The purpose of this mini-lesson is to give you a general idea about Spanish reflexive verbs. Although the best way to understand any grammar concept is to practice as much as possible, you first need to understand some general ideas.
Spanish Reflexive Verbs
When the subject and direct object are the same in a sentence, the verb is reflexive. In other words, a reflexive verb is a verb in which the action both is performed by and occurs to the subject of the verb. Also, we could say that a reflexive verb expresses that the subject of the sentence carried out an action on itself.
An easy way to recognize these verbs is to pay attention to how it ends. The infinitive form of reflexive verbs always end in -se.
- Mirarse → To look at yourself.
The equivalence of these verbs in English are sometimes expressed by words like: to myself, to yourself, to herself, to himself, to itself, to ourselves, to themselves or to each other.
- Me miro en el espejo. → I look myself at the mirror.
COMMON SPANISH REFLEXIVE VERBS
|Acostarse||To go to bed|
|Despertarse||To wake up|
|Dormirse||To fall asleep|
|Ducharse||To take a shower|
|Levantarse||To get up|
|Peinarse||To brush one's hair|
|Vestirse||To get dressed|
Some of these reflexive verbs are reciprocal verbs. Such verbs express an action that is performed on one another or each other.
- ¿Ustedes se conocen/vosotros os conocéis? → Do you know each other?
In addition, some verbs are always conjugated with a reflexive pronoun, even if they do not have a reflexive meaning. They are called pronominal verbs.
- Atreverse → To dare.
- Quejarse → To complain.
|Él/ella/Ud.||Se (himself, herself, itself, yourself)|
|Nosotros/as ||Nos (ourselves)|
|Vosotros/as ||Os (yourselves, each other)|
|Ellos/as/Uds. ||Se (themselves, yourselves, each other)|
Placement of the Pronouns
BEFORE THE CONJUGATED VERB
- Él se ducha. → He takes a shower.
BEFORE OR AFTER THE IMPERATIVE
- ¡No te duches! → (You) do not take a shower!
- ¡Dúchate! → (You) take a shower!
BEFORE THE AUXILIARY VERBS OR ATTACHED TO THE END OF THE MAIN VERB
- Voy a ducharme. → I am going to take a shower.
- Me voy a duchar. → I am going to take a shower.
Continue learning about Spanish reflexive verb, check a list of the most common ones with multiple meanings.