Spanish Grammar Lessons with Reflexive Verbs

Oct 18 21:00 2004 Patrick Jackson Print This Article

This Spanish Grammar lesson covers Reflexive Verbs and Reflexive Pronouns. In Spanish, a verb is considered reflexive if the subject (the performer of the action) and the object (the receiver of the action) are the same.

Here’s an example of a reflexive verb being used in English:

I wash myself.

In the above sentence the verb “wash” is considered reflexive because the subject or the one performing the action (“I”) and the object or the one receiving the action (“myself”) are the same. On the other hand,Guest Posting if I said “I wash the baby,” the verb “wash” is no longer reflexive because the subject or the one performing the action (“I”) and the object or the one receiving the action (“baby”) are not the same.

Spanish reflexive verbs consist of a verb and a reflexive pronoun. The following are reflexive pronouns or objects of reflexive verbs.

me myself
teyourself (tú form)
seyourself (usted form)
sethemselves, yourselves

When there is just one verb in the sentence, the reflexive pronoun must come before the reflexive verb.

Me baño.
I wash myself

However, when there are two verbs in the sentence, the reflexive pronoun either comes right before the first verb or follows the second verb.

Quiero bañarme.
I want to wash myself.

Me quiero bañar.
I want to wash myself.

Here are some examples using reflexive verbs.

Me afeito
I shave myself

Te duchas
You take a shower

Se llama Juan
He calls himself John

Nos dormimos
We fall asleep

No nos sentamos
We don’t sit down

Se enojan
They get mad

Se levantan
All of you get up

Te cepillas los dientes
You brush your teeth.

Literally, “los dientes” means “the teeth” and not “your teeth.” Since we are using the reflexive pronoun “te” it is obvious whose teeth we are talking about.

Here some common reflexive verbs in Spanish.

acostarse to go to bed
afeitarseto shave oneself
bañarseto bathe oneself
casarse (con alguien)to get married, to marry someone
cepillarseto brush oneself
despertarse (ie) to wake up
desvestirse (i)to get undressed
divertirse (ie)to enjoy oneself
dormirse (ue)to fall asleep
ducharseto take a shower
enfermarse to get sick
lavarseto wash oneself
levantarseto get up
llamarseto be named, to be called
mirarseto look at oneself
peinarseto comb (one’s hair)
quitarse (la ropa)to takeoff (one’s clothes)
secarseto dry one’s self
sentarse (ie)to sit down
sentirse (ie)to feel
vestirse (i)to get dressed

Now let’s try a few exercises. Translate the following into Spanish.
The answers follow the questions.

1.My name is Patrick
2.You brush your hair every evening. (Use “tu” form)
3.You can wash your feet. (Use “tú” form)
4.Do you take a shower or do you take a bath in the morning? (Use the “usted” form)
5.He takes off his pants.
6.We wash our hands before dinner.
7. The wake up very late.


1.Me llamo Patrick.
2.Te cepillas el pelo cada noche.
3.Te puedes lavar los pies. Puedes lavarte los pies.
4.¿Se ducha o se baña en la mañana?
5.Se quita los pantalones.
6.Nos lavamos las manos antes de la cena.
7.Se despiertan muy tarde.

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Patrick Jackson
Patrick Jackson

Patrick Jackson is the founder of Learning Spanish Like Crazy. A unique method of that combines recorded lessons and live tele-classes.
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