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

Vos creés lo que se te da la puta gana!

Context: Pablo Escobar suspects that one of his partners is stealing from him and then his partner says the sentence above.

I know that "darte la gana" means "whatever you like", but what does the pronoun "se" mean here?

1 Answer 1


The "se" makes it passive. Compare

(a) El muchacho le da el libro al niño.

(b) El libro se da al niño.

The second one is passive voice.

In "se le da la gana," as in (b), the subject is "la gana."

What does the passive voice do to the meaning? It makes the person we're talking about seem less proactive, and this has the effect of making the person seem even less caring (more apathetic) than in the non-passive version.


Active: "Solo ayudas a tu mamá cuando te da la gana." (You only help your mother when you feel like it [when inspiration strikes].) Here, the subject of the "gana" clause is some undefined third person subject.

Passive: "Solo haces lo que se te da la gana." (You only do whatever the heck you feel like.) Here, the subject of the "gana" clause is "la gana."

Sadly, although I tried four different dictionaries, I couldn't find this expression. However, linguee.com has at least one solid example of it.

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