I red from one linguist that for verbs of movement (entrar, venir) reflexive form (entrarse) is preferred in Latin America in comparison with usual form (entrar) in Spain. But actually I didn't encountered yet any real examples anywhere of such differences. Maybe I just didn't pay attention to this yet.

Questions below, which I am asking, are for a reason - mainly because the more general topic of "the use of se" (and hence of "reflexive verbs" in 3rd person as particular case) is still sometimes a bit difficult for me to grasp. I know of many uses of "se" and grammatically understand its use, but when I hear fast speech or read something - in such cases sometimes I might stumble to understand why "se" in this particular case is used. Also I am planning to read/watch some Latin American content, but I started in castellano dialect and would like to pay attention to such differences of use of reflexive forms vs usual forms of verbs in Latin America and Spain. It is easier for me to pay attention to different uses of pretérito simple vs pretérito perfecto in Latin America and Spain, but reflexive verbs are more difficult for me.

In regards to this, questions:

  1. Could you give me some real examples to confirm what I red - use of reflexive vs usual verb form for verbs of "movement" in Latin America and Spain?

  2. Are there any other common verbs (not "movement" verbs but any) that in Latin America have mostly reflexive form, while in Spain - usual form? And vice versa? Which I should pay attention to?

  • 1
    The most obvious example I can think of is the use of the imperative: In Latin America you might say "éntrate ya", and in Spain you would say "entra ya"
    – ldeld
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 11:53
  • 1
    This question is definitely an example of a non-movement verb: esperar(se).
    – wimi
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 14:53
  • 1
    Latin America is a big place. To me, using the pronominal ("reflexive") form of verbs in this way sounds distinctly Mexican, although in Argentina we also do it with a few verbs of movement (like venir, which I guess Spaniards would find extremely funny).
    – pablodf76
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 0:16
  • @pablodf76 I have heard in Spain "vente" or "te vienes?", but not "me vengo". It is indeed really difficult to come up with general rules here...
    – wimi
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 9:23
  • @pablodf76 example: the lyrics of the song Que el viento sople a tu favor, by the famous Spanish band "Mägo de Oz". In the chorus, (sixth paragraph): "Vente con nosotros y no mires atrás"
    – wimi
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


I'm Peruvian and most of the time people here don't use reflexive forms with most of movement verbs (the only exception that I know is "irse"). However, as a Peruvian, I usually use reflexive forms with verbs such as "comer(se)", "tomar(se) o beber(se)".

I don't know a lot about Spanish from Spain but, according to what I've heard in series or programs, they don't use reflexive forms as much as I do.

  • In your case when you use reflexive or usual forms of these verbs, does it change meaning for you? Or you mean that when you want to say "I eat", you use "me como" instead of "como"? I am asking because I looked meanings of "comer" and "comerse" in WordReference and meanings overall change, even though one of the meanings of "comerse" is "eat away". Relfexive form of "beber" I even didn't find there, interesting.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:19
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    Actually, it doesn't change the meaning since I can say "Ayer me comí una manzana" and "Ayer comí una manzana". Another example is "Mañana me leeré 3 libros" and "Mañana leeré 3 libros". The reflexive form is something that can be omitted in these cases without changing the meaning at all. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:27
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    Given that I'm not an expert, I can't say if it's really a grammatical mistake, but that's the way people speak in Lima and in other parts of my country. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:29
  • I studied topic of different dative cases for indirect object pronouns. Maybe your example represents aspectual dative (spanish.stackexchange.com/q/26171/23475) From there: "The implication that the dative pronoun adds is that the "consumption" was complete or that it had a definite ending. The emphasis is often achieved by adding words like todo/a(s) or completo/a(s). You cannot say, for example, *«Ayer me comí pizza», because pizza as a mass noun and therefore its consumption cannot be marked as "finished." Is this the case of yours?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 9:18
  • In this link there is a bit more about aspectual dative that I cannot put here due to limited space. Could you please check it out and share your opinion if I got it correct?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 9:20

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