From this thread When is "se" used before a verb? there is written about "Se" accidental:

"Se usa para expresar la realización de una acción de manera accidental o donde el sujeto no quiere asumir la responsabilidad."

Example: "I broke your computer. = Se me rompió tu ordenador."

Question: Could this construction be used with "te" instead of "me"? And also from 3rd person (singular, plural)? Like below (for 2nd person singular):

"You broke my computer. = Se te rompió mi ordenador"

The thing is that I saw this for only for 1st person singular.

  • Hi Alex, these are interesting topics. I see one clear question asked. It seems that you are asking quite a few. Could you clarify what you are asking?
    – Karlomanio
    Nov 22, 2019 at 20:33
  • @Karlomanio, I have edited the question.
    – Alex
    Nov 22, 2019 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


This is not an "accidental" se. The verb here is romperse, which is pronominal, i.e. it takes a pseudo-reflexive pronoun that refers back to the subject. It's like the verb "to break" in "The window broke" (as opposed to "I broke the window"). So

Se rompió tu ordenador.

means "Your computer broke down." It might be accidental, and it certainly takes away all (hypotethical) responsibility from the speaker, but it's not a particular trick with the verb.

Now if you add a dative pronoun referring back to the speaker, then it means the speaker accepts the computer broke down under his or her watch, so to speak:

Se me rompió tu ordenador.
"Your computer broke down on me."

You don't need the extra dative pronoun to show it was an accident; that job is already being done by the verb itself. If you say “Se rompió” you already mean "It broke", as if by itself.

This dative pronoun need not be the first person singular. It can be any other pronoun: me, te, le, nos, os, les. It can also be a full noun phrase (but the pronoun must be repeated in that case):

A mí se me rompió tu ordenador.
A nuestros padres se les rompió tu ordenador.


Also, of course, the subject of the sentence can be a noun with a possessive (mi ordenador, tu ordenador) referring to any person, or a noun phrase without a possessive (el ordenador).

  • I realized that sentence "Se te olvidó quererme" also can be explained by your answer here (use of pronominal verb with dative pronoun). It is indeed "you forgot to love me". And same for "Efectivamente lo vi [el mensaje] pero se me pasó escribirte". In this 2nd sentence the subject of the sentence is infinitive verb, not a noun. But feel free to correct me if I am wrong and these sentences are formed by different logic.
    – Alex
    Nov 23, 2019 at 9:51
  • 1
    Se te olvidó quererme works following the logic for olvidarse described in this answer.
    – pablodf76
    Nov 23, 2019 at 12:03

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