Reflexive Verbs - Definition, Concept and What is
A reflexive verb is one that refers to an action of a subject on itself, such as the verb to bathe, comb, wash, lie down or stand up. Many of the reflexive verbs are related to the routines of daily life. All these verbs have in common that they end with the pronoun se, which indicates that the verbal action falls on the person himself and, therefore, for this reason they are called reflexive verbs.
Sample sentences with reflexive verbs
The pronoun at the end of the verb indicates that it is a reflexive verb. However, in a sentence the pronoun can be found independently, such as in the sentences "Maria gets up" or "Luis takes a shower." In addition to the pronoun, reflexive verbs may be accompanied by other pronouns, such as in the sentences "I shave every day" or "we always wake up very early."
Reflexive verbs have this condition by the action of reflexive pronouns. Thus, by way of example, the following sentences may illustrate this idea: "I wash myself," "you comb your hair," "he bathes," "we shower," "you shave," and "they make up." Most commonly, reflexive pronouns are found before the verb, but this is not always the case. In fact, the reflexive pronoun can be attached to an infinitive or to a gerund preceded by the verb to be ("I'm going to wash my hair" or "I'm getting my mustache").
The position of pronouns is flexible (for example, in the sentence "wash now" the pronoun goes to the end of the verb but in "do not comb" the pronoun precedes the verb).
Special cases of reflexive verbs
Some verbs are not strictly reflexive, but indicate a change of state. Some examples of these "reflexive" verbs are the following: getting angry, worrying, depressed, daring, laughing, sad, or finding out. In this sense, if I say "Isabel became sad" or "my friend became military" I am communicating a change of state in relation to the subject, for which the verb becomes reflexive.
The reciprocal verbs
Reciprocal verbs resemble reflexive ones, since both use the same pronouns. However, a verb is reflexive when the action affects the subject itself and a verb is reciprocal when there is an action that is simultaneously performed by two subjects. For example, in the following sentences we can see that pronouns appear expressing a reciprocal action: "they loved each other intensely", "the two friends got angry" or "Eva and Luis looked into each other's eyes".
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