Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to know what kind of word is "me" in the phrase "me llevo este" (meaning I'll take this one). Is it a reflexive verb? How can you tell? Thanks a lot.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some grammarians call pronominal verbs (verbos pronominales) those verbs that use a reflexive pronoun but do not have a reflexive meaning.

The reflexive pronoun can appear in five basic cases:

  1. True reflexive verbs or reflexive actions:

    Pedro se llamó a la casa desde el celular. — Pedro rang himself home from his mobile.

  2. Reciprocal actions:

    Juan y María se llaman todas las noches. — Juan and María phone eachother every night.

  3. Middle voice (similar to passive voice but with no implicit agent).

    Al aguacate se le llama palta en el sur. — They call avocado as palta in the South.

  4. Pronominal, which just mean a shifted or different meaning than the non-pronominal verb:

    Él se llama José. — His name is José.

  5. Impersonal, when no subject is explicit or implicit (tacit). This uses exclusively the third person reflexive pronoun.

    A Inglaterra se llama marcando 44. — You ring to England by dialing 44.

In the example you give:

Voy a llevarme este.

is rather a case of pronominal verb. The meaning of «llevar» shifts from just carrying into taking (and carrying) «llevarse».

The example is not exact but it is similar to some phrasal verbs in English:

I will take that.

I will take that in.

where the particle “in” has no meaning on its own.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Yes, it's reflexive. The verb llevarse (algo) means to take (something).

All reflexive verbs end in -se. If you don't recognize a verb as reflexive at first glance, you might ask yourself if it makes sense as a reflexive verb. Llover (to rain), for instance, wouldn't make sense in the reflexive form. However, some verbs change their meaning when being reflexive; though, the change is comprehensible (ir (to go) -> irse (to go away), or llamar (to call) -> lamarse (to be called)). If you unsure if a verb is reflexive, you can check a dictionary.

It might also be a little more obvious when phrasing the sentence this way:

Voy a llevarme este.

This is closer to the infinitive llevarse, just instead of se the first person reflexive form me is added.

Amendment:
Forgot to answer the actual question. Me is a reflexive pronoun (pronombres reflexivos). The full list is

(yo) me (=myself)
(tú) te (=yourself(informal))
(él, ella, usted) se (=himself/herself/yourself(formal))
(nosotros, nosotras) nos (=ourselves)
(vosotros, vosotras) os (=yourselves)
(ellos, ellas, ustedes) se (=themselves, yourselves(formal))

Reflexive pronouns are either dative (indirect object) or accusative (direct object) personal pronoun. Thus, at first glance you may not be able to tell if a personal pronoun is reflexive or not. As reflexive pronouns must match the person in the nominative case (the subject), you must check if the pronoun refers to subject. Example:

(Yo) me llamo...
(Yo) te llamo.

In the first sentence, there's a match between subject and object. Thus, the sentence means My name is or literally more closely ~ I am called. The reflexive verb is llamarse.
In the latter one, there's no match between subject and object. Thus, the sentence means I'll call you. The verb is just llamar.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The verb llevar, when it indicates movement (this is, when it can be translated as take, in addition to carry), requires a place complement. If you say just llevo este, I will wonder where are you taking it; so you say me llevo este to make it clear that you take it with yourself, wherever you go.

You can use the pronoun even when you specify a place: me llevo este a casa. Here, the idea would be: I am going home and am taking this there with me.

In the first person you would almost always use the pronoun, but this is not so with other persons. For instance, you can say lleva esto a casa o llévate esto a casa, with slightly different meanings. In the first case, you are interested in the fact the this is taken home, but it does not really matter who takes it; in the second, you are interested in having specifically that person taking this.

Example:

  • Llévate el paraguas a casa. It is raining and I suggest you to take the umbrella home with you, so you don't get wet.
  • Lleva el paraguas a casa. This umbrella should be home, not here, so I want you to take it there; but I don't really think you will have any use for it right now.
share|improve this answer
    
Not true. "¿Qué llevas en la bolsa?" "Llevo naranjas". No place complement there. –  Envite Nov 26 '13 at 19:06
    
@Envite That's right, not in this case. My answer is valid only when the verb llevar indicates movement. This is: when it can be translated as take, but not when it can only be translated as carry. –  Gorpik Nov 26 '13 at 23:00
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.