This Spanish Grammar lesson covers the Spanish Reflexive Verbs and the Spanish Reflexive Pronouns.
Introduction to Spanish Reflexive Verbs
In the Spanish language, a verb is considered reflexive if the subject (the performer of the action) and the object (the receiver of the action) are the same.
Here’s an example of a reflexive verb being used in English:
I wash myself.
In the above sentence, the verb “wash” is considered reflexive because the subject or the one performing the action (“I”) and the object or the one receiving the action (“myself”) are the same.
On the other hand, if I said “I wash the baby,” the verb “wash” is no longer reflexive because the subject or the one performing the action (“I”) and the object or the one receiving the action (“baby”) is not the same.
The Spanish Reflexive Pronouns
The Spanish reflexive verbs consist of a verb and a reflexive pronoun. The following are reflexive pronouns or objects of reflexive verbs:
me = myself
te = yourself (tú form)
se = yourself (usted form)
nos = ourselves
os = yourselves
se = themselves, yourselves
Me baño. = I wash.
However, when there are two verbs in the sentence, the reflexive pronoun either comes right before the first verb or follows the second verb:
Quiero bañarme. = I want to wash myself.
Me quiero bañar. = I want to wash myself.
Spanish Reflexive Verbs – Examples
Here are some examples of reflexive verbs in Spanish:
Me afeito = I shave myself
Te duchas = You take a shower
Se llama Juan = His name is Juan (“He calls himself John”)
Me divierto = I’m having fun (Literally “I enjoy myself.”)
Se enojan = They get mad
Se levantan = They get up
Te cepillas los dientes = You brush your teeth.
Literally, “Los dientes” means “the teeth” and not “your teeth.” Since we are using the reflexive pronoun “te” it is obvious whose teeth we are talking about.
Here are some common Spanish Reflexive Verbs:
acostarse = to go to bed
afeitarse = to shave oneself
bañarse = to bathe oneself
casarse (con alguien) = to get married, to marry someone
cepillarse = to brush oneself
despertarse (ie) = to wake up
desvestirse (i) = to get undressed
divertirse (ie) = to enjoy oneself
dormirse (ue) = to fall asleep
ducharse = to take a shower
enfermarse = to get sick
lavarse = to wash oneself
levantarse = to get up
llamarse = to be named, to be called
mirarse = to look at oneself
peinarse = to comb (one’s hair)
quitarse (la ropa) = to takeoff (one’s clothes)
secarse = to dry one’s self
sentarse (ie) = to sit down
sentirse (ie) = to feel
vestirse (i) = to get dressed
Learn Spanish Reflexive Verbs – Exercises
Now let’s try a few exercises. Translate the following into Spanish. The answers are at the bottom of this page.
1. My name is Patrick
2. You brush your hair every evening. (Use “tu” form)
3. You can wash your feet. (Use “tú” form)
4. Do you take a shower or do you take a bath in the morning? (Use the “usted” form)
5. He takes off his pants.
6. We wash our hands before dinner.
7. They wake up very late.
How to Use the Spanish Reflexive Verbs
Spanish Reflexive Verbs – The Present Tense of “Lavarse”
|Yo me lavo|
Tu te lavas
El / Ella se lava
Nosotros nos lavamos
Vosotros os laváis
Ellos / Ellas se lavan
|I wash myself|
You wash yourself
He / She washes
We wash ourselves
You wash yourselves
They / They wash themselves
1. Me llamo Patrick.
2. Te cepillas el pelo cada noche.
3. Te puedes lavar los pies. Puedes lavarte los pies.
4. ¿Se ducha o se baña en la mañana?
5. Se quita los pantalones.
6. Nos lavamos las manos antes de la cena.
7. Se despiertan muy tarde.
This lesson is courtesy of Learningspanishlikecrazy.com