What is a Reflexive Verb? A reflexive verb is a verb that uses a reflexive pronoun. The reflexive pronoun shows that the subject receives the action of the verb while at the same time completing the action of the verb. In other words, many reflexive verbs are actions that a person does to or for themselves.
To say that people do something to or for themselves you use reflexive verbs.
For example washing ones hands lavarse las manos and brushing ones teeth cepillarse los dientes are reflexive actions because the person doing the action ALSO receives the action.
How do you know a verb is reflexive? It ends in se in the infinitive form. ducharse cepillarse afeitarse
How is a Reflexive verb conjugated? In the infinitive form of reflexive verbs, the reflexive pronoun attaches to the end of the verb. Examples: bañarse – to bathe oneself lavarse – to wash oneself cepillarse los dientes – to brush ones teeth
Subject Reflexive Pronoun Translation All reflexive verbs are used with a reflexive pronoun. Each reflexive pronoun matches up with the subject pronoun that it reflects yo él/ella/usted me tú myself nosotros ellos/ellas ustedes te se nos se yourself himself/herself/ itself/yourself ourselves themselves, yourselves, each other
When you conjugate reflexive verbs, you should conjugate the verb normally and place the pronoun BEFORE the conjugated verb. me te se nos os se Here are the reflexive pronouns:
***You still conjugate the verb as you would normally do, now you just add a reflexive pronoun before it. Bañarse – to take a bath/to bathe oneself. Yo me baño Tú te bañas Él/ella/usted se baña Nosotros nos bañamos Ellos/ellas/ustedes se bañan
Many reflexive verbs are translated into English with the word get like vestirse to get dressed or arreglarse to get ready (presentable)
REFLEXIVE vs NON-REFLEXIVE Some verbs can be reflexive AND non reflexive. However, they can have small but important changes in meaning when they become reflexive. NOT REFLEXIVE MeaningREFLEXIVEMeaning dormirto sleepdormirseto fall asleep quitarto take awayquitarseto take off acostarto put to bedacostarseto go to bed levantarto raise, liftlevantarseto get up llamarto callllamarseto be called ponerto putponerseto put on quedarto be left overquedarseto remain, to stay
Here we are seeing the difference between a reflexive verb and a non reflexive verb. Ana Juan Claudia NON REFLEXIVE REFLEXIVE
Claudia is getting her hair cut BY Ana. She is NOT doing the action TO HERSELF so the non reflexive verb cortar is used. Ana Juan Claudia NON REFLEXIVE REFLEXIVE Ana corta el pelo.
Juan is cutting HIS OWN hair. He is doing the action TO HIMSELF so the reflexive verb cortarse is used. Ana Juan Claudia NON REFLEXIVE REFLEXIVE Ana corta el pelo. Juan se corta el pelo.
Julia Choose which is reflexive? A B Ana Letter A is reflexive because Ana is combing her own hair. Ana se peina el pelo. In letterB Julia is combing Anas hair. Julia peina el pelo de Ana.
A B Laura Juana Lina Choose which is reflexive? Letter B is reflexive because Lina is painting her own nails. Lina se pinta las uñas. In letter A Juana is painting Lauras nails. Juana pinta las uñas de Laura.
A B Paco Choose which is reflexive? Letter B is reflexive because Paco is washing his (own) hands. Paco se lava las manos. In letter A Paco is washing dishes. He is not doing the action to himself. Paco lava los platos.
Where does the reflexive pronoun go? In the present tense and other simple (single word) tenses it goes in front of the conjugated verb. Yomepeino.
Where does the reflexive pronoun go? When a reflexive verb follows a conjugated verb (I want to shower) (I am going to shower), use the correct reflexive pronoun with the infinitive. You can ATTACH the pronoun to the infinitive: Ex: A que hora quieres despertarte? (What time do you want to wake up?) You can also place the reflexive pronoun BEFORE the conjugated verb. Ex: Me quiero despertar a las siete. (I want to wake up at seven.)
Where does the reflexive pronoun go? With infinitives it can go in front of the conjugated verb, Yo voy a vestir. Yo voy a vestir me me. or attached to the end of the infinitive.
Where does the reflexive pronoun go? It is the same with present participles (ing verbs ending in ando, iendo or endo ). Yo estoy duchando. Estoy duchando me me. It can go in front of the conjugated verb, or attached to the end of the present participle.
*A NOTE TO REMEMBER *Since the reflexive pronoun tells what a person is doing to himself, it is not necessary to use a possessive pronoun (my, yours, his, her, etc.) when referring to body parts. LAS Yo me lavo LAS manos NOT Yo me lavo MIS manos Since the ME in this sentence says that I am washing myself…it is already clear that I am washing MY hands.
Many reflexive verbs are used to talk about your morning grooming routine as you get ready for the day and at night when you are getting ready for bed.
(los alumnos)* despedirse Los alumnos se despiden.
(Ustedes) *acostarse Ustedes se acuestan a las once.
Finally, other common reflexive verbs that do not have to do with morning and evening (grooming) routines are: llamarse-to be called (used to tell your name) *divertirse -to have fun enojarse-to get angry equivocarse-to be mistaken fijarse (en) -to notice, to pay attention (to) olvidarse (de)-to forget quejarse-to complain *sentarse-to sit down *sentirse-to feel