Reflexive verbs: Spanish Grammar (A1)

Reflexive verbs are those where the subject and the object are the same, and where the action “reflects back” on the subject. They are used with a reflexive pronoun such us myself, yourself and himself in English. Let`s see how they work in Spanish.reflexive verbs

1. In Spanish, reflexive verbs are much more common than in English, and many are used in everyday language. The infinitive form of a reflexive verb has SE attached to the end of it, for example, secarse (meaning to dry oneself). This is the way reflexive verbs are shown in dictionaries. These are some common reflexive verbs in Spanish.

Acostarse (to go to bed)                    Levantarse (to get up)

Llamarse (to be called)                      Dormirse (to go to sleep)

Ducharse (to have a shower)               Enfadarse (to get angry)

Acordarse (to remember)                    Vestirse (to get dressed)

Divertise (to enjoy)                             Casarse (to get married)

2. Reflexive verbs are normally written before the verb and they change depending on the subject:

 Mi jefe se enfada mucho (My boss often gets angry).

Me levanto a las siete (I get up at seven o’clock).

¿A qué hora os acostáis? (What time do you go to bed?).

¿Cómo te llamas? (What’s your name?)

Nos vestimos (We are getting dressed).

 3. Very often,  Spanish verbs can be used both as reflexive verbs and as ordinary verbs (without the reflexive pronouns). When they are used as ordinary verbs, the person or thing doing the action is not the same as the person or thing receiving the action, so the meaning is different.

Me lavo (I wash myself).

Lavo la ropa a mano (I wash the clothes by hand).

Me llamo Santiago (I am called Santiago).

¡Llama a la policía! (Call the police).

Me acuesto a las 11 (I go to bed at 11 o’clock).

Acuesta al niño (He puts the child in the bed).

You can practice what you have learned with our quizzes. Also, you can learn more about  Reflexive pronouns and watch the video “pongo o me pongo” Remember to contact your tutor with any question you have or to ask for more homeworkDon’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?


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