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I just received a message from a Venezuelan acquaintance on Facebook. It goes:

Hola cariño, donde andas que no te he visto en dias...se te kiere mi loco.

I understand this is an extremely casual piece of text and that the spellings are not accurate. The correct version is (I think):

Hola cariño, ¿dónde andas que no te he visto en días? Se te quiere mi loco.

However, I am struggling hard to understand the grammar behind it. I know te quiero translates into I like you but what does the extra se imply here? And is it common to use andar for estar in colloquial speech? If so, is it limited to Venezuela or common all over the Spanish-speaking world? And, more importantly, is it just colloquial or actually standard usage?

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  • Definitely a Venezuelan expression (not sure if it's limited to Vzla or common all around) - more colloquial / informal...
    – blurfus
    Jul 14 at 17:44
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Yes, those expressions are very casual. For "se te quiere mi loco", if you look for equivalents in English I think the closest translation to this frase would be: "I love you dude".

Se = impersonal/pasivo, te = pronombre de complemento directo, quiere = verbo en singular, mi = pronombre posesivo, loco = adjetivo sustantivado.

In this link you'll find some uses and exceptions of "se" in Spanish : http://www.appstate.edu/~fountainca/1050/unidad2/losusosdese.html

Also the "loco" part is kinda interesting. We tend to use "adjetivos sustantivados" a lot, so if you want to understand it a little better here I added the link (only in Spanish).

And to answer your question about "andar", it's a global scope thing. It's used almost everywhere but mostly in colloquial speech. The only way you'd see "andar" in formal expressions is in the cases related to movement.

Hope I could help a little.

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  • Thanks for the detailed explanation, Kam. I am still unsure of the role se and te play together in the sentence. Even more so, shouldn't it be quiero instead of quiere if she means to say I love you, dude?
    – TheLearner
    Oct 6 '15 at 2:52
  • I know loco is an adjective being used as a noun here but my confusion is about its meaning here. From your answer it seems the word is colloquialism for "dude"...is that correct? If so, again, is it a Venezuela thing or used that way all over the place?
    – TheLearner
    Oct 6 '15 at 2:58
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    Np, well the thing is that "se" is not directly related to the one performing the action but to the one who receives it, in this case : "Se "te"( quiere a "ti"), being you the person receiving the "love". I said is the equivalent to "I love you dude" because it is, but have in mind that you won't always have a 100% accurate structural translation from a language to the other (I know you know that already), I am sure that if you read or hear a few more examples you'll totally get it.
    – Kam
    Oct 6 '15 at 4:21
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    And the "loco" thing, yeahp is the equivalent to "dude" , and thank God is used all over America Latina : ), specially South America and the Caribbean.
    – Kam
    Oct 6 '15 at 4:23
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    @TheLearner a more literal translation would be «you are loved here». The choice of the impersonal construction is not infrequent for «querer», and I haven't figured out why. My guess is that verbalizing affection can be difficult for some people, and «you are loved» is easier because it sounds more toned-down than «I love you».
    – guillem
    Oct 6 '15 at 6:05
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If you say «se te quiere» in Spanish is more about you do not want to be seen too close neither attached to that person. Actually this expression is not meaningful, it is a cold way to say I love you; in this way, I would not say neither I like to hear for me because it is not genuine

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    Welcome Marianita. Sorry but I do not agree. Among my friends in Colombia it is usual.For us it is an "I love you my friend" In no way it is a romantic "I love you" but it's very used among very good friends and is usually very genuine and sincere.
    – DGaleano
    May 27 '20 at 16:54
  • "Se te quiere" also means "You are loved (by everyone / by us / by many people)"
    – Gustavson
    May 27 '20 at 17:26

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