Skip directly to content

Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs need reflexive pronouns which are:

Me

Te

Se

Nos

Se

 

This lesson includes information on:

  1. Reflexive Verb Formation
  2. Position of the Reflexive Pronoun

1.  Reflexive Verb Formation

There are two classes of reflexive verbs:

 

a)      Pure reflexive verbs are those that indicate that an action is received by the same subject that performs the action.  For example, Me pongo la ropa.  (I put on my clothes.)

b)      The apparent reflexive verbs are those that are conjugated as reflexives but do not mean the same thing.  For example, Me llevo el libro.  (I carry away the book.)

 

  • The pronoun is attached to the end of the infinitive when it is reflexive. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Aburrirse

To get bored

Bañarse

To bathe

Ducharse

To shower

 
  • When you conjugate a verb, the reflexive pronoun is positioned before the conjugated verb. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Seaburre

He/she gets bored

Tebañas

You bathe

Meduché

I showered

 
  • Some verbs have different meanings when they are reflexive than when they are not reflexive. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Acordar

To agree

Acordarse

To remember

Llamar

To call

Llamarse

To be named

Sonar

To ring

Sonarse

To blow one’s nose

 
  • Some reflexive verbs use the prepositions a, de, or en.

            For example:

Spanish

English

Negarsea

To refuse

Alegrarse de

To be glad

Convertirse en

To become

 

 

2.  Position of the Reflexive Pronoun

The position of the reflexive pronoun is different in different conjugations. 

  • With a conjugated verb, the reflexive pronoun is positioned before the verb. 

For example: 

Spanish

English

Meduché

I showered

 
  • With the complex verb conjugations, the reflexive pronoun is positioned before the auxiliary verb. 

For example: 

Spanish

English

Me heduchado

I have showered

 
  • With a conjugated verb + an infinitive, one can position the verb at the end of the infinitive or before the conjugated verb. 

For example: 

Spanish

English

Quiero ducharme

I want to shower

Mequiero duchar

I want to shower

 
  • With a gerund, one can position the reflexive pronoun at the end of the gerund or before the auxiliary verb. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Estoy duchándome

I am showering

Meestoy duchando

I am showering

 

Note: When you place the pronoun at the end of the infinitive or the gerund verb, the pronoun is attached to the verb forming one word.

  • With the affirmative command forms of tú, usted or ustedes, the reflexive pronoun is positioned at the end of the verb forming one word with the verb and the pronoun. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Dúche(n)seusted(es)

(You formal or plural) Shower.

Dúchate

(You) Shower

 
  • With the affirmative command form of nosotros, the reflexive pronoun is positioned at the end of the verb where one removes the final “s” of the verb forming one word with the verb and the pronoun. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Duchemos

Let’s shower

Duchémonos

Let’s shower ourselves

 
  • A command in the negative form of tú, usted and ustedes requires the reflexive pronoun before the verb. 

For example:

Spanish

English

No seduche(n)usted(es)

(You formal or plural) Don’t shower.

No te duches tú

(You) Don’t shower.

 

  • A command in the negative form of nosotros requires the pronoun to be positioned before the verb as well. 

For example:

Spanish

English

No nosduchemos

Let’s not shower