Spanish reflexive verbs (A1)

Spanish reflexive verbs

Spanish reflexive verbs are those where the subject and the object are the same, and where the action “reflects back” on the subject. They must be used with a specific pronoun such as myself, yourself, and himself in English.

Spanish reflexive verbs and pronouns

How reflexive verbs work in Spanish

Here is a video that will help you better understand how reflexive verbs work in Spanish, with many examples that will make your work easier.

You must also notice:

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 precisely how you will see them in the dictionary, here you have some of the most commonly used.

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 pronouns 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).

Spanish reflexive verbs list

Some verbs change their meaning when used together with a reflexive pronoun, here you have a list with some of these verbs, so you can compare them.

Ready to practice what you have learned?

You can practice what you have learned with the activities below. 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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