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发布日期:2021年10月22日
No se me había ocurrido
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kitchencobweb

New Member
English
Hi there! I saw this meme in Spanish & don't understand why it says "no se me habia ocurrido" instead of "no me la habia ocurrido"? What is going on grammatically here?
1609524049941.png
 
  • Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    This is a set phrase;

    'It hadn't crossed my mind!'

    It comes from the Spanish verb 'ocurrírsele algo a alguien', which means 'to cross (st) someone's mind', or 'to think (s.o.) of something'.

    It refers to the fact that it is you who thinks up the idea. It is to you that it occurs.

    ...Now I think of it...; it's just as in English;

    'I don't know how it didn't occur to me!'

    ------------------------------------------
    (*) In Spanish:


    Es una frase hecha.

    Viene del verbo 'ocurrírsele algo a alguien', que en inglés significa 'to cross (st) someone's mind', o 'to think (s.o.) of something'.

    Se refiere a que eres el que piensa la idea. Es a ti al que se le ocurre.

    ...Ahora que lo pienso...; es justo como en inglés, donde se dice;

    'I don't know how it didn't occur to me!'
     
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    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    If you analyse your attempt: "no me la habia ocurrido", you can draw the following conclusions
    No me la había occurido
    by removing the negative adverb, you get:
    Me la había ocurrido
    by changing it to present tense, you get:
    Me la ocurro
    by changing the DO pronoun with a noun and then place it in the correct position in the sentence, you get:
    Yo me ocurro la idea <---- this is not correct

    Now, let's analyse the correct sentence
    No se me había ocurrido
    by removing the negative adverb, you get:
    Se me había ocurrido
    by changing it to present tense, you get:
    Se me ocurre <--- This is correct

    If you look it up in the dictionary, you'll find: Ocurrírsele algo a alguien. So, when you conjugate this verb, you do it as follows:
    se me ocurre algo
    se te ocurre algo
    se le ocurre algo
    se nos ocurre algo
    se os ocurre algo
    se les ocurre algo


    "Algo" is the subject, so we say "se me ocurren" when "algo" involves more than one thing
    Se me ocurren dos ideas que pueden funcionar
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    I saw this meme in Spanish & don't understand why it says "no se me habia ocurrido" instead of "no me la habia ocurrido"? What is going on grammatically here?
    I certainly can't top the magnificent explanation given by elprofe above, but will just add that a similar construction is also seen in other verbs, such as "Se me olvidó hacerlo."

    WR shows the difference between this set expression and the normal use of the verb ocurrir.


    ocurrir vi(suceder, acontecer) (happen, be)occur vi
    Ocurrió un grave accidente, hay decenas de heridos.
    A serious accident occurred, there are dozens of casualties.
    ocurrírsele algo a alguien v prnl + prep(idea: venir a la mente) (idea)come to mind v expr
    occur to [sb] v expr
    No se me ocurre nada: tengo la mente en blanco. ¿Cómo se te pudo ocurrir usar pólvora para derribar la pared?
    Nothing comes to mind, my mind is blank.


    I would translate that meme as "What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?"
     

    kitchencobweb

    New Member
    English
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    • #5
    Thank you so much for these very detailed responses (on New Year's, at that)!

    Just to clarify--I understand that "me" is functioning as an indirect object here (like "to me" in English), but what about the "se"/la idea/algo? Does "idea" work as an indirect object with this verb & if so, is that why it's being replaced with "se" instead of a direct object pronoun like "la" or "lo"? Or is the "se" there because, as elprofe said, "algo" is the subject & hence the "se" is the reflexive pronoun required for "algo"?
     
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    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you so much for these very detailed responses (on New Year's, at that)!

    Just to clarify--I understand that "me" is functioning as an indirect object here (like "to me" in English), but what about the "se"/la idea/algo? Does "idea" work as an indirect object with this verb & if so, is that why it's being replaced with "se" instead of a direct object pronoun like "la" or "lo"? NO Or is the "se" there because, as elprofe said, "algo" is the subject & hence the "se" is the reflexive pronoun required for "algo"? Yes, kind of
    When you study the clitic "se", you'll see it has a whole lot of different meanings... One of the functions that "se" has in Spanish is to show the action is accidental. Specifically, there's a group of verbs that are used with "se" this way, like "ocurrírsele algo a alguien":

    Olvidársele algo a alguien ----> Se me/te/le/nos/os/les olvida
    Caérsele algo a alguien ---> Se me/te/le/nos/os/les cae
    Ocurrírsele algo a alguien ----> Se me/te/le/nos/os/les ocurre


    If I remember well, this use of "se" falls into the category of "se" in "construcciones medias", according to Maldonado - a linguists specialised in cognitive linguistics who has written quite a lot about the Spanish clitic "se".

    So, you just have to search for "construcciones medias" on the internet if you want to learn more about this specific use of "se" :)
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    I understand that "me" is functioning as an indirect object here (like "to me" in English), but what about the "se"/la idea/algo :cross:?
    ("se" doesn't stand for "la idea / algo")

    Does "idea" work as an indirect object with this verb & if so, is that why it's being replaced with "se"

    No... That 'se' is not replacing the noun, 'idea'. It's in fact nothing to do with 'idea'.

    That 'se' is a reflexive pronoun, like in 'afeitarse', 'lavarse', etc. And 'eso' (= 'idea') is the subject of the sentence.


    There's two things that are tricky with these constructions:

    1- The first one is that the subject, 'eso' / 'esa idea', appears at the end of the sentence, instead of at the beginning, as is common in Spanish (and compulsory in English).

    2- To complicate things further, the subject is often omitted. It is normally not mentioned explicitly, but omitted. So, making it more difficult to identify it.


    Therefore, in order to make sense of them, the best thing is;

    1- First, to make the omitted subject explicit. To look for the omitted subject (here, 'eso / esa idea'), and to say it.

    2- And then, to invert the order of the sentence, bringing that subject to the beginning, and then it will make perfect sense. Examples:

    (1)- No se me había ocurrido (eso / esa idea).
    => Eso / Esa idea no se me había ocurrido.

    Other cases;

    (2)- Se me olvidó el pan.
    => El pan se me olvidó.

    (3)- Se me cayó la bebida.
    => La bebida se me cayó.

    (4)- Se me ocurrió esta historia mientras veía la tele.
    => Esta historia se me ocurrió mientras veía la tele.


    On the other hand, you then have the added difficulty that the uses of the various verbs in Spanish and English often don't correspond.

    These constructions present the paradox that while normally, in the wider, general language, Spanish syntax tends to construct verbs with a more personal and active sense, making mention of the active subjects ('I', 'you', etc), and the English tends more to have passive and impersonal constructions, here, with these verbs, exactly the opposite happens;

    With these verbs, It's the English which tends to a more personal and active usage, with the person expressed as the subject (and the thing as a direct object), while the Spanish tends to the pronominal usage, where the person is expressed as an indirect object.

    All this means that the most common options in the two languages often aren't direct equivalences for translation. Direct possibilities of translation are often not readily available, and you need to look for possible synonyms, or alternative turns of phrase:

    (1)- That idea hadn't occurred to me.
    (= I hadn't thought of that idea.)

    Other cases;

    (2)- I forgot buying bread.
    (= The bread scaped my mind.)

    (3)- I dropped the drink.
    (= The drink fell from my hands)

    (4)- I thought this story up while I was watching telly.
    (= This story occurred to me while I was watching telly.)
    (= This story came to me / to my mind while I was watching telly.)
     
    Last edited:

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    "I forgot buying bread" significa algo muy raro :D

    Se usa constantemente, en el uso cotidiano. Así que de raro no tiene nada, 'maestrillos Maldonado'. :p

    Si no sabes explicar la cuestión de que se habla, eso no te justifica para que vengas cuestionando gratuitamente las explicaciones que doy yo.

    El verbo 'to forget' se usa seguido de infinitivo o de gerundio. El gerundio se usa normalmente para referirse a una acción en pasado, como esta.

    Como muestra este ejemplo del 'Cambridge Dictionary':

    (*) Cambridge Dictionary
    - To forget

    to be unable to remrmber a fact, something that happened, or how to do something:

    [+ -ing verb]
    She would never forget seeing the Himalayas for the first time.

    FORGET | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
     
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    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
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    Se usa constantemente, en el uso cotidiano. Así que de raro no tiene nada, 'maestrillos Maldonado'. :p

    Si no sabes explicar la cuestión de que se habla, eso no te justifica para que vengas cuestionando gratuitamente las explicaciones que doy yo.


    El verbo 'to forget' se usa seguido de infinitivo o de gerundio. El gerundio se usa normalmente para referirse a una acción en pasado, como esta.

    Como muestra este ejemplo del 'Cambridge Dictionary':

    (*) Cambridge Dictionary
    - To forget

    to be unable to remrmber a fact, something that happened, or how to do something:

    [+ -ing verb]
    She would never forget seeing the Himalayas for the first time.

    FORGET | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    No has dado ni una... :)
     

    Rosamariama

    Senior Member
    Español peninsular
    Thank you all again! This use of "se" hasn't been taught in any of the Spanish classes I've taken so far, so this is all very interesting to me.
    En las clases de español, a este uso normalmente se le llama "(expresión de) involuntariedad" (se pueden encontrar apuntes básicos en red, es decir, específicos para estudiantes de español, bajo esta etiqueta). Y sí lo usamos mucho. Repito los ejemplos que ya se han propuesto y añado alguno:
    - Se me olvidó/ ocurrió/ pasó por la cabeza...
    - Se me rompió/cayó/perdió...
    - Se me fue el santo al cielo/ Se me puso todo el pelo de punta/ Se me cayó la cara de vergüenza...
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    "I forgot buying bread" significa algo muy raro
    Se usa constantemente, en el uso cotidiano. Así que de raro no tiene nada, 'maestrillos Maldonado'.
    It is not used where I live, in this context, that is. It would sound very strange to say the above sentence in most contexts. Here is a context in which it would work.

    -Why did you buy bread?
    -Because we were out.
    -But I'm the one who buys bread.
    -Oh, I forgot buying bread is your job.

    Note that the above is not the usual meaning, which would be "I forgot to buy bread."
     
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