How to master reflexive verbs in Spanish

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Nadia Camacho Spanish
March 12, 2019
242
2 minutes
If you are reading this it’s because you have probably been struggling trying to learn and understand how reflexive verbs work in Spanish. If so, I hope I can make this simpler for you. So, let’s start from the beginning. What is a reflexive verb?
In grammar, a reflexive verb is a verb whose direct object is the same as the subject. For example, when you take a shower, you are performing this action for yourself, same as when you brush your teeth or get ready for school or work.
So, let’s say that you are the producer and the receiver of these actions:
“Me ducho, me cepillo los dientes, me arreglo para el trabajo.”

These reflexive verbs indicate that the action is performed by the subject to or for the same subject. Also we need the reflexive pronouns "me, te, se, nos, os, se" when using these verbs:
"Tú te duchas, él se cepilla los dientes, nosotros nos arreglamos para el trabajo."

These pronouns are always located before the conjugated verb. But you probably already know this and the real struggle starts when you are reading a passage in Spanish or talking with a Spanish speaker and you come across with reflexive verbs that you had no idea they were reflexive and you can't understand why. well, here is the hack! A good way to learn and understand the most common Spanish reflexive verbs is by organizing them into groups. For example:

  • Reflexive verbs that indicate actions performed by the subject to or for the subject itself such as: Ducharse,secarse, peinarse, maquillarse, vestirse, etc.
  • Reflexive verbs that indicate a change in social status such as: graduarse, casarse, divorciarse,jubilarse, etc.
  • Reflexive verbs that indicate a change in physical condition or body posture such as: Levantarse, acostarse, sentarse, moverse, etc.
  • Reflexive verbs that indicate unexpected actions such as: caerse or romperse.
  • Reflexive verbs that indicate a change in mental perception such as: acordarse, olvidarse, confundirse, darse cuenta, etc.
  • Reflexive verbs that indicate an emotional reaction such as: aburrirse, divertirse, alegrarse, enojarse, etc.
  • Verbs that change their meaning with the reflexive pronoun such as: despedir vs despedirse, dirigir vs dirigirse, etc.
  • Verbs that are always reflexive such as: equivocarse or quejarse.
I hope you find this article helpful and If you have questions or would like to practice, please don't hesitate to book a lesson with me! I have great materials to share with you and help you master this topic and others!
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Nadia Camacho

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Spanish
globe
Mexico
time
975
Speaks:
Spanish
Native
,
English
C1
,
French
B1
◉ Back in Mexico! ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? Would you like to learn Spanish in a fun, interactive but still successful way? Well, you found the right teacher! My name is Nadia, I am from Mexico and I have a B.A in Language Teaching! I am an enthusiastic overly positive person with a strong passion for languages and teaching. My classes are interactive, goal oriented lessons for all learning levels. In every class, I use different learning materials adapted to your learning style and language goals, so I guarantee that you will always have lots of fun while learning and speaking real Spanish! I have worked as a language teacher in The United States, Mexico, Colombia and Italy. I love teaching and I will always use my passion for teaching to keep you engaged and motivated. My priority is to ensure your language learning through well organized, interactive, creative, student- centered lessons, focused on both conversation and grammar (according to what you want and need 😉) How are we going to achieve your language goals? Let me tell you a little bit more about my professional experience. I have experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language (ELE) to adults, College students and teenagers. In 2015, I worked as a Spanish teaching assistant in the United States as part of an exchange academic program where I designed Spanish language courses for college students, led group conversations and clarified vocabulary questions related to language use in different sociolinguistic contexts. For 5 years, I've led conversations for ELE students to practice and enhance their language skills and effectively increase their vocabulary. Due to my experience as a teacher and as a language learner (English, German, French and Italian) I know the difficulties Spanish learners might face during their learning process: verb conjugation, use of articles and prepositions, noun and adjective agreement; sentence order, tenses such as imperfect past, imperative and subjunctive, pronunciation, accuracy, etc. This is why all my lessons are focused on my students needs and interests. Would you give it a shot? ¡Nos vemos pronto!
Flag
Spanish
globe
Mexico
time
975
Speaks:
Spanish
Native
,
English
C1
,
French
B1
◉ Back in Mexico! ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? Would you like to learn Spanish in a fun, interactive but still successful way? Well, you found the right teacher! My name is Nadia, I am from Mexico and I have a B.A in Language Teaching! I am an enthusiastic overly positive person with a strong passion for languages and teaching. My classes are interactive, goal oriented lessons for all learning levels. In every class, I use different learning materials adapted to your learning style and language goals, so I guarantee that you will always have lots of fun while learning and speaking real Spanish! I have worked as a language teacher in The United States, Mexico, Colombia and Italy. I love teaching and I will always use my passion for teaching to keep you engaged and motivated. My priority is to ensure your language learning through well organized, interactive, creative, student- centered lessons, focused on both conversation and grammar (according to what you want and need 😉) How are we going to achieve your language goals? Let me tell you a little bit more about my professional experience. I have experience teaching Spanish as a foreign language (ELE) to adults, College students and teenagers. In 2015, I worked as a Spanish teaching assistant in the United States as part of an exchange academic program where I designed Spanish language courses for college students, led group conversations and clarified vocabulary questions related to language use in different sociolinguistic contexts. For 5 years, I've led conversations for ELE students to practice and enhance their language skills and effectively increase their vocabulary. Due to my experience as a teacher and as a language learner (English, German, French and Italian) I know the difficulties Spanish learners might face during their learning process: verb conjugation, use of articles and prepositions, noun and adjective agreement; sentence order, tenses such as imperfect past, imperative and subjunctive, pronunciation, accuracy, etc. This is why all my lessons are focused on my students needs and interests. Would you give it a shot? ¡Nos vemos pronto!