Spanish Reflexive Pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are used with a verb to indicate that a person performs an action to or for him/herself. In other words, the subject of the verb and the direct object of the verb are the same person. Therefore, reflexive pronouns match the subject of the verb.
First of all, what are pronouns? Remember that pronouns are words that take the place of a noun.
In our previous lesson about Subject Pronouns we learned about the pronouns yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros, vosotros, ellos, ellas and ustedes. In this lesson we will talk about a different type of pronoun – Reflexive Pronouns.
Reflexive Pronouns are used when talking about actions performed on, or to, oneself. These pronouns can be paired with the previously mentioned subject pronouns!
How do we know when to use reflexive pronouns? The great thing about reflexive pronouns is that they are always paired with a reflexive verb. We know a verb is a reflexive verb because it will have the ending “se” attached to the infinitive form of the verb. (ex: despertarse, levantarse, bañarse)
The reflexive pronouns are:
Notice how these pronouns “live” in the same boxes as the subject pronouns that we know? They also correlate with those subject pronouns. For example, “me” is used in place of “yo” (or in conjunction with it if you prefer). For example, you can say: me despierto (I wake up) or yo me despierto (I wake up).
NOTE: It is helpful to use a subject pronoun with a reflexive pronoun in the case of the reflexive pronoun “se”. Because “se” can refer to él, ella, usted, ellos, ellas or ustedes, it helps to use a subject pronoun to clarify about whom you are speaking. For example, if we were to just say “se ducha”, we would know someone is taking a shower, but it could be él, ella or usted! (*we know it’s not ellos, ellas or ustedes based on the ending of the verb – see how there is no “N” on the end?). So, to clarify we would add “ella se ducha” to say, “she takes a shower”.
Meet one or more times weekly with a dedicated Spanish instructor online at a pace and schedule that custom fits your busy life.
Join an Academy course for course content built on top of leading Spanish curriculum: includes videos, vocabulary, quizzes and certificate.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.