Les deux passent la nuit ensemble.
Les deux se passent la nuit ensemble.
I was always confused on the difference between using se or ensemble.
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
I think an easier way to understand the difference between se and ensemble would be with a simpler sentence :
Ces personnes se mangent. AND Ces personnes mangent ensemble.
They would translate respectively to :
These people are eating themselves (or… each other). AND These people are eating together.
Does that help?
Quite often « se » means « self ». So you can think that it stands for object of action:
il se laver -> he wash himself subject object verb subject verb object
Well, the translation is rough, but it's aimed to be illustrative ;-)
Another use of « se » is to express idea of return action, consider this example:
ils s'écrivent -> they write to each other
Also « se » may be used to create passive voice constructions:
il se vend -> il est vendu -> it is sold