Spanish Spanish Present Progressive Reflexive Verbs

Welcome back! Reflexive Doing Verbs (Present Progressive Reflexive) follow the same rules as two-verb reflexives. In other words, a doing verb phrase (pronoun verb verb pronoun) is basically considered to be 2 verbs -- and the reflexive pronoun can go either before or after both verbs.

Spanish mini-course

Let’s take a look at a few examples of Spanish reflexive doing verbs.
I am brushing my teeth, remember, I have to be doing it right now, would either be:

Me estoy cepillando los dientes
Estoy cepillándome los dientes

Remember, the “reflexive pronoun” can go either before or after both verbs. The phrase “They are getting sick”, If they are actually getting sick “right now”, would be:

Se están enfermando
Están enfermándose   

Just like with 2-verb reflexives, that you learned earlier, to simplify things a little, we’ll practice with the reflexive pronouns at the end of the 2-verb phrase. Also like before, when we put the pronoun on the end, it actually hooks or connects on to the word.

If you look at these phrases, you may’ve noticed when you hook the pronoun on the end, we added an accent to the word. There’s a reason for this and here we’ll take just a few minutes to learn more about an important accent rule.

In Spanish, if a word ends with an “n”, “s” or a vowel, the verbal stress automatically falls on the second to last syllable. Some examples are:


If we want to break this rule, exceptions are indicated by a written accent. For example if we put an accent on the final “a” in the word “Papa”, it then becomes “Pa”. These words can sometimes have different meanings, for example, the word “papa” means “potato” and the word “papa” means “father”. Although there may be some similarity sometimes between “father” and “couch potato”, they are entirely different words.

Another twist on this rule is when we add the pronoun “me” onto secando. If we follow the rule, the second to last syllable is now “do” and we have to pronounce it with more stress “secandome”. This doesn’t quite sound right, and since we still want the verbal stress to be on “c-a-n” or “can”, we have to break the rule that puts the stress on the second-to-last syllable by putting an accent on the “a” in “can”. This makes the word sound like it should “secandome”.

All of the doing verbs in this section follow this pattern and need an accent. Read a few of them and try to guess where the accent should go:

1. lavandome - if you guessed that accent over the “a”, you’re correct.
2. cansandose - if you guessed that accent over the “a”, you’re correct.
3. rompiendose - if you guessed that accent over the “e”, you’re correct.
4. reuniendose - if you guessed that accent over the “e”, you’re correct.

Now, before practicing these, you need to learn the Spanish forms of (Mr. Mrs. and Miss). Mister is “Señor” and abbreviated is “Sr.”. “Misses”, referring to a married woman, is “Señora” and its abbreviation is “Sra.” and finally “Misses”, referring to a single woman is “Señorita” with its abbreviation as “Srta”. As you go through the following practice session, see if you can guess where the accents should go. Also remember that even though the “reflexive pronoun” can go either before both verbs or after both verbs, we’ll practice it after. Finally, remember the abbreviations for “Señor”, “Señora” and “Señorita”.

Spansih Practice Session Doing

Now let’s practice a few reflexive doing verbs! Read the English aloud, then read the Spanish aloud.

I am taking off my watch (right now) Estoy quitándome el reloj
(Marta) You are washing your hands (right now) Estás lavándote las manos
He is drying his face (right now) Está secándose la cara
She is getting angry (right now) Está enojándose
(Sra. Benites) You are worrying about Juan (right now) Está preocupándose de Juan
We are shaving (right now) Estamos afeitándonos
They are getting tired (right now) Están cansándose
All of you are staying here (right now) Están quedándose aquí
I am getting up (right now) Estoy levantándome
(Martín) You are complaining (right now) Estás quejándote
He is sitting down (right now) Está sentándose
She is waking up (right now) Está despertándose
(Sr. González) You are realizing…(right now) Está dándose cuenta
We are laying down (right now) Estamos acostándonos
They are getting ready (right now) Están arreglándose
All of you are getting sick (right now) Están enfermándose

You have completed this section. Go ahead and continue on to the review game if you feel comfortable with it.