Why is this reflexive? ¡Exprópiese! - Expropriate!

GaborB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why is this reflexive? ¡Exprópiese! - Expropriate!

This is taken from a rather unpleasant context. But I still want to know what the grammar behind it is. Why does this have se at the end? Would ¡Exprópie! work the same way?

As always, thank you!

Asked 2 years ago
GaborB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

[I removed this because I engaged in speculation, which just muddied the conversation more. So it can be deleted.]

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Gabor

In Spanish the verb expropiar means to expropriate, as in confiscating something from someone, like their property. It's not used pronominally with "se" having this meaning as a person can't confiscate their own thing, it wouldn't make sense. It'd be necessary to see the context where you found it to have a better idea. 

Saludos

Inma

GaborB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hello Inma, thank you for the reply.

So that is a quote of Hugo Chávez, the former president of Venezuela. He was known to say that on several occasions in public and that actually turned him into a meme (just google "expropiese" and switch to the image tab if you really wanna do that to yourself :-D).

It's good to know that even a native Spanish speaker wouldn't be able to make sense of this right away.

(For example, he says that at 1:40 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-zfD5SKeVQ but I don't know if I can post a youtube link here)

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Gabor

I watched the video, thanks for sending it. The only logic I can see in that "exprópiese" from Chavez is that he is using it as a passive "se" like saying: "[let it] be confiscated" - it would still sound a bit odd in European Spanish but that may be used more in Latin America, or maybe Chavez created a different use of "se" himself... : )) not sure... 

Here is a lesson about the "passive se" so you know what I'm referring to. 

Saludos

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Gabor

 

Following up on this, I just thought that this sentence that Chávez said could be connected to something called "El Imperativo pasivo pronominal", so it's a very formal formula to give an order and it's used in different contexts, for example in "civic norms", e.g. "Síganse todas las normas de circulación" (All circulation norms to be followed), or also the typical instruction in food jars or medicine, e.g. "Ábrase con cuidado" (To be opened carefully). I think Chávez is using there a formal "order" using this structure. We have noted this down for an advance lesson. 

Un saludo de nuevo.

Inma

Why is this reflexive? ¡Exprópiese! - Expropriate!

This is taken from a rather unpleasant context. But I still want to know what the grammar behind it is. Why does this have se at the end? Would ¡Exprópie! work the same way?

As always, thank you!

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