When to Use Reflexive Verbs in Spanish?
Let’s learn how and when to use reflexive verbs in the Spanish language.
Using Me, Te, Se, Nos, Os in Spanish
Since the subject and object are the same, the verb is reflexive.
Note: When a verb is reflexive, the infinitive ends in “se”
Note: When you learned to conjugate regular verbs, you needed to learn a set of pronouns called “subject pronouns.”
él, ella, usted limpia
ellos(as), ustedes limpian
Note: To learn to conjugate reflexive verbs, you need to learn a different set of pronouns called “reflexive pronouns.”
These pronouns are positioned before the verb, while the ending “se” is dropped and the verb is conjugated normally.
Note: The reflexive pronouns are not subject pronouns; rather they are object pronouns.
se (himself, herself, yourself)
se (themselves, yourselves)
Note: The purpose of the reflexive object pronouns is to show that the action of the verb remains with the subject.
When to Use Reflexive verbs | Spanish 2
Note: When the sentence has two verbs, the pronoun can be placed directly before the conjugated verb or attached to the end of the infinitive.
Ahora Paola se puede cepillar los dientes – Paola can brush her teeth now.
Ahora Paola puede cepillarse los dientes
Note: Whenever a verb directly follows a preposition, it remains in the infinitive form. For reflexive verbs, the ending “-se” changes to agree with the subject.
morir – to die (abruptly, as of an accident, war, etc.)
morirse – to die (as from natural causes; also “to die” figuratively)
negar – to deny
negarse a – to refuse
arrepentirse (e:ie) – to repent
atreverse a – to dare
darse cuenta de – to realize
jactarse de – to boast
quejarse de – to complain about
suicidarse – to commit suicide
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