Unit 9.2

Types of Simple Sentences: Nature of the Predicate

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Introduction

The simple sentence [oración simple] is a type of sentence with only a predicate consisting of a verb and other words.

Simple sentences are distinguished according to the attitude of the speaker and the nature of the predicate.

There are several types of simple sentences according to the nature of the predicate: reflexive and impersonal [reflexive e impersonales].

Form

Other subcategories of simple sentences, according to the nature of the predicate, are reflexives and impersonals.

Reflexives

In simple reflexive sentences, the subject’s action is on the subject itself and they are constructed with the pronouns: me, te, se, nosos and se.

Impersonals

Simple impersonal sentences do not have a subject; they are in the 3rd person singular.

Example

Reflexive:

  • Mañana iré a la panadería a comprarme una tarta de manzana;
  • Imanol, ¿es verdad que te sentaste en la cafetería enfrente de la chica que le gusta?;
  • Mi hermano mayor se ha vuelto vegetariano este año;
  • Deberíamos lavarnos los dientes después de tomar algo;
  • Os marchasteis de mi fiesta sin probar la tarta de chocolate;
  • Mis padres se fueron a la pizzería sin mí.

Impersonal:

  • Hay muchísima gente en el restaurante vegetariano hoy;
  • Es una pena que no podamos pedir una botella de vino porque no te gusta;
  • ¡Por fin es hora de comer! Tenía mucho hambre.

Use

The different types of simple sentences, depending on the nature of the predicate, also serve different purposes:

  • reflexive:
    • to express actions that fall on the same subject who performs them;
    • to indicate that someone acts for himself.
  • impersonal:
    • to express actions whose subject has been omitted or is unknown;
    • to denote atmospheric phenomena.

Summary

A simple sentence is a type of sentence that has only one verb. In Spanish, simple sentences are divided according to the speaker’s attitude and the nature of the predicate. According to the predicate’s nature, two types of simple sentences are reflexive sentences and impersonal sentences. Their structure is:
(Subject +) conjugated verb + object + …

For example:
— «María se peina muy temprano». = It has only one verb. The reflexive pronoun is se;

— «Hay mucho ruido en el restaurante». = It is an impersonal sentence because it has no subject.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

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