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I have 2 questions ; The first one is in relation to a boyfriend and girlfriend break-up. In this case ,I mean to express that after the break-up someone says,''it is his loss'' or'' it is he who will miss out''. The translation I think is '' se lo pierde''. Is this because the infinitive is '' perderse'' in which case I never understand when to use these types of verbs beyond the obvious reflexive forms . Or is it more to do with object pronouns where ''le'' and ''lo'' cannot follow each other and then it has to be''se''? Then,I think I understand this. 2) ''se lo pregunto'' is a similar question. I want to say,'' I ask you''. Therefore, is it because the verb is ''preguntarse'' or is it to do with direct object pronouns? I think this is using ''usted'' rather than ''lo te pregunto''.

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  • perderse (reflexive) versus preguntar algo a alguien. Bear in mind that when you say: preguntarle [a el or a ella or a usted] algo, there are two pronouns, one direct and one indirect: le and lo: ask you or him or her about it. But: you can't have le lo in Spanish. The le becomes se referring to whom you are asking: Se lo pregunto [a él o ella o usted]. That is not reflexive....It is an indirect object. – Lambie Mar 28 at 18:57
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Whenever "se" is used with another pronoun, this may be due to one of two reasons:

  1. The pronominal nature of the verb.

  2. The simultaneous appearance of a pronominal direct and a pronominal indirect object.

The case of:

  • Se lo pierde

corresponds to (1), because the verb is "perderse (algo o a alguien)".

With other persons, other pronouns will be used instead of "se":

  • Me lo pierdo.
  • Te lo pierdes.
  • Nos lo perdemos.
  • Os lo perdéis.

Instead, the case of:

  • Se lo pregunto

corresponds to (2). "Se" refers to the person being asked, and "lo", to the thing asked. For example:

  • Voy a preguntar el nombre (DO) a él (IO).

  • LO voy a preguntar (el nombre, DO).

  • LE voy a preguntar (a él, IO).

When both pronouns coexist, we cannot say *Le lo voy a preguntar, and "le" is replaced with "se":

  • Se lo voy a preguntar.

"Se" always refers to a third person, or to second person "usted", which behaves like a third person pronoun.

With other persons, other pronouns will be used:

  • Te lo voy a preguntar.

  • Os lo voy a preguntar.

  • Me lo vas a preguntar.

  • Nos lo van a preguntar.

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  • Se lo pregunto is not "overlapping." There is an indirect and direct object following each other where the le become se because you can't have le and lo together. Learners often do not know this. – Lambie Mar 28 at 18:59
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    @Lambie What I meant to say by "overlapping" is that two pronominal objects are being used simultaneously, and this results in "le" having to change to "se". I will change the wording to avoid confusions. Thank you for your observation. – Gustavson Mar 28 at 19:09
  • I get it but we would say in English, a direct and an indirect object next to each other when they give rise to le lo or le la. We would never say "pronominal objects". – Lambie Mar 28 at 19:11
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    @Lambie It is sometimes hard to explain Spanish grammar concepts in English grammar terms. My point is that objects can be nominal (noun phrases) or pronominal (pronouns). – Gustavson Mar 28 at 19:14
  • I disagree. Objects can be direct or indirect in English, or you can have a reflexive pronoun. I explained it perfectly simply in my comment under the question. It is very frustrating to try and explain what we use and do not use in English and again getting a kind of "Spanglish" comment. It's like you want to avoid my point. FIne, you have every right to do that. There is nothing more for me to say. – Lambie Mar 28 at 19:20
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  1. It is an idiom:

Ella se lo pierde =

  • It's worse for her. It's her loss.
  • Too bad for her. It's her loss.

Él se lo pierde =

  • It's worse for him. It's his loss.
  • Too bad for him. It's his loss.
  • Por eso se lo pregunto(a usted) = That's why I'm asking you. (That's a formal way of saying that)

  • Por eso te pregunto (eso) = That's why I'm asking you.

  • Por eso te (lo) pregunto = That's why I'm asking you.


  • I asked her/him. = Le pregunté(Sobre eso a él/ella)
  • Le pregunté a ella/él sobre eso = I asked her/him about that. (Either redundant or to distinguish her from everyone else)

  • Se lo pregunté/Se lo estuve preguntando(I was asking him/her about that)
  • Se lo pregunté a ella(Either redundant or to distinguish her from everyone else)
  • Se lo pregunté a él(Either redundant or to distinguish him from everyone else)

I asked you/I was asking you about that/I was asking it to you =

  • Te pregunté (eso)/Te estuve preguntando(eso)
  • Te (lo) pregunté/Te (lo) estuve preguntando/Estuve preguntándotelo.
  • Te (lo) pregunté a ti(Either redundant or to distinguish him/her from everyone else)

I was wondering that=

  • Me lo estuve preguntando.
  • Me preguntaba eso.
  • Me lo estaba preguntando.
  • Me estaba preguntando eso.
  • Estaba preguntándome eso
  • Estaba preguntándomelo.
  • Estuve preguntándomelo.

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