Learning Spanish : Reflexive verbs

Welcome back in Learning Spanish with this blog, I wan’t to explain to you about new title about Spanish Grammar , because it’s important to know.
Reflexive verbs are nomally used for actions that the subject performs to ‘him/herself’, e.g. ‘I wash (myself)’, ‘I wake (myself)’. In other words the subject and the object of the verb are the same. Remember that in English, however, the ‘myself/yourself’, etc. are often implicit rather than stated, thus we would usually say ‘I washed’ with the ‘myself’ being implicit in the lack of any other direct object. In Spanish the use of reflexive verbs is much more common and the reflexive pronoun
must be used:

Me lavo.                                                                Se despierta.
I wash (myself).                                                    He wakes (himself).


Lavo el coche.                                                       Despierta a los niños.
I wash the car.                                                       He wakes the children.

The form of the reflexive verb in Spanish is as follows:

me lavo                                  I wash (myself)
te lavas                                  you wash (yourself)
se lava                                    he/she washes (himself/herself)
you wash                                (yourself)
nos lavamos                          we wash (ourselves)
os laváis                                                you wash (yourselves)
se lavan                                 they wash (themselves)
you wash (yourselves)

The pronoun is placed in front of the verb in the present tense.  pronouns are normally placed at the end of certain parts of the verb, notably the infinitive, the gerund (see Unit 15) and the imperative, which will be dealt with at a laterstage.

e.g.          Voy a lavarme.
I am going to wash (myself).

Tenemos que despertarnos.
We have to wake up.

Other common reflexive verbs are:

levantarse                              to get up
acostarse (ue)                        to go to bed
afeitarse                                 to shave
peinarse                                                to comb one’s hair
vestirse (i)                              to get dressed
ponerse                                  to put on

Note: When referring to parts of the body or articles of clothing, a reflexive verb is often
used in Spanish to express possession in preference to the possessive adjective:

Se lava la cara.
He washes his face.

Se rompe la pierna.
He breaks his leg.

Me quito el abrigo.
I take off my coat.

The reflexive passive
A reflexive form of the verb is often used in Spanish when we would use a passive in English, for example:

Se habla ingles.
English is spoken.

Se venden sellos.
Stamps are sold.

Se cultivan manzanas.
Apples are grown.

Note that the verb form is the third person singular or plural, depending on the subject. This construction is normally only used when the subject of the verb refers to an inanimate object. This is because in such cases there is little likelihood of confusion with the reflexive meaning, since inanimate objects cannot perform the actions on themselves. In the above examples, newspapers cannot sell themselves, neither can apples grow themselves, so there is no possible confusion with the reflexive meaning. Notice the word order of this construction – the verb is normally placed before the subject.

A singular reflexive construction can also be used to convey the meaning ‘it is + past
participle’ for example:

Se dice que…
It is said that…

Se cree que…
It is believed that…

Se espera que…

It is hoped that…

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