I have heard the following sentence in the Narcos TV series:

No se me preocupe por Valeria.

Context: Pablo Escobar is telling his wife that she does not need to worry about Valeria Velez, a reporter which is covering his candidacy for the Colombian Senate.

What does the pronoun "me" mean here, given that the person who is being worried about is the wife and not Pablo?

edit: although Se les puso nerviosa - meaning of "les" explains the pronoun general meaning in this sentence (speaker got affected by the fact of his wife getting worried), that answer alone is not enough to explain how the speaker got affected. It seems to me that can only be inferred from the context of each particular sentence in which the "dativo ético" is used.

  • 1
    This is again a case of dativo ético, with almost exactly the same meaning as les in "Se les puso nerviosa", which you asked about here .
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 17:41
  • @wimi I see. Is the implied meaning something like "Do not worry about Valeria otherwise I'll get worried too" ? Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 17:53
  • 3
    In general, it means "Do not worry about Valeria. I care if you worry". Normally, the reason why "I care" is that "I care about you". But it could also be "because you will complain all the time and make my life harder". After all, it is Narcos.
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 18:47
  • This is indeed an ethical dative. Pablo is telling his wife that if she worries, he will feel bad too. (I seem to remember Pablo Escobar, or at least the P.E. depicted in Narcos, often did this kind of thing.)
    – pablodf76
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 21:00
  • 1
    @Alan I understand, these pronouns must be quite hard for a non-native. I hope we are helping you learn it!
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


This is a case of "dativo ético". The pronoun "me" indicates that the fact of Pablo's wife getting worried affects Pablo somehow: either he will feel bad if she gets worried because he cares about her or it will stress him out. Given the affectionate way Pablo treats his wife in the Narcos TV series, the first alternative is more likely.

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