Reflexive Verbs and Reflexive Pronouns
This Spanish Grammar online topic 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
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
are the same. On the other hand, 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
The following are reflexive pronouns or objects of
te yourself (tú form)
se yourself (usted form)
se themselves, yourselves
When there is just one verb in the sentence, the
reflexive pronoun must come before the reflexive verb.
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.
I want to wash myself.
Me quiero bañar.
I want to wash myself.
Here are some examples using reflexive verbs.
I shave myself
You take a shower
Se llama Juan
He calls himself John
We fall asleep
No nos sentamos
We don’t sit down
They get mad
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
bañarse to bathe
casarse (con alguien) to get
married, to marry someone
to brush oneself
despertarse (ie) to wake up
desvestirse (i) to get
divertirse (ie) to enjoy
dormirse (ue) to fall
ducharse to take
enfermarse to get
levantarse to get
llamarse to be
named, to be called
mirarse to look
peinarse to comb
quitarse (la ropa) to takeoff
secarse to dry
sentarse (ie) to sit
sentirse (ie) to
vestirse (i) to get
Now let’s try a few exercises. Translate the
following into Spanish. The answers follow the questions.
- My name is Patrick
- You brush your hair every evening. (Use “tu”
- You can wash your feet. (Use “tú” form)
- Do you take a shower or do you take a bath in
the morning? (Use the “usted” form)
- He takes off his pants.
- We wash our hands before dinner.
- The wake up very late.
- Me llamo Patrick.
- Te cepillas el pelo cada noche.
- Te puedes lavar los pies. Puedes lavarte los
- ¿Se ducha o se baña en la
- Se quita los pantalones.
- Nos lavamos las manos antes de
- Se despiertan muy tarde.