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Reflexive Verbs


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Title: Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive Verbs
  • Spanish

Los Verbos Reflexivos
In the reflexive construction, the subject is
also the object
A person does as well as receives the action
The subject, the pronoun and the verb are all in
the same form
Por ejemplo
  • Yo me levanto a las ocho de la mañana.
  • Ella se despierta muy temprano.
  • A qué hora te desayunas cada día?
  • Mis hermanas se maquillan en su cuarto.
  • Nosotros nos acostamos muy tarde.
  • Pepito se baña en el baño.

Some examples
I wash the clothesI wash the dishesI wash the
carI wash the windows. I wash my feetI wash
my handsI wash my hairI wash my face.
Whats the difference?
I wash my clothes, I wash the dishes, I wash the
car, I wash the windows. I can wash things that
are not part of me, that is, not attached to my
body. In Spanish, we say, Lavo la ropa, lavo
los platos, lavo el coche, lavo las ventanas.
I wash my hands, I wash my hair, I wash my face.
I also wash things that are attached to my body
hands, face, hair (unless you wear a toupee!).
In Spanish, we say, Me lavo las manos, me lavo
el pelo, me lavo la cara.
And your point is?
Lavo la ropa, lavo los platos, lavo el coche,
lavo las ventanas. Me lavo las manos, me lavo el
pelo, me lavo la cara. If you are washing
something that is attached, you need to add the
word me.
There are two ways to talk about washing in
Spanish Lavar to wash something else Lavarse
to wash part of ones body.
Here are the forms me lavo te lavas se lava
nos lavamos se lavan The me, te, se, nos, se
forms are called reflexive pronouns.
How do you get those forms?
The infinitive has a se attached to it to show
that the subject is doing something to
him/herself. Drop the se. Change the verb as
usual. Put the appropriate reflexive pronoun in
front of the verb.
Lets try one.
Llamarse to call oneself yo______ tú______
él______ nosotros ______ ellos ______
Llamarse Llamar -- se yo me llamo tú te
llamas él se llama nosotros nos llamamos ellos
se llaman Does this look familiar?
Whats going on here?
yo me llamo tú te llamas él se llama nosotros
nos llamamos ellos se llaman
  • The verb endings are the usual ones.

yo me llamo tú te llamas él se llama nosotros
nos llamamos ellos se llaman The only
difference is that we have to add the reflexive
pronoun (before the verb).
Reflexivo o no?
Acostarse Bañarse Cepillarse Despertarse Lavarse L
evantarse Maquillarse Peinarse Quemarse Sentarse
un poco de vocabulario
  • In front of a conjugated verb
  • Me acuesto a las diez de la noche.
  • Me quiero acostar a las diez de la noche.
  • Me estoy acostando ahora mismo.
  • Attached to a gerund
  • Estoy acostándome ahora mismo.
  • Luisa está cepillándose los dientes.

  • Attached to an infinitive
  • Voy a acostarme ahora mismo.
  • Luisa va a cepillarse os dientes.

Okay, how about some more reflexive verbs?
Levantarse to get/stand up Sentarse (e gt ie)
to sit down Dormirse (o gt ue) to fall asleep
Ponerse (-go) to put on an article of clothing
yo me levanto tú te levantas él se levanta
nosotros nos levantamos ellos se levantan
This verb has regular endings.
Sentarse (e gt ie)
yo me siento tú te sientas él se sienta
nosotros nos sentamos ellos se sientan This
verb is stem-changing.
yo me duermo tú te duermes él se duerme
nosotros nos dormimos ellos se duermen This
is another stem-changing verb.
yo me pongo tú te pones él se pone nosotros
nos ponemos ellos se ponen This go verb
changes as usual.
Dormir vs Dormirse
The verb forms are the same duermo, duermes,
duerme, dormimos, duermen The difference in form
is the addition of the reflexive pronouns me,
te, se, nos, se The difference in meaning is
Dormir to sleep Dormirse to fall asleep
Reflexive verbs often have a special meaning,
such as change in condition from being awake
to being asleep.
A morning routine
Todos los días, yo ______ (levantarse) a las
700. ______ (ir) al baño, _______ (lavarse) la
cara, y _______ (afeitarse). Luego ______
(vestirse e gt i) y ______ (tomar) un poco de
desayuno. Por fin, _______ (lavarse) los
dientes. Hint not all the verbs in this
paragraph are reflexive!
A morning routine
Todos los días, yo me levanto a las 700. Voy al
baño, me lavo la cara, y me afeito. Luego me
visto y tomo un poco de desayuno. Por fin, me
lavo los dientes. Did you remember to use a
reflexive pronoun with levanto, lavo, afeito, and
visto? Did you remember to change the stem for
Lets do another
Juana ______ (despertarse e gt ie) a las 630,
________ (levantarse), ______ (ir) al baño, y
________ (ducharse). Ella ______ (secarse),
_______ (peinarse), y _______ (pintarse) la cara.
Otra rutina diaria
Juana se despierta a las 630, se levanta, va al
baño, y se ducha. Ella se seca, se peina, y se
pinta la cara. Did you remember to use a
reflexive pronoun with despierta, levanta, ducha,
seca, peina, and pinta? Did you remember to
change the stem on despierta?
Other things to remember
If you use certain two-part verb combinations,
the reflexive verb can either before the first
verb or can be attached to the second verb.
Querer levantarse Quiero levantarme Me
quiero levantar Quieres levantarte Te quieres
levantar etc. Make sure that the reflexive
pronoun agrees with the subject yo ltgt me, tú ltgt
What about progressives?
Remember that progressives are also two-part verb
combinations Estoy comiendo Estamos
escribiendo Refelxive pronouns can go before or
after the verb Estoy lavándome el pelo Estamos
lavándonos el pelo Me estoy lavando el pelo Nos
estamos lavando el pelo
Whew! Thats a lot to remember!
True! But keep in mind that the verb changes as
it always does. You just have to remember to use
the reflexive pronoun if you see an infinitive
that ends in se. Youre now ready to move on to
11, regular preterite verbs.
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