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Spanish Verb Mastery Tutorial: Reflexive Spanish Verbs


Reflexive Spanish Verbs

This Spanish Verb Mastery Tutorial will tell you what you need to know to conjugate reflexive Spanish verbs.

Whether the verb ending is “ar,” “er,” or “ir,” the infinitive reflexive verb will end in “se.” 

For example, “bañarse,” “caerse,” or “divertirse.” Reflexive verbs can be regular or irregular. 

In addition to the verb conjugation, a reflexive pronoun will precede the verb and reflect the subject of the conjugated verb. The “se” at the end of the infinitive verb is not retained when the verb is conjugated.

For example, “bañarse” (to bathe oneself) a regular -ar reflexive verb in the present tense: “bañ” is the stem; “ar” is the ending; “se” is the infinitive reflexive pronoun

         me baño............I bathe myself

         te bañ (inf.) bathe yourself

         se baña.............he bathes himself, she bathes herself, you (f.) bathe yourself

         se bañan...........they bathe themselves, you all (f. & inf.) bathe yourselves

         nos bañamos....we bathe ourselves

         os bañá all (inf.) bathe yourselves

 Reflexive verbs are used most frequently in the following ways:

  1. Some verbs can be used reflexively to convey “myself,” “yourself,” “himself,” “itself,” etc. when the subject and the object of the action are the same person(s) or thing(s). For example, “I look at myself in the mirror.” (Me miro en el espejo.)
  2. Verbs in English that imply “get” / “got” or “become” / “became” are used reflexively in Spanish. For example, “I get tired” (Me canso); “I got bored” (Me aburrí).
  3. To communicate “each other” or “one another,” reflexive verbs are used: “We speak to each other every day.” (Nos hablamos todos los días.)
  4. Reflexive verbs in the third person (se) are used for the passive voice. For example:      “They say that...” (Se dicen que...) or “How does one say...?” (¿Cómo se dice...?); Spanish is spoken here.” (Se habla or Se hablan español.)  

Regular and irregular reflexive verbs of The Spanish Verb Conjugator fall into two categories: verbs that are most often used reflexively; and verbs that can be used reflexively or not, but in doing so change their meaning.

Related Spanish Verb Mastery Blog Posts:

Se Habla Español 'Se What?': Learning How To Conjugate Reflexive Spanish Verbs

'Vamos'or 'Vámonos?': Learning How To Conjugate Reflexive Spanish Verbs Part 'Dos'


(This tutorial was excerpted from The Spanish Verb Conjugator: The Beginner's Guide to Mastering Spanish Verbs. Copyright Roche Publishing.)