Language Guide
Verbs
Reciprocal Verbs and Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal Verbs and Reciprocal Pronouns

Quick Answer
  • Reciprocal verbs show that two or more people are performing an action on one another.
  • Reciprocal pronouns, which are always plural, indicate who is performing the reciprocal action.

Reciprocal Verbs

Reciprocal verbs are a type of pronominal verb used to talk about actions that people do to each other.

For example:

Antonio y yo nos besamos.
Antonio and I kissed each other.
 
¿Os conocéis?
Do you all know each other?
 
Juan y María se casaron.
Juan and Maria got married (to each other).
 
Los estudiantes se ayudan.
The students help each other.
 

Reciprocal Pronouns

Reciprocal verbs are formed by the combination of a verb and a reciprocal pronoun. Since reciprocal actions always involve two or more people, only plural pronouns are considered reciprocal. A list of these pronouns is given in the table below.

List of Reciprocal Pronouns

PersonSpanishEnglish
First person
nos
 
to, for, from, or off ourselves
Second person
os
 
to, for, from, or off yourselves
Third person
se
 
to, for, from, or off themselves, yourselves

Reciprocal or Reflexive

Sentences with reciprocal actions sometimes look just like sentences with reflexive actions. To differentiate a reflexive action from a reciprocal action, the use of expressions such as uno al otro , uno a otro , mutuamente , recíprocamente , entre   , etc. can be added to a phrase to show the subjects are performing the action on each other. All these expressions can be roughly translated as each other, one another or mutually.

For example:

Se aman mutuamente.
They love one another.
 
Se aman uno al otro.
They love each other.
 
No nos vemos uno a otro.
We can’t see each other.
 

List of Common Reciprocal Verbs

Below you'll find a list of verbs that are commonly used to talk about reciprocal actions.

SpanishEnglish
abrazarse
 
to hug each other
conocerse
 
to know each other
mirarse
 
to see each other
ayudarse
 
to help each other
despedirse
 
to say goodbye to each other
pelearse
 
to fight with each other
besarse
 
to kiss each other
divorciarse
 
to divorce each other
reunirse
 
to get together
casarse
 
to marry each other
estrellarse
 
to crash into each other
turnarse
 
to take turns

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