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Page 1 of 5 AP Spanish Study Sheet: Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs Figure It Out! Ayer me acosté a las seis pero no me levanté hasta las siete. Cuando me levanté me afeité, me duché, me sequé, me vestí, me preparé para el día y luego desayuné. A las ocho me fui a la escuela. How does the word in front of each verb in this paragraph about this person's personal routine affect the meaning of the verb? Introduction A verb is reflexive when the subject receives the action of the verb. That is, the subject does the action to or for himself, herself, themselves, etc. Other times, a reflexive verb simply indicates that the subject receives the action, and that the performer of the action is unknown or unimportant. Reflexive verbs can also be used to indicate reciprocal action, meaning something that two people or things do to each other. A reflexive pronoun always accompanies a reflexive verb. They agree in person and number with each other. Reflexive pronouns generally precede the conjugated reflexive verb. Reflexive Pronouns The purpose of reflexive object pronouns is to show that the action of the verb remains with the subject. The following table shows the six reflexive pronouns in Spanish, along with their English equivalents in parentheses. REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS me (myself) te (yourself [informal]) se (himself, herself, yourself [formal]) nos (ourselves) os (yourselves [informal]) se (themselves, yourselves [formal]) Reflexive pronouns are always placed before the conjugated reflexive verb. They can also be attached to the end of infinitives, present participles, and affirmative commands. A written accent is often necessary to keep the original stress of present participles and affirmative commands when reflexive pronouns are attached. Also, reflexive pronouns agree in person and number with the conjugated verb. For example: Me levanto temprano. Necesitamos levantarnos temprano mañana. Ellos no están levantándose temprano hoy. Levántate ahora. I get [myself] up early. We need to get [ourselves] up early tomorrow. They are not getting [themselves] up early today. Get [yourself] up now. When a reflexive verb is after another verb (an auxiliary, or "helping" verb), and the reflexive verb is either an infinitive, a present participle, or an affirmative command, the © 2008 powerspeaK12. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express permission of powerspeaK12. Page 2 of 5 AP Spanish Study Sheet: Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs reflexive pronoun can be placed either before both verbs or attached to the end of the second verb. For example, you could say the following: Tenemos que levantarnos temprano mañana. OR Nos tenemos que levantar temprano mañana. Ellos no están levantándose temprano hoy. OR Ellos no se están levantando temprano hoy. If the meaning of the reflexive pronoun is not clear from the context of the sentence, then a prepositional phrase involving mismo or propio is used to clarify its reflexive meaning (directed to oneself), or the phrase el uno al otro is used to signify reciprocity (directed to each other or one another). For example: Se vio a sí mismo. (He saw himself.) Se escribieron el uno al otro. (They wrote to each other.) Reflexive Verbs A reflexive verb is formed by adding a reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, nos, os, se) before the conjugated verb or attached to the end of an infinitive verb, present participle, or affirmative command. The reflexive pronoun used agrees in person and number with the conjugated verb. The following table shows the conjugation of a common reflexive verb. (to bath oneself) nos bañamos (we wash ourselves) os bañáis (you [plural] wash yourselves) se baña se bañan (he washes himself) (they wash themselves) (she washes herself) (they wash themselves) (you wash yourself) (you [plural] yourselves) BAÑARSE me baño (I wash myself) te bañas (you wash yourself) In Spanish, when reflexive verbs appear in vocabulary lists they have the reflexive pronoun –se attached to the end of the infinitive verb. Without the reflexive pronoun the verb is not reflexive. You should also note that not all verbs can be reflexive and that a few verbs are always used reflexively. Also, for some verbs, the meaning changes when they are used reflexively. The following table lists some typical verbs in Spanish. Most can either be reflexive or non-reflexive, but a few can only be of one type. The equivalents are given in English. Pay special attention to the reflexive verbs and make a note as to which ones are stem-changing. © 2008 powerspeaK12. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express permission of powerspeaK12. Page 3 of 5 AP Spanish Study Sheet: Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs NON-REFLEXIVE VERBS aburrir to bore acordar (ue) to agree acostar (ue) to put to bed afeitar to shave almorzar (ue) to (have) lunch REFLEXIVE VERBS aburrirse to get bored acordarse (ue) to remember acostarse (ue) to go to bed to take or have a afeitarse shave arrepentirse (ie,i) arreglar to arrange, fix asistir (a) to attend arreglarse atreverse a cepillarse darse cuenta de desayunarse (ie) despedirse (i,i) to dare to take or have a bath to fall down to keep quiet, remain silent to change clothes to get tired to become married to someone to brush oneself to realize to have breakfast say goodbye despertarse (ie) to wake up oneself divertirse (ie,i) dormirse (ue,u) ducharse encontrarse (ue) enojarse irse jactarse de lavarse (la/el …) levantarse llamarse to have a good time to fall asleep to take a shower to meet, run into to get angry to leave, go away to boast to wash oneself to get up to be called, named to put make-up on oneself to die (as from natural causes; also "to die" figuratively) to refuse to resemble bañar to bathe bañarse caer to fall caerse callar to silence, shut up callarse cambiar cansar to change to tire to perform a marriage ceremony to brush to give to have breakfast to fire to wake someone up to entertain, divert to sleep to give a shower to to find to anger to go cambiarse (de ropa) cansarse casar cepillar dar desayunar (ie) despedir (i,i) despertar (ie) divertir (ie,i) dormir (ue,u) duchar encontrar (ue) enojar ir lavar levantar llamar maquillar morir (ue,u) negar (ie) parecer to wash to lift, raise to call to make up (with cosmetics) to die (abruptly, as of an accident, war, etc.) to deny to seem to repent to get dressed, ready casarse con maquillarse morirse (ue,u) negarse (ie) parecerse © 2008 powerspeaK12. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express permission of powerspeaK12. Page 4 of 5 AP Spanish Study Sheet: Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs peinar poner preocupar prepar probar (ue) to take for a walk, ride to comb to put to worry, preoccupy to prepare to try, taste peinarse ponerse preocuparse prepararse probarse (ue) quedar to remain, fit quedarse pasear pasearse quejarse de quitar to take away quitarse secar sentar (ie) to dry to sit (someone) secarse sentarse (i) sentir (ie,i) to feel, sense sentirse (ie,i) vestir (i,i) to dress vestirse (i,i) to go for a walk, ride to comb one's hair to put on clothing to worry, care to get ready to try on to stay or remain behind to complain about to take off (clothing) to get dried off to sit down to feel (a certain way) to get dressed Remember that a verb is reflexive when the subject and the object are the same. For example, in the sentence "I washed myself," the subject is "I" and the object is "myself," both 1st person singular. However, the sentence "I washed the car" is not reflexive because the subject (I) and the object (car) are not the same. By the same token, the Spanish sentence Yo me lavo is reflexive because yo and me refer to the same person. More Information on Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns: Sentence Structure and Meaning The following are a few important points that you should learn in connection with the meaning and usage of reflexive verbs and pronouns. Whenever a verb directly follows a preposition, it remains in the infinitive form. For reflexive verbs, the ending -se changes to agree with the subject. Note the differences in the following sentences. • Antes de acostarme, yo hago mi tarea. (Before going to bed I do my homework.) • Antes de acostarte, tú llamas a tu novia. (Before going to bed you call your girlfriend.) • Antes de acostarse, ella escribe en su diario. (Before going to bed she writes in her journal.) • Antes de acostarnos, nosotros leemos un libro. (Before going to bed we read a book.) • Antes de acostaros, vosotras habláis por teléfono. (Before going to bed y'all talk on the phone.) • Antes de acostarse, ellos miran la televisión. (Before going to bed they watch TV.) In Spanish, the reflexive construction can be used even when some other noun or pronoun is already present as the direct object, to emphasize who is performing the action of the sentence. © 2008 powerspeaK12. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express permission of powerspeaK12. Page 5 of 5 AP Spanish Study Sheet: Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs • • ¿Dónde están las galletas? —Juan se las comió. (Where are the cookies? Juan at them all up.) ¿Hay limonada? —No. Tú te la tomaste. (Is there lemonade? No. You drank it all up.) In English, many verbs can be used transitively (with a direct object) or intransitively (without a direct object). But in Spanish, these intransitive constructions often involve the use of a reflexive pronoun. • Transitive • El fuego secó nuestros zapatos. (The fire dried our shoes.) • Intransitive • Nuestros zapatos se secaron al fuego. (Our shoes dried in front of the fire.) © 2008 powerspeaK12. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express permission of powerspeaK12.