2
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    ah, the tricky world of these passive/impersonal expressions. Your example: "Cómo se hace para..." is a generalizing statement. Basically one translation (though very literal and stilted) could be "What does one ..." or "How do you...", where "you" applies to all people. The idea is that the verb "hacer" is now impersonal, meaning that there is no direct subject performing the action (similar to "on" in French and "Man" in German); instead it is applied to everybody or everything in the given context. So, long story short, a translation for your example would be "How do you ask how someone is?"

    Am I making sense?

  3. #3
    Moderator SandraT's Avatar
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    Hi dae, welcome to the forum!

    In Spanish we usually save the cómo se hace part, at least in your example.
    Cómo se hace para preguntar a alguien cómo está
    ¿Cómo se le pregunta a alguien cómo está? or ¿Cómo preguntar a alguien cómo está?

    Perhaps you could even hear...
    ¿Cómo se hace para llegar a T street?
    BUT you could say
    ¿Cómo llegar a la calle T?
    ¿Cómo se llega a la calle T?
    You don't need to use the cómo se hace...

    But I leave out 'se hace'. Is it a passive form? What does
    se refer to? What are the subject/object in the example
    phrase?
    You can find information about the use of se in this link
    http://www.elcastellano.org/pronombr.html in Spanish

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~eyepes/newgr/ats/41.htm in English

    Hope it helps!!
    Realmente, el destino del mundo depende, en primer lugar, de los estadistas y, en segundo lugar, de los intérpretes.
    Trygve Halvdan Lie

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