Available on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Transcript 1
Transcript 2
Quiz 1
Quiz 2
Quiz 3

Reflexive Verbs

Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation
Reflexive verbs indicate that the subject of an action is also the object that receives the action, that is to say, the subject and the object are the same. Reflexive verbs can be described as having a mirror effect; the action performed by the subject “reflects” back to the subject. Whatever the subject does, the subject feels.

Compare these two sentences:

--Yo me lavo. I wash myself.
Lavarse is a reflexive verb.

--Yo lavo los platos. I wash the dishes.
Lavar is not a reflexive verb.

The infinitive of reflexive verbs ALWAYS ends with the reflexive pronoun se. To conjugate reflexive verbs, the reflexive pronoun se is detatched from the infinitive and preceeds the verb. Reflexive pronouns (me, te, se, nos, os, se) agree with the subject.

yo me lavo, tú te lavas, él/ella/usted se lava
nosotros/as nos lavamos, vosotros/as os laváis, ellos/as/ustedes se lavan

yo me pongo, tú te pones, él/ella/usted se pone
nosotros/as nos ponemos, vosotros/as os ponéis, ellos/as/ustedes se ponen

These are some common reflexive verbs:

acostarse to go to bed
afeitarse to shave
bañarse to bathe, to take a bath
cepillarse (el pelo, los dientes) to brush one’s hair, teeth
despertarse to wake up
desvestirse to get undressed
dormirse to fall asleep
ducharse to shower, to take a shower
lavarse to wash oneself
levantarse to get up
maquillarse to put on makeup
peinarse to comb one’s hair
perfumarse to put perfume on
ponerse (ropa) to put on (clothes)
quitarse (ropa) to take off (clothes)
rascarse to scratch oneself
secarse to dry oneself
sentarse to sit down
vestirse to get dressed

Siempre me quito los zapatos antes de entrar en casa.
I always take off my shoes before I go inside the house.

No todas las mujeres nos maquillamos.
Not all of us women, put makeup on.

No todos los hombres se afeitan cada día.
Not all men shave every day.

Ayer nos acostamos tarde.
Last night we went to bed late.

¿Cuántas veces al día te cepillas los dientes?
How many times a day do you brush your teeth?

En los países que no llueve mucho, bañarse es un lujo.
In the countries where it doesn’t rain much, taking a bath is a luxury.

Cada día me levanto a la hora que quiero.
Every day I get up anytime I want.

¿Qué ropa os pusistéis para la fiesta?
What clothes did you guys put on for the party?

Me pregunto cuántas veces al día se visten y se desvisten las modelos.
I wonder how many times a day models get dressed and undressed.