Spanish Grammar: The Passive SE

Spanish Grammar: The Passive SE

Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project


Spanish Grammar: The Passive SE
la gramática española: el se pasivo

  • The passive se is one of a few functions of the pronoun se.
  • Make general statements without attaching them to a specific subject.


The Passive SE in Spanish is used to make general statements without tying them to a specific subject. It is most often used in sales, want ads, and employment.

Don’t get this confused with the Impersonal SE (although they are very similar), and the reflexive (not similar at all!)

The Passive SE is formed by placing SE in front of the third-person singular form of the verb being used. (The él/ella/usted form).

Se habla español aquí.
Spanish is spoken here.

Se necesita alguien con experiencia.
Someone with experience is needed.

Se busca un estudiante inteligente.
Intelligent students are sought after.


¿Dónde se vende carros usados?
Where are used cars sold?

¿Cómo se dice la palabra?
How is the word said?

¿Cuánto tiempo se cocina la carne?
For how long is the meat cooked?