We have worked with reflexive pronouns before, but do you know we can use reflexive pronouns to express reciprocity? The plural pronominal/reflexive pronouns (nos, os, se) are used to express “each other” or “to each other.” Let’s see how the reciprocal verbs and pronouns work in Spanish.
Se abrazan (They hug to each other or they hug themselves).
Because the above statements could have a reflexive meaning as well, one may add one of the following phrases to clarify, but this is optional since the context of the sentence is going to be very helpful.
Se abrazan el uno al otro (they hug to each other).
When dealing with both masculine and feminine in an “each other” statement, it is more common not to mix genders in the clarifying statement.
Juan y María se aman el uno al otro (Juan and María love each other).
Teresa y Carlota se odian la una a la otra (Teresa and Carlota hate each other).
The additional clarifying statement is especially useful with verbs that are already reflexive. In those cases the reflexive pronoun cannot have dual meaning—it must act as a reflexive. As is often the case with these types, there is an accompanying preposition to be dealt with. This preposition is placed in the clarifying statement.
casarse con (to get married to).
Se casan uno con otro (They get married to each other).
burlarse de (to make fun of)
Se burlan uno de otro (They make fun of each other).
Main Reciprocal Verbs
Reciprocal actions are especially useful to express feeling, so perfect to celebrate Sant Valentine’s Day.
Practice the reciprocal verbs and pronouns
Now it is time you practice what you have learned about the reciprocal verbs and pronouns with the interactive activity below, and remember to contact your tutor with any question you have about this topic. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor?