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Spanish Reflexive Verb Conjugation

Learn about Spanish reflexive verb conjugation, then come back and review what you learned with these audio flash cards and the Lingo Dingo review game.


Spanish Mini Course - Reflexive Conjugation Verbs

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Moving on with reflexive conjugation, now we’ll try conjugating the Spanish verb “Bañarse” which means “to bathe (oneself)”


I bathe (myself) would be:  me baño

We bathe (ourselves) would be: nos bañamos

(Juan) you bathe (yourself) would be: te bañas

You bathe (yourselves) – if you are on a first-name basis with a group of people in Spain- would be: os bañáis

He, she or Dr. Garcia, you bathe (yourself) would be:    se baña

And finally: They or all of you bathe (yourselves) would be: se bañan


Remember that the verb endings are the same as those in present tense, the difference is that here we add the “reflexive pronouns”. Now we’ll look at one more concept, then have a practice session. Before learning this concept, we need to learn a few new Spanish words.

They are:
Hand(s) – mano(s), las manos
arm – el brazo
finger – el dedo
hair – el pelo
foot – el pie
hat or cap – la gorra
face – la cara
watch – el reloj

Now on to our new concept. This is one of those things that they simply do differently in Spanish that you just have to learn. The way they do it may sound strange at first, but you have to realize that the way we say certain things in English also sound strange to a Spanish speaker at first. It has to do with things that you do to yourself.

Here’s how it Works:

If I want to say “I wash my hands” in Spanish I would say “I wash myself the hands” or “me lavo las manos
If I want say “I dry my arm” in Spanish I would say “I dry myself the arm” or “me seco el brazo
If I want say “I brush my hair” in Spanish I would say “I brush myself the hair” or “me cepillo el pelo
“I shave my face" would be “I shave myself the face" or “me afeito la cara
And finally, I take off my hat would be “I take myself off the hat” or “me quito la gorra”.

I realize that this is a new concept and it sounds very different from what you’re used to, but it’s simply the way it’s done in Spanish. The next lesson will review this concept and help you practice it.

Spanish Practice Session

Now, let’s have a verbal quiz. We’ll practice a few verbs that use this concept, then a few plain reflexive verbs. Are you ready?


(Juanita) You brush your hair

Te cepillas el pelo

He burns his finger

Se quema el dedo

She dries off her arm

Se seca el brazo

(Dr. Garcia) You break your foot

Se rompe el pie

All of you shave your faces

Se afeitan las caras

I take my hat off

Me quito la gorra

She washes her hands

Se lava las manos

I bathe (myself)

Me baño

We get sick

Nos enfermamos

He showers

Se ducha

All of you get angry a lot

Se enojan mucho


Now we’ll take a look at some unique cases with reflexive verbs. Remember, we learned that some verbs can be reflexive or not reflexive. For example, the phrase “I look at the cars” or “Miro los carros” is not reflexive” but the phrase “I look at myself” or “Me miro” is reflexive because the subject is repeated twice. Now, if we take that idea a little farther, a few reflexive verbs can actually change meaning depending on whether they are used as reflexive verbs or not.

For example, the word “Levanto” means “I lift” and, used as a reflexive, “Me levanto” means “I get up” as in “to get up out of bed”. Another example is the verb “arreglar”.  “Yo arreglo” means “I fix” and, as a reflexive, “Me arreglo” means “I get (myself) ready”.

Take a look at the following chart of verbs that can change meaning when changed from non-reflexive to reflexive. You don’t need to memorize all of these right now, but just know that they exist. After you see them all, click the “Next” button when you are ready to continue.

Llamar

Means To call

 

Llamarse

Means To be named

Arreglar

Means To fix

 

Arreglarse

Means To get ready

Reunir

Means To gather together

 

Reunirse

Means To meet

Dedicar

Means To dedicate

 

Dedicarse a

Means To work (at a particular job or field)

Levantar

Means To lift

 

Levantarse

Means To get up


Some verbs are always reflexive no matter what. A verb that does this is quejarse which means “to complain”. It is “always” used as a reflexive verb. Let’s try a few sentences with “quejarse” so you can see how it works.

“I complain” would be “Me quejo”
“I complain about them” would be “Me quejo de ellos”
“She complains about me” would be “Se queja de mí”
“They complain a lot” would be “Se quejan mucho”.

Now let’s take a look at a couple more verbs before going continuing on to our practice session. The first one is “preocuparse” which means “to worry”. If I say, “to worry about”, I would say, “preocuparse por”. Usually the word “about” in Spanish is “de”. This case is an exception where “por” takes the place of “de”. If I said “They worry about us”, in Spanish it would be “Se preocupan por nosotros”. The phrase, “She worries about me” would be “Se preocupa por mí”.

Now we’ll look at two more verbs that require extra words called prepositions on the end. Prepositions are words like about, with, for, in, upon and so forth. With the verb “to forget”, if you add another word on after, you need to add the Spanish word “de” which means “of” “from” or “about”. For example, if you say “I always forget to go” in Spanish it would be “Siempre me olvido de ir” and the phrase “I always forget about them” would be “Siempre me olvido de ellos”.

Now, for the last unique case before the practice session. In English, when we talk about marrying someone, we say “She is getting married to him.” But in Spanish, we say “She is getting married with him” or “Ella se casa con él”. The phrase “Carlos is getting married to Rosa” in Spanish would be “Carlos se casa con Rosa”. As you go on to the next practice session, see if you can pick out the special cases we talked about in this lesson.

Practice Session

Keep these concepts in mind as we have our next practice session. A few of the verbs fit into the concepts we just covered. See if you can pick out which ones do:


I get married to her

Me caso con ella

Her name is (she calls herself) Rosa

Se llama Rosa

We are getting ready

Nos arreglamos

I am meeting with her today

Me reuno con ella hoy

They complain

Se quejan

(Juan) You worry about her

Se preocupa por ella

What do you do? (What do you dedicate yourself to?)

A qué se dedica?

They get up

Se levantan

(Mrs. Garcia) You get tired

Se cansa

He forgets to eat

Se olvida de comer

We are staying here

Nos quedamos aquí

They worry about me.

Se preocupan por mí.

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