OK, let’s have a look at that homework from the other day about reflexive and non-reflexive uses of verbs and see how badly wrong it all was. Underlinings and crossings out are correctios, red text is just highlighting the bit I was trying to get right
1a) Sabe que é preciso pagar para se ser português? [just missing a preposition]1b) Quer tenha cidadania quer não, não é possível ser um português verdadeiro se não foi criado lá.2a) O Cristianismo* incentiva os seus seguidores a
seserem mais honestos. [missing a preposition but doesn’t need the “se”]2b) O Cristianismo* ajuda os seus aderentes a serem pessoas melhores.*=I wrote “cristandade” but although that exists I think it’s more like “Chistendom” than “Christianity”3a) A frase que se segue é mais um exemplo [this is right but the “se” is passive voice rather than reflexive]3b) Esta frase segue a frase passada.4a) Se ganhar o Euromillions, ficar-me-ei feliz? [I seem to have had some sort of senior moment here and chosen completely the wrong verb, but the reflexive aspect is legit (but optional) to give emphasis to the verb]4b) Se mudar o meu modo de vida serei uma pessoa mais feliz?5a) Fiquei desiludido com o iTalki e por isso tornei-me membro do Lingq5b) Fiquei desiludido com o chuveiro e por isso abri o torneira para tomar banho. [another bad verb but more understandable. Portuguese people open (abrir) and close (fechar) their taps, they don’t turn them. I should also confess that when I originally wrote it, I almost put “tornozelo” instead of “torneira”. Confusing: “I was disappointed with the shower so I turned the ankle”]6a) Ri-me muitas vezes enquanto li este livro6b) Riu-se quando pensou na sua primeira tentativa a falar português.
So, not very good, really. I think the explanation I gave and wrote into the last version of “Oh Se Can You See” wasn’t quite right.
Rir is basically an intransitive, pronomial verb according to Priberam, so although it’s often seen in the wild without its pronoun, formally (and in the exam) it’s best to use it with the pronoun, much like “lembrar”
The se in “se ser” in 1a and 4a or in expressions like “ir-se embora” is used when you want to stress the verb but isn’t strictly necessary in either case.
Clearly still some work on prepositions needed. I’m going to do some more work on that later. Obviously the thing I need to stop doing is translating english phrases literally, using the same prepositions I’d use in english.