I'm learning Spanish, so I listen to a lot of Spanish music. One of the songs that I have is called

Se te olvidó quererme

I can't seem to figure out what it means. Google translate translates it as "you forgot to love me," but I just don't understand this construction. Is it impersonal? If so why would this be impersonal if it's simply saying you forgot to love me? Is it more along the lines of "Loving me was forgotten by you?" I've been wondering about this for a long time, thanks for any help.


3 Answers 3


It means "You forgot to love me"

Grammatically, it isn't impersonal, rather reflexive (the subject is querer).

olvidar is the transitive (takes a direct object) word for to forget, and olvidarse (de) is the equivalent intransitive. By the mere conjugation we don't know which, but by context we can tell that it is olvidar in middle voice (often called the "pasiva refleja").

The te is an indirect object, but specifically is called the "dativo (simpat)ético" and tells us who is being affected by or involved in an action.

Because English's middle voice is much more limited (the bread slices well is an example, where active is I slice the bread and passive is the bread is sliced (by me)), it's hard to give a literal translation that makes sense, but it would be "Loving me forgot (and you're strongly involved/affected)". A semi literal one might be "Loving me got/went forgotten no thanks to you".


More literally, the translation would be

To love you was forgotten to me.

It's a common culture in the Spanish language to lay blame on what was forgotten, instead of what you would think it would be


Doing some research I found this thread which seemed useful: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/olvidar-olvidarse.102050/

It does seem like the phrase in question is in a specific "voice", more passive than saying "Olvidaste quererme", which also translates to "You forgot to love me." From info in the link I gave, it would seem that there's an air of forgiveness being communicated, versus condemnation at being forgotten.

Not a native Spanish speaker but I'm currently taking classes in Chile. I'll ask my teacher this week and update this answer if I don't forget!

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