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.
Additionally, there are plenty of examples with audios to help you better understand the concepts and to practice your listening skills.
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 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.
Spanish Reflexive Pronouns
Abreviations: Reflexive pronouns (REFL. PRON.).
|Él/ella/Ud.||Se (himself, herself, itself, yourself)|
|Vosotros/as||Os (yourselves, each other)|
|Ellos/as/Uds.||Se (themselves, yourselves, each other)|
Reflexive Pronoun Placement
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 or the Main Verb
- Voy a ducharme. → I am going to take a shower.
- Me voy a duchar. → I am going to take a shower.
Spanish Reflexive Verbs: Exercises
Gap Fill Exercises
- Present: Reflexive verbs
- Reflexive verbs
- Verbos reflexivos en la canción El Gran Combo
- Pronombres reflexivos
- Oral Practice 1
- Spanish Demystified – Written Practice 5 and 6 (pages 171 and 172).
Hopefully this post helps you understand the main concepts about Spanish reflexive verbs.
I advise you to practice with the examples here and try to make up some others on your own.
If you want to continue learning about Spanish reflexive verbs, check here the list of the most common ones with multiple meanings.
If you want, I can help you practice with these verbs by using them while having a conversation during our online Spanish conversation classes.
Additionally, we can practice in the comment section below by answering the following questions:
- ¿A qué hora te vas a levantar mañana?
- ¿Te acuestas pronto normalmente?
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