Recently, I came across a song that went, "Me cansé de que me tomes la cerveza..."

What exactly does it mean? Is it "I am tired of you drinking my beer"? Are both me's here what they call dativos superfluos? What purpose does the first me serve and how would the sentence mean any different without it?

  • 1
    I think, that "me" doesn't fits in there and "la" neither.
    – Jaume
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 5:27
  • Which "me," the first one or the second one?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 5:33
  • @TheLearner Jaime is wrong about "me" (the second one) and "la" not fitting in there. Although "Me cansé de que tomes cerveza" is possible (meaning: I'm fed up with your drinking beer), the sentence you ask means: I'm fed up with your drinking my beer (a specific one, more precisely, the one that belongs to me).
    – Gustavson
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 23:32

3 Answers 3


In this case, tomar is not synonymous with beber, rather with robar or quitar. That makes it a bit easier to understand in the context of the song (“La Guitarra” by Los auténticos decadantes):

Mejor que te afeites
Mejor que madures, mejor que labores
Ya me(reflexivo) cansé de que me(indirecto) tomes la cerveza (porque no quieres comprártela tú)
Te voy a dar con la guitarra en la cabeza

Mejor que te afeites
Mejor que madures, mejor que labores
Ya me cansé de ser tu fuente de dinero
Voy a ponerte esa guitarra de sombrero

  • I still don't understand the roles played by both "me's" here. For instance, why should cansar be reflexive in this sentence? As for the second part, I understand he is taking my beer. In that case, isn't mi cerveza more intuitive than using an indirect object?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 7:57
  • 2
    Cansar requires an object. In English, the verb tire doesn't require an object. "I tire you", "I tire him", but then "I tire" is directly equivalent to "I tire myself". In Spanish, because the object must be used, only the "I tire myself" structure is possible. Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 8:06
  • 2
    @AmitSchandillia as to the beer, no. This is directly related to the question you just did on body parts. In Spanish, the indirect object is used in lieu of the possessive in structures like this. If you took the beer from me, we presume it's mine. If it's not, but you still took it from me (I was holding onto it for a friend), then you would use "... me tomes su cerveza" where su indicates it belongs to my friend. Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 8:09
  • 1
    @guifa in this case tomar definitely means to drink. The song is from Argentina and here tomar is almost never used with another meaning. The son lives in his father's house and drinks his father's beer.
    – rsanchez
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 14:25

Cada me tiene un valor diferente: el primero es parte de cansar e indica cambio de estado (de estar fresco o descansado a estar precisamente cansado). Utilizar los pronombres reflexivos para expresar cambios de estado es una estrategia muy común en español, basta pensar en verbos como enfermarse, enojarse, quemarse... El segundo me se puede interpretar con un dativo de afectación: la acción de vos tomar cerveza me afecta a mí directamente (en tanto me quedo sin cerveza). Es una construcción bastante coloquial; en un registro más formal probablemente se prefiera decir algo como Ya me cansé de que te tomés mi cerveza.


Ya me cansé de que me tomes la cerveza has two instances of me. The first is trivial: it's part of the pronominal verb cansarse, which means "to tire, to become tired", so let's leave that alone.

The second me can be analyzed as a dative of harm construction (dativus incommodi). This is a form that has a parallel in the dative of benefit you can find in phrases like

Me tomé toda la cerveza.
Nos comimos una pizza.

I once answered to a question about reír(se) and other pronominal verbs that deals with this mediopassive voice form, and that you might find useful.

Let's go back to the lyrics of the song, but suppose (for brevity) that the sentence is just

Me tomaste la cerveza.

That meaning could be translated literally as "You drank *me the beer", or, rephrased correctly, "You took the beer from me and drank it", or simply "You drank my beer", only the former translation is too long and the latter misses the connotation of harm or loss; that's what the pronoun me is about. It's as if you could say "You drank the beer from me" in English.

The same meaning can be expressed (from the other side, as it were) as

Te tomaste mi cerveza.

In this case the translation is "You drank my beer", but the inclusion of te turns the phrase into a dative of benefaction: not only did you drink my beer, but you drank it for your benefit. The two sentences therefore form an opposing pair.

The benefactive construction is standard in Spanish. The dative of harm is common in Argentina and mostly informal.

There's a phrase that worried mothers often say to the pediatrician when their children refuse to eat properly: El nene no me come. If you run this past a translator it will come out "The child does not eat me." The meaning, of course, is "The child does not eat and that affects me."

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