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I came across the below translation while browsing through a Spanish learning website today:

Te has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante.

You left your umbrella at the restaurant.

I am confused about the use of te in this sentence. Why is it there? Would it be less appropriate to just say the below?

Has dejado el paragua en el restaurante.

I know some verbs can be and are used as reflexives but I am still unable to understand such usage with the verb, dejar in this context because the object is “umbrella”. So even if a reflexive particle were necessary, shouldn’t one be using el (referring to paragua) instead in this context?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In Spain both are correct, at least where I live (Basque Country), but they have tiny differences. What I understand when I hear both sentences:

Te has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante.

If you use "te" means that the umbrella was yours, as in your sentence "You left your umbrella in the restaurant"

Has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante.

Refers to one umbrella, not necessarily yours.

To say that the umbrella was yours without using "te" you can say

Has dejado tu paraguas en el restaurante.

But here is more common the first form.

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"Has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante" is not less correct, and it is the way that it is used in Mexico. There are differences in usage in different countries, but all countries will understand you either way you say it.

Also, it is always "paraguas", that is the name of the object: "un paraguas, dos paraguas".

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Thanks for the quick response and crisp explanation. I am still wondering about the grammatical rationale behind using the “te” in that sentence though. Care to elaborate on that one? –  Amit Schandillia Apr 6 at 8:25
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No problem. I would not know the excuse for using "te" in such a redundant manner. Although I can't be sure, it certainly does not seem correct to me. Since both ways will be understood equally across the globe, I'd use the one that makes sense to you, which is also the one with the fewer words. The only reason I can think of for using it like that would be that you are so upset about it that you want to call extra attention to the magnitude of the other person's mistake. There may be countries where it would perhaps not sound odd, maybe a regional colloquialism? –  Java Riser Apr 6 at 8:40

The reflexive form of dejar indicates that the act was unintentional.

Te has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante: you forgot it there.

Has dejado el paraguas en el restaurante: you left it there on purpose.

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1  
A mi entender la última opción no indica que lo haya hecho a propósito, de hecho yo nunca usaría la primera opción, aunque la entendería perfectamente, solo es la forma en la que se habla en distintos países. Dejaste el paraguas en el restaurante es como lo diría normalmente. Soy de Cuba –  Emilio Gort Apr 8 at 22:49

As others have said, both phrases are grammatically equivalent, with subtle differences in meaning.

In Argentina, for example, adding "Te" usually implies blaming the person for what happened (you left it there because you were too distracted, for example).

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