Reflexive Verbs

(the action occurs to the subject)

Yo me llamo Roberto. (yes, reflexive) Roberto llama al perro. (not reflexive)

Reflexive verbs indicate that the subject of the sentence has performed an action on itself. In other words, in a reflexive sentence the subject is the same as the object. Examples of reflexive actions are the following:

  • José got up
  • He put his shoes on
  • Eva got sick
  • I asked myself a question
  • The girl brushed her teeth

You may look at the last example and say, "But the object is teeth! Why should that verb be reflexive?"

In Spanish, parts of the body are never preceded by personal pronouns. In other words, you never talk about "my teeth"—you talk about "the teeth," with a reflexive verb preceding it.

For example, in English you would say:

  • I comb my hair
  • I wash my face
  • I scratch my arm

In Spanish, you would say:

  • Me peino el pelo
  • Me lavo la cara
  • Me rasco el brazo

All reflexive verbs are preceded by reflexive pronouns.

02 Spanish Lesson - Reflexive Verbs (part 1)

When a verb is reflexive, the infinitive ends in "se."

to wash (non-reflexive)

to wash oneself (reflexive)

to scratch (non-reflexive)

to scratch oneself (reflexive)

Reflexive Verb Rap - Senor Bean Style

To learn to conjugate reflexive verbs, you need to learn a different set of pronouns called "reflexive pronouns." These pronouns are positioned before the verb, while the ending "se" is dropped and the verb is conjugated normally.


yo me lavo
I wash (myself)

te lavas
you wash (yourself) (informal)

él se lava
he washes (himself)

ella se lava
she washes (herself)

usted se lava
you wash (yourself) (formal)

nosotros nos lavamos
we wash (ourselves)

nosotras nos lavamos
we wash (ourselves) (feminine)

vosotros os laváis
you-all wash (yourselves) (informal)

vosotras os laváis
you-all wash (yourselves) (informal, feminine)

ustedes se lavan
you-all wash (yourselves)(formal)

ellos se lavan
they wash (themselves)

ellas se lavan
they wash (themselves) (feminine)

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns have almost the same forms as indirect object pronouns except se is used in place of le and les for the third person. The reflexive pronoun will always be the same person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and number (singular, plural) as the subject of the sentence.

Reflexive Pronoun Forms


me (to, for, from, or off myself)

te (to, for, from, or off yourself)

se (to, for, from, or off himself, herself, itself, yourself)


nos (to, for, from, or off ourselves)

os (to, for, from, or off yourselves)

se (to, for, from, or off themselves, yourselves)

Reflex Your Verby

Reflexive Pronoun Placement

Reflexive pronouns are placed immediately before simple conjugated verbs and negative commands.

  • sacarse - Yo me saco los guantes. (I take off my gloves.)
  • afeitarse - Tú te afeitas la cara. (You shave your face.)
  • acostarse - Ellas se acuestan. (They go to bed.)
  • escribirse - No se escriba notas. (Don’t write notes to yourself.)

Reflexive Pronouns are attached to affirmative commands and in the case of compound verbs (present progressive, ir+a+infinitive, etc.) the pronoun can either be attached to the infinitive or present participle or go before the conjugated verb.

  • ducharhse - Estoy duchándome. / Me estoy duchando. (I am showering (myself).)
  • quitarse - Quítate el sombrero. (Take off your hat.)
  • sentarse - Voy a sentarme. / Me voy a sentar. (I am going to sit (myself) down.)

When you learned to conjugate regular verbs, you needed to learn a set of pronouns called "subject pronouns."


yo lavo
él, ella, usted lava
nosotros/as lavamos
vosotros/as laváis
ellos, ellas, ustedes lavan

Common Reflexive Verbs Spanish Verb (Used with a Reflexive Pronoun)English Translation

Afeitarse to shave oneself

Bañarse to bathe oneself

casarse (con alguien) to get married; to marry (someone)

Cepillarse (el pelo/los dientes) to brush oneself (hair/teeth)

Ducharse to take a shower

Enfermarse to get sick

Enojarse to get angry; mad

Irse to go away

Lavarse to wash oneself

Levantarse to stand up; get up

Llamarse to call oneself

Mirarse to look at oneself

Peinarse to comb one’s hair

Ponerse to become

ponerse la ropa to put on (clothing)

preocuparse por to worry (about)

Quitarse to take off, remove (clothing)

Secarse to dry oneself

Verse to see oneself

I Gotta Reflexive Verb Trimester 2
Reflexive verbs song