Spanish Reflexive Verbs

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

A verb is reflexive when the subject and the object are the same.. Another way to think of it is when the subject is doing something to itself, it is reflexive. When the subject is doing something to someone or something else, it is not reflexive.

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Spanish A1

 

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Reflexive Verbs in Spanish

We have learned about regular verbs in Spanish and how to conjugate them in our previous module Regular -AR Verbs, but today we will go one step further as we learn about Reflexive Verbs in Spanish and how to conjugate them!

  • First, what is a reflexive verb?
    A reflexive verb is used when an action is done to oneself. For example: to shower oneself, to wake oneself up.
  • How do you know if a verb is a Reflexive Verb?
    In Spanish, every reflexive verb will end in “se” in its infinitive form. For example: acostarse, peinarse, estirarse.
  • Now, how do we conjugate these reflexive verbs?

Conjugating reflexive verbs is very similar to conjugating regular Spanish verbs but we will add just two easy steps.
  1. Determine the subject of the sentence
  2. “Chop” off the “se” from the end of the verb and move it to the front
  3. Adjust the reflexive pronoun “se” to match the subject of the sentence (see our previous lesson for a review on how to do this LINK LESSON HERE)
  4. “Chop” off the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, -ir)
  5. Add back the appropriate ending based on the subject (see our previous lesson about conjugating verbs in the present tense HERE)

See these steps in action here:
Example sentence: Yo __________ (ducharse) todos los días.

  1. Subject: Yo
  2. Ducharse --> Se duchar
  3. Se duchar -->  Me duchar
  4. Me duchar -->  Me duch__
  5. Me duch__ -->  Me ducho

Watch this verb transform again here:
(yo) ducharse
(yo) se duchar
(yo) me duchar
(yo) me ducho

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Let’s practice!

Conjugate the following reflexive verbs based on the subject of the sentence given. Put the reflexive pronoun in the first blank and the verb in the second blank. Remember to click READ MORE to see the answer key once you are finished!

1.  Yo ______   ________________________ el pelo con champú. (lavarse)

2.  Los niños ______   ______________________ anoche. (bañarse)

3.  Juanita ______   ______________________ a las diez. (acostarse - *this verb has an o to ue stem change)

4.  ¿Por qué ______   ______________________ tú el sombrero? (quitarse)

5.  Mi hermana y yo ______   ______________________ temprano. (levantarse)

6.  Mi familia ______   ______________________ a las siete. (despertarse- *this verb has an e to ie stem change)

7.  Usted ______   ______________________ en el sofá por una hora. (relajarse)

8.  Las chicas ______   _________________________ rápidamente. (maquillarse)

9.  Rodrigo y usted ______   _______________________ los dientes esta mañana. (cepillarse)

10. Nosotros ______   _________________________ el pelo con una toalla. (secarse)

 

Answer key: 1. Me lavo, 2. Se bañan, 3. Se acuesta, 4. Te quitas, 5. Nos levantamos, 6. Se despierta, 7. Se relaja, 8. Se maquillan, 9. Se cepillan, 10. Nos secamos

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