Idiomatic Pronominal Verbs

Verbos pronominales idiomáticos

Spanish idiomatic pronominal verbsSeveral dozen verbs require a reflexive pronoun but are neither reflexive nor reciprocal. These verbs use the reflexive pronoun to create a meaning different from (though often related to) the meaning of their non-pronominal siblings.

Por ejemplo…

Se entienden bien.   They get along well.
¿Te duermes?   Are you falling asleep?
Me llamo Laura.   My name is Laura.

Most common Spanish idiomatic pronominal verbs

Here are the most common verbos pronominales idiomáticos with their non-pronominal meanings.

abonar to pay   abonarse to subscribe
abrir to open   abrirse to open up, confide in
acabar to finish   acabarse to run out of
acordar to agree, decide   acordarse to remember
acusar to accuse   acusarse to confess
alegrar to cheer up   alegrarse to be happy
arreglar to repair, fix   arreglarse to get ready
burlar to deceive, thwart   burlarse to joke
caer to fall   caerse to drop
colocar to put, place   colocarse to stand or sit
conducir to drive   conducirse to behave
dormir to sleep   dormirse to fall asleep
enojar to anger   enojarse to get angry
entender to hear, understand   entenderse to get along
hacer to do, make   hacerse to become
ir to go   irse to leave, go away
lastimar to hurt   lastimarse to complain
levantar to lift, raise   levantarse to get up
llamar to call   llamarse to be called/named
llevar to carry   llevarse to take away
negar to deny   negarse to refuse
poner to put   ponerse to put on, wear
probar to test, prove   probarse to try on
quitar to take off/away   quitarse to go away
salir to leave   salirse to escape, leak
sorprender to surprise   sorprenderse to be surprised
volver to (re)turn   volverse to turn around, to become

 See the main lesson on pronominal verbs for details on using idiomatic pronominal verbs in different tenses and moods.

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