Reflexive Verbs in Spanish

Do you know what Reflexive Verbs in Spanish are? After reading today’s post you sure will. Also, we prepared a video so that you can listen to this information and understand it fully.

Reflexive Verbs in Spanish are the ones where the subject is the same as the object. In their infinitive form they end in -se. If we analyse the basic structure of a sentence we follow a S+V+O pattern, meaning Subject + Verb + Object. The Subject is the one that executes the action, the Verb is the action and the Object is the one that receives the action.

Take this sentence as an example: Ella lava el auto.

In this sentence Ella is the Subject, lava is the Verb or action and the one receiving the action a.k.a. the Object is el auto.

Now, talking about Reflexive verbs, let’s take a look at the following example: Ella se lava.

Here we can see that Ella is the Subject again, then we have the reflexive verb “lavarse” conjugated for this specific subject, which implies that the one receiving that action will be the subject as well. So if we translate the se lava part, it means: washes herself.

Conjugation of Reflexive Verbs

As we mentioned before, the infinitive form of these verbs is -se. For instance: bañarse, cepillarse, dormirse, etc. But if you want to conjugate them in either past, present or future tense you will have to match the subject to a reflexive pronoun.

Take a look at the following chart to master the use of reflexive verbs.

Subject Reflexive PronounVerb – example
in the present
Yome lavoI wash myself.
telavasYou wash yourself
Él | EllaselavaHe washes himself.
She washes herself.
NosotrosnoslavamosWe wash ourselves.
Ustedes selavanYou wash yourselves.
Ellas | EllosselavanThey wash themselves.

Some Reflexive Verbs Examples:

Plenty of the routine verbs in Spanish are, in fact, reflexive verbs.

  • Levantarse (to get up)
  • Dormirse (to sleep)
  • Sentarse (to sit down)
  • Pararse (to stand up)
  • Vestirse (to get dressed)
  • Volverse (to become)

Video about Reflexive Verbs in Spanish

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