Polish Functions of się

Content

The particle się is used to make a verb reflexive, but has other meanings as well.

It is important to note that się can never occur in the first positions of a clause.

Lubią się.
(They like each other).

NOT:
Się lubią.

 

As Reflexive

When verbs are made reflexive, the action comes back upon the subject. Many verbs in Polish add się to add this meaning. Compare these sentences with and without się.

Myję się.
(I am washing myself)

Myję go.
(I am washing him)

Oni się pomogli.
(They helped themselves)

Oni dzieciom pomogli.
(They helped the kids)

Depersonal Usage

To make a verb depersonal, get the 3rd person singular form of the verb and add się. In English, this meaning is made using either “one” or “you”.

Jak to się zrobi?
(How does one do this? OR How do you do this?)

Jak tam się idzie?
(How does one get there? OR How do you get there?)

 

Się is used with some verbs to express a meaning which in English has as a subject “it.”

Wydaję mi się.
(It appears to me)