Reflexive Verbs

Verbos reflejos / reflexivos

Se mire - Spanish reflexive verb
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Reflexive verbs are just one type of pronominal verb. Here, the reflexive pronoun indicates that the subject of the verb is performing the action on him/her/itself, rather than on someone or something else. The majority of reflexive verbs have to do with one’s body, clothing, relationships, or state of mind.

Por ejemplo…

Se mira en el espejo.   She’s looking at herself in the mirror.
Me duermo a medianoche.   I go to bed at midnight.
Te vistes muy despacio.   You get dressed very slowly.

Most common Spanish reflexive verbs

aburrirse   to get bored
acostarse   to go to bed
afeitarse   to shave
alegrarse   to be happy
animarse   to cheer up
arreglarse   to get ready
asustarse   to get scared
bañarse   to bathe
calmarse   to calm down
caerse   to fall (down)
cansarse   to get tired
cepillarse   to brush (hair, teeth)
colocarse   to get a job
cortarse   to cut (hair, nails)
decidirse   to make up one’s mind
despedirse   to say goodbye to
despertarse   to wake up
divertirse   to have a good time
dormirse   to fall asleep
ducharse   to take a shower
enfermarse   to get sick
enojarse   to get angry
lastimarse   to hurt oneself
lavarse   to wash (up)
levantarse   to get up
maquillarse   to put on makeup
peinarse   to comb (hair)
pintarse   to put on makeup
ponerse   to put on (clothes)
preocuparse   to worry
probarse   to try on
quebrarse   to break (arm, leg)
quedarse   to stay, remain
quemarse   to burn (oneself, one’s body)
quitarse   to take off (clothes)
romperse   to tear (clothes); to break (arm, leg)
sentarse   to sit down
sorprenderse   to be surprised
vestirse   to get dressed

 Note that some of these verbs can also be reciprocal.

All of the above verbs require a reflexive pronoun when they indicate that the subject is doing something to itself. But they can also be used non-reflexively, indicating that the action of the verb is directed at someone or something else.

 En comparación…

Me despierto a las seis. vs La despierto a las seis.
I wake up at 6am.
  I wake her up at 6am.
Se afeita la barbilla. vs Afeita la barbilla de su hijo.
He’s shaving his (own) chin.   He’s shaving his son’s chin.

 When talking about parts of the body, the reflexive pronoun and a definite article indicate the owner of that part of the body, rather than the possessive adjective that is used in English.

Por ejemplo…

Me lavo la cara.   Lavo mi cara.
I’m washing my face.
Se peina el pelo.   Peina su pelo.
He’s combing his hair.    

Spanish quizzes Reflexive Verbs Quiz

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself:

 Related lessons

Spanish lesson plans Spanish lesson plans

Learn French En français

Learn Italian In italiano

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Spanish reflexive verbs

Questions about Spanish?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless Spanish Q+A forum to get help from native Spanish speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless Spanish

 Subscribe to my free, weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless Spanish

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please