Reflexive Spanish Verbs: Spanish Lesson 30

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This is the thirtieth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at Reflexive Spanish Verbs.

So far in this course we have seen various Spanish verbs in Present Tense. We have looked at some Regular Spanish Verbs and learned the patterns to conjugate them. We have also seen some Irregular Spanish Verbs which do not follow the same pattern, such as Querer (To want), Tener (To have), Ser (To be), and Estar (To be). In this lesson we will learn about another category of verbs in Present Tense: Reflexive Spanish Verbs.

Reflexive Spanish Verbs indicate that the action of the verb reflects back on the subject (the person doing the action). In their infinitive (unchanged) forms, reflexive verbs end in -se.

Let’s see some examples of Reflexive Spanish Verbs:

Despertarse: To wake up
Levantarse: To get up
Ducharse: To have a shower
Lavarse: To wash yourself
Lavarse el pelo / los dientes… : To wash your hair / teeth…
Vestirse: To get dressed
Peinarse: To comb your hair
Ponerse: To put something on
Quitarse: To take something off
Acostarse: To go to bed

Reflexive Spanish Verbs teeth

As you can see all of these verbs involve an action that is being done to oneself and this is why they are known as Reflexive verbs. You comb your hair, you get yourself dressed, you take yourself to bed, you wash yourself, etc.. The action can be done to myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

We are going to show you how to conjugate (change the ending) of one of these verbs, Levantarse, for all persons:

(Yo) Me levanto: I get up
(Tú) Te levantas: You get up
(Él/Ella) Se levanta: He/She gets up
(Nosotros/as) Nos levantamos: We get up
(Vosotros/as) Os levantáis: You get up
(Ellos/as) Se levantan: They get up

Reflexive Spanish Verbs are notoriously tricky at first for English speakers who are unfamiliar with their structure. Try not to get frustrated if you find them difficult to process and use. Give yourself time. Little by little. Rest assured, you will learn how to use them eventually. They appear tricky, but soon will become second nature.

Reflexive Spanish Verbs wake up

Let’s see some example sentences which feature Reflexive Spanish Verbs:

¿Cuándo te duchas?: When do you shower?
Me ducho por la mañana: I shower in the morning.
¿Cuándo os ducháis?: When do you shower? (group)
Nos duchamos por la mañana: We shower in the morning.
¿Cuándo se ducha Juan?: When does Juan shower?
Juan se ducha por la mañana: Juan showers in the morning.
¿Cuándo se duchan Juan y Sara?: When do Juan and Sara shower?
Juan y Sara se duchan por la mañana: Juan and Sara shower in the morning.

¿A qué hora te acuestas ?: At what time do you go to bed?
Me acuesto a las once de la noche: I go to bed at eleven at night.
¿A qué hora os acostáis? At what time do you go to bed? (group)
Nos acostamos a las once de la noche: We go to bed at eleven at night.
¿A qué hora se acuesta Juan?: At what time does Juan go to bed?
Juan se acuesta a las once de la noche: Juan goes to bed at eleven at night.
¿A qué hora se acuestan Juan y Sara? At what time do Juan and Sara go to bed?
Juan y Sara se acuestan a las once de la noche: Juan and Sara go to bed at eleven at night.

That’s all for this lesson on Reflexive Spanish Verbs. As always, practice with these new verbs by making your own sentences. Don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of them right away. Practice makes perfect!

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