Explain reflexive verbs and how/when are they used.
I have realized that verbs such as poner, llamar and ir are said to be reflexive when se is added at the end of the verb. For eg. ponerse, llamarse and irse.
Does this apply to every verb? When do you use the reflexive form of the verb instead of the original form?
Reflexive verbs are used when the direct or indirect object of a sentence is the same as the subject. Reflexive verbs require the use of a reflexive pronoun to indicate who the subject/object is. These types of verbs are not very common in English, but are used frequently in Spanish to describe actions that a person does to, for, from, or off him or herself. Many verbs that express actions related to personal care or daily routines are reflexive and do not translate easily into English as "myself," "yourself," etc.
Reflexive verbs are made up of an infinitive and a reflexive pronoun. You can always tell which verbs are reflexive when you look them up in the infinitive form because they will have se attached to the end of the verb.
Below you will find examples of how and when to use reflexive pronouns in context. In addition to an English translation for each phrase, you will see the infinitive form of the reflexive verb.
Reflexive Pronoun Placement
Reflexive pronouns are placed immediately before simple conjugated verbs and negative commands.
Yo me saco los guantes. (sacarse) I take off my gloves. Tu te lavas la cara. (lavarse) You wash your face. Ellas se maquillan. (maquillarse) They put makeup on. No se escriba notas. (escribir) Don´t write notes to yourself.
You use the reflexive or pronominal form of the verb when you want to express that different meaning. Reflexive verbs and pronominal carry a different meaning than the regular infinitive.
"llamarse" really is reflexive. "llamar" means "to call" and "llamarse" means "to call yourself". Which to use? Whichever you mean!
"poner" = to put "ponerse" = to put on (clothes) / to become
"ir" = to go "irse" = to go away / to leave
You decide which verb to use based on which meaning you want to express in the sentence. That means for every verb that has a -se form, you need to memorize both meanings.
And what about the actual verb lavarse. Can you actually use it in a sentence?
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