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As I read in this entry of Español Avanzado, no se hable más is a fix term to tell someone to not talk about this (topic) anymore. My question is: where does the "se" come from? What would be the difference between "no se hable más" and "no hable más". Is "hablar" in this case reflexive? If so, why?

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    RAE: no se hable más de, o en, ello 1. exprs. U. para cortar una conversación, o componer y dar por concluido un negocio o disgusto. It means: There is nothing more to discuss or be said. It's an idiom.
    – Lambie
    Feb 11 at 16:07
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That's an interesting usage of se. The verb hablar (as many others) can be used in an impersonal way if you don't want to specify who is talking about something or you just simply don't know who is talking. Example:

Se habla mucho acerca del divorcio de esa pareja.

People are talking a lot about the divorce of that couple.
or
A lot is being said about the divorce of that couple.

Example with a different verb:

Se trabaja mejor en equipo.

You can work better if you're part of a team.

And even with copulative verbs:

Se es más feliz sin responsabilidades.

One can be happier without responsibilities.

So if you think that nobody should talk any more about a subject, but you don't want to address to anyone in particular, you can use that same impersonal se and say:

No se hable más.

Note that this does not make the use of the verb hablar reflexive, as people are not talking to themselves, but to other people.

If you say no hable más you are using the imperative negative form, addressing to the person in front of you, and saying "you, do not talk any more".

—Bien dezís —dixo el Rey—, y por agora no se hable más.

Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, "Amadís de Gaula, libros I y II", 1482-1492 (Spain).

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  • Typo, people are not is (twice)
    – mdewey
    Feb 11 at 11:03
  • @mdewey fixed. I got carried by the Spanish "la gente habla" and not "hablan".
    – Charlie
    Feb 11 at 11:07
  • I, of course, suffer from the reverse problem.
    – mdewey
    Feb 11 at 11:26
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    It’s almost like it has an unsaid, implicit que... before the no se hable más, maybe even a silent quiero que... or se quiere que.... ♬ “Y que no me digan en la esquina”
    – tchrist
    Feb 12 at 14:35
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No hable más.... Can be translated to "Do not speak anymore."

No se hable más.. Can be translated to "Let there be no more speaking."

You wouldn't directly tell a person "no se hable más." You would use "no hable más."

You could use "no se hable más" when addressing a group, and you a trying to tell them to stop speaking.

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  • We really don't say: Let there be no talking. We just say: No talking. Or even: Let's stop talking, renders the subjunctive.
    – Lambie
    Feb 13 at 16:04
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Pertaining to your concrete saying (modismo):

Me pagas 50 euros y no se hable más (del tema).

form castellano [literal] translation
imperative 2nd person (tú) y no hables más del tema. and no longer talk about it.
imperative 3rd person (Usted) y no hable más del tema. and no longer talk about it.
impersonal form y no se hable más del tema. [and one no longer talks about it.]
= and let's no longer talk about it.

So, the Spanish "se" translates to the English impersonal "one" in this case.

Besides that use, the impersonal form could also be employed in the following circumstances:

  • To express a general truth or expected way of behaviour, e.g. to correct a young child "¡A la hora de dormir no se hable más!"
  • In ordering a group of persons to be quiet e.g. a class of students ¡No se hable más! (more common in Latin America.) However, a ¡Silencio! would be more effective in such a case.
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  • y no se hable más del tema would be better translated as it is no longer talked about.
    – Joshua
    Feb 12 at 17:20

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