Spanish A1 Grammar: Verbos reflexivos
Reflexive verbs

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Spanish A1 Grammar: Verbos reflexivos
Reflexive verbs

Reflexive verbs and reflexive pronouns are like socks and shoes, coffee and cake, peanut butter and jelly, ...
I get it, they go together.
A reflexive pronoun is used as part of a reflexive verb to indicate that someone is performing an action on himself or herself (mostly).
Here are some examples of reflexive verbs:
levantarse
to wake up
bañarse/ducharse
to take a shower
peinarse
to comb one's hair
lavarse las manos
to wash one's hands
Observe in the following examples that:
  • the subject and object of the verb (both the blue and the black parts) refer to the same entity
  • reflexive pronouns are placed before the verb
yoMe ducho.
Te duchas.
él/ellaSe ducha.
nosotrosNos duchamos.
ustedes vosotros→ →Se duchan. (Latin.) Os ducháis. (Spain)
ellos/ellasSe duchan.
This is a very common mistake:
Me lavo mis manos. → Me lavo las manos.
Since the reflexive pronoun me expresses that the person performing the action is the same as the recipient or target object of the action, saying mis manos (my hands) would be redundant.
Many actions related to personal care or daily routines are reflexive, because... duh... you do them to yourself. However. Other important verbs can be reflexive as well:
  • acordarse → to remember
  • olvidarse → to forget
  • divertirse → to have fun/to enjoy oneself
No me acuerdo.
I don't remember.
Siempre me olvido de llamar.
I always forget to call.
Me divierto en el trabajo.
I have fun at work.
And for grammar geeks: You can also add reflexive pronouns to verbs that are not regularly reflexive in order to make them reflexive.
Me compro un vestido.
I buy a dress for myself.
Me veo en el espejo.
I look at myself in the mirror.
And in case you haven't noticed, one of the very first verbs we learned is reflexive. ¿Cómo se llama ese verbo?
Llamarse.