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The Pronominal Verbs
Verbs of emotions and feelings



Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation
Pronominal verbs are verbs that need the reflexive pronoun se to be conjugated. Reflexive verbs and reciprocal verbs are both pronominal verbs, but not all pronominal verbs are reflexive or reciprocal.

Roberto se lava. Roberto washes himself.
Roberto is performing an action that is received by himself.
Roberto is the subject and the object of “his action.”
Lavarse is a reflexive verb.

Pepe y Pilar se abrazan.
Pepe is hugging Pilar and Pilar is hugging Pepe. Both Pepe and Pilar give and receive the same action simultaneously. Both are the subject and the object of the same action.
Abrazarse is a reciprocal verb. Two people are involved.

Yo me aburrí muchísimo en el zoológico. I got dead bored at the zoo.
Aburrirse is a pronominal verb because it is conjugated with the reflexive pronoun se, but it is neither reflexive nor reciprocal.

In the Spanish language there are many pronominal verbs that are neither reflexive nor reciprocal. An important group of pronominal verbs are the so-called verbs of emotion or feeling. The subject is the person that experiences the feeling.

Let’s remember that the reflexive pronouns are: me, te, se, nos, os, se. They must agree with the subject, and when conjugated, they always preceed the verb.

Aburrirse:
yo me aburro
te aburres
él/ella/usted se aburre
nosotros/nosotras nos aburrimos
vosotros/vosotras os aburrís
ellos/ellas/ustedes se aburren

These are some common pronominal verbs of emotion or feeling:

aburrirse to get bored
alegrarse to be glad
asustarse to get frightened
avergonzarse to be ashamed (of oneself; of something)
calmarse to calm down
deprimirse to get depressed
divertirse to have fun
enfadarse to get mad
enfermarse to fall ill
enfurecerse to get furious
enojarse to get mad
enrabiarse to get angry
entristecerse to grow sad
inquietarse to get anxious
molestarse to get upset
obsesionarse to become obsessed
preocuparse to get worried
relajarse to relax
sorprenderse to be surprised

Alfonso se deprime con facilidad.
Alfonso gets depressed easily.

Nos entristecimos muchísimo con su muerte.
His death made us very sad.

Yo me enfurezco cuando tengo el estómago vacío.
I get furious when I have an empty stomach.

Vicente se enrabia cuando su equipo de fúbol no gana.
Vicente gets angry when his soccer team doesn’t win.

No me avergüenzo de nada.
I am not ashamend of anything.

Los fines de semana me relajo jugando al tenis con mis amigos.
On the weekends I relax playing tennis with my friends.

Ellos se sorprendieron porque no acepté el puesto de director.
They were surprised because I didn’t accept the position of director.