Difference between sé and se (with and without an accent)

There are words in Spanish which change their meaning simply when you use a written accent. Let's look at sé vs se.

Sé vs Se in Spanish

with an accent is the first person (yo) conjugation of the verb saber in the present tense in Spanish. Here are some examples:

Yo muchas cosas.I know lots of things.

- ¿Te gusta Roberto? - No sé.- Do you like Roberto? - I don't know.

que Carlos te quiere mucho.I know that Carlos loves you very much.

 from the verb ser (to be) is also the imperative (affirmative) form for tú.  For example:

bueno y ayuda a tu hermano.Be good and help your brother.

 amable con los invitados.Be nice to the guests.

 

Se

Se without an accent is a pronoun. It's used in reflexive verbs for the 3rd person singular and plural:

Ella se ducha y se viste rápido.She showers and gets dressed quickly.

Los niños se pusieron los zapatos.The children put on the shoes.

Se is also used as an impersonal pronoun to express general statements, for example:

Aquí, en mi pueblo, se vive muy bien.Here, in my village, one lives very well (people in general live well)

En este bar se come estupendamente.In this bar one [can] eat really well. 

 

Remember!

Sé = "I know" / "Be" (verb)

Se  =  pronoun

For more detailed lessons on uses of "se" without an accent see:

 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

bueno y ayuda a tu hermano.Be good and help your brother.
que Carlos te quiere mucho.I know that Carlos loves you very much.
En este bar se come estupendamente.In this bar one [can] eat really well. 
- ¿Te gusta Roberto? - No sé.- Do you like Roberto? - I don't know.
Aquí, en mi pueblo, se vive muy bien.Here, in my village, one lives very well (people in general live well)
Yo muchas cosas.I know lots of things.
Los niños se pusieron los zapatos.The children put on the shoes.
 amable con los invitados.Be nice to the guests.
Ella se ducha y se viste rápido.She showers and gets dressed quickly.
Thinking...