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Reflexive Verbs. Spanish. Los Verbos Reflexivos. In the reflexive construction, the subject is also the object. A person does as well as receives the action…. The subject , the pronoun and the verb are all in the same form…. I get up at eight in the morning.

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Los Verbos Reflexivos

In the reflexive construction,

the subject is also the object

A person does as well as

receives the action…

The subject, the pronoun and

the verb are all in the same

form…


I get up at eight in the morning.

She wakes up very early.

At what time do you have breakfast every day?

My sisters put on makeup in their room.

We go to bed very late.

Pepito takes a bath in the bathroom.

Por ejemplo:

  • Yo me levanto a las ocho de la mañana.

  • Ella se despierta muy temprano.

  • ¿A qué hora te desayunas cada día?

  • Mis hermanas se maquillan en su cuarto.

  • Nosotros nos acostamos muy tarde.

  • Pepito se baña en el baño.


Some examples

I wash the clothesI wash the dishesI wash the carI wash the windows.

I wash my feetI wash my handsI wash my hairI wash my face.


What’s the difference?

I wash my clothes, I wash the dishes, I wash the car, I wash the windows.

I can wash things that are not part of me, that is, not attached to my body.

In Spanish, we say, “Lavo la ropa, lavo los platos, lavo el coche, lavo las ventanas.”


… and…

I wash my hands, I wash my hair, I wash my face.

I also wash things that are attached to my body – hands, face, hair (unless you wear a toupee!).

In Spanish, we say, “Me lavo las manos, me lavo el pelo, me lavo la cara.”


And your point is…?

Lavo la ropa, lavo los platos, lavo el coche, lavo las ventanas.

Me lavo las manos, me lavo el pelo, me lavo la cara.

If you are washing something that is attached, you need to add the word “me.”


Huh?

There are two ways to talk about washing in Spanish:

Lavar: to wash something else

Lavarse: to wash part of one’s body.


Lavarse

Here are the forms:

me lavo

te lavas

se lava

nos lavamos

se lavan

The “me, te, se, nos, se” forms are called reflexive pronouns.


How do you get those forms?

The infinitive has a –se attached to it to show that the subject is doing something to him/herself.

Drop the –se.

Change the verb as usual.

Put the appropriate reflexive pronoun in front of the verb.


Let’s try one.

Llamarse: to call oneself

yo______

tú______

él______

nosotros ______

ellos ______


Llamarse

Llamarse

Llamar -- se

yo me llamo

tú te llamas

él se llama

nosotros nos llamamos

ellos se llaman

Does this look familiar?


What’s going on here?

yo me llamo

tú te llamas

él se llama

nosotros nos llamamos

ellos se llaman

  • The verb endings are the usual ones.


Brillante!

yo me llamo

tú te llamas

él se llama

nosotros nos llamamos

ellos sellaman

The only difference is that we have to add the reflexive pronoun (before the verb).


Acostar

Bañar

Cepillar

Despertar

Lavar

Levantar

Maquillar

Peinar

Quemar

Sentar

vs

¿Reflexivo o no?

Acostarse

Bañarse

Cepillarse

Despertarse

Lavarse

Levantarse

Maquillarse

Peinarse

Quemarse

Sentarse


el espejo

la toalla

el maquillaje

el desodorante

la ducha

la tina

… un poco de vocabulario


Posición de los

pronombres reflexivos:

  • In front of a conjugated verb:

    • Me acuesto a las diez de la noche.

    • Me quiero acostar a las diez de la noche.

    • Me estoy acostando ahora mismo.

  • Attached to a gerund:

    • Estoy acostándome ahora mismo.

    • Luisa está cepillándose los dientes.

Accents!!

  • Attached to an infinitive:

    • Voy a acostarme ahora mismo.

    • Luisa va a cepillarse os dientes.


Okay, how about some more reflexive verbs?

Levantarse: to get/stand up

Sentarse (e > ie): to sit down

Dormirse (o > ue): to fall asleep

Ponerse (-go): to put on an article of clothing


Levantarse

yo me levanto

tú te levantas

él se levanta

nosotros nos levantamos

ellos se levantan

This verb has regular endings.


Sentarse (e > ie)

yo me siento

tú te sientas

él se sienta

nosotros nos sentamos

ellos se sientan

This verb is stem-changing.


Dormirse

yo me duermo

tú te duermes

él se duerme

nosotros nos dormimos

ellos se duermen

This is another stem-changing verb.


Ponerse

yo me pongo

tú te pones

él se pone

nosotros nos ponemos

ellos se ponen

This –go verb changes as usual.


Dormir vs Dormirse

The verb forms are the same: duermo, duermes, duerme, dormimos, duermen

The difference in form is the addition of the reflexive pronouns: me, te, se, nos, se

The difference in meaning is:

Dormir: to sleep

Dormirse: to fall asleep

Reflexive verbs often have a special meaning, such as ‘change in condition’ – from being awake to being asleep.


A morning routine

Todos los días, yo ______ (levantarse) a las 7:00. ______ (ir) al baño, _______ (lavarse) la cara, y _______ (afeitarse). Luego ______ (vestirse = e > i) y ______ (tomar) un poco de desayuno. Por fin, _______ (lavarse) los dientes.

Hint: not all the verbs in this paragraph are reflexive!


A morning routine

Todos los días, yo me levanto a las 7:00. Voy al baño, me lavo la cara, y me afeito. Luego me visto y tomo un poco de desayuno. Por fin, me lavo los dientes.

Did you remember to use a reflexive pronoun with levanto, lavo, afeito, and visto?

Did you remember to change the stem for visto?


Let’s do another

Juana ______ (despertarse = e > ie) a las 6:30, ________ (levantarse), ______ (ir) al baño, y ________ (ducharse). Ella ______ (secarse), _______ (peinarse), y _______ (pintarse) la cara.


Otra rutina diaria

Juana se despierta a las 6:30, se levanta, va al baño, y se ducha. Ella se seca, se peina, y se pinta la cara.

Did you remember to use a reflexive pronoun with despierta, levanta, ducha, seca, peina, and pinta?

Did you remember to change the stem on despierta?


Other things to remember

If you use certain two-part verb combinations, the reflexive verb can either before the first verb or can be attached to the second verb.

Querer + levantarse

Quiero levantarme

Me quiero levantar

Quieres levantarte

Te quieres levantar

etc.

Make sure that the reflexive pronoun agrees with the subject: yo <> me, tú <> te


What about progressives?

Remember that progressives are also two-part verb combinations:

Estoy comiendo

Estamos escribiendo

Refelxive pronouns can go before or after the verb:

Estoy lavándome el pelo

Estamos lavándonos el pelo

Me estoy lavando el pelo

Nos estamos lavando el pelo


Whew! That’s a lot to remember!

True! But keep in mind that the verb changes as it always does. You just have to remember to use the reflexive pronoun if you see an infinitive that ends in –se. You’re now ready to move on to #11, regular preterite verbs.


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