I'm watching a course in Spanish on Udemy.com.

The instructor says the following:

Los programadores tenemos que pensar de una forma muy distinta para poder solucionar los problemas que nos están planteando o que se nos están planteando y justamente el pensar como programador...

What is the difference between the phrases in bold font above? The only difference in the construction of these phrases is that the second one uses 'se'. I'm not understanding the use or the significance of 'se'.

P.S. The use of 'se' in Spanish is overloaded, and it's driving me crazy!!!! Hahaaa

UPDATE: I made a correction to the first bolded phrase, I originally ommitted the 'nos'.

  • 1
    The second also uses the progressive tense instead of the past participle. Did you mean to write it that way?
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 14 '20 at 19:18
  • @Obie2.0 I've corrected the mistake. Both phrases should read, "planteando". Jul 14 '20 at 19:20

As I understand it, in the first phrase, some unspecified "they" is posing problems to the programmers: "the problems that they are posing to us [the programmers]." In the second, the se is passive: "the problems that are being posed to us" or even perhaps more accurately "the issues that arise on us." There is no agent. So the phrase would be "the problems that they are posing to us, or the problems that arise for us."

In the first situation, it is implied that someone is bringing an issue or project to the attention of the programmers. In the latter, it could be that these are issues that simply arise, even to the programmers themselves, without any agent, or any agent that matters.

  • Please see my update to the original question. Does this change your answer? Jul 14 '20 at 21:03

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