Reflexive verbs – I verbi riflessivi

No more fears of the reflexive verbs! I will show you how to add some two letter words in your sentences and you will share all about you and your daily activities.

Reflexive pronouns and verbs are related to each other. If we want to give a definition to the reflexive pronouns, you could say that we use a reflexive pronoun after a transitive verb when the direct object is the same as the subject of the verb. In other words, we can say that reflexive pronouns are used when the action of the verb falls back on the subject of the verb. Sounds complicated? Well it’s not!

Here some examples:

Lavarsi (Washing yourself)
Divertirsi
(Enjoy yourself)
Farsi male
(Hurt yourself)
Vestirsi/Spogliarsi (Dress/Undress yourself)
Incontrarsi
(Meet each other)
Innamorarsi
(Fall in love with each other)
Baciarsi (Kiss each other)
Sposarsi
(Marry each other)
You may have noticed something strange. Usually verbs look like:

Lavare (1st conjugation)
Vedere (2nd conjugation)
Divertire (3rd conjugation)

So how do they become reflexive verbs?

You just have to drop the final –e and add a –si.

reflexive verbs

 

This is how it works for the infinitive form and it’s always like this. No exceptions.

Then we have the conjugation. When you conjugate the reflexive verbs, you have to add a two letter word in front of the reflexive verb to show who is doing the task. Those little words are:

 

reflexive pronouns

 

And they are called reflexive pronouns.

Now we can see a couple of examples to see how the conjugation looks like. Let’s start with the verb vestirsi = to dress oneself

vestirsi conjugation

 

Did you notice something? You conjugate the verb in the same way as you do with the present tense in Italian. The only difference between the reflexive verbs and the other verbs in the present tense, are the reflexive pronouns. But the conjugation of the verb itself stays the same.

Let’s see another example using the verb sentirsi = to feel

sentirsi conjugation

So we have sentire (to hear) and sentirsi (to feel); lavare (to wash) and lavarsi (to wash oneself); vedere (to see) and vedersi (to see each other) and so on…

Ci sentiamo is an idiomatic expression that means “we’ll hear from each other soon”, in other words, “we’ll keep in touch”.

Here a list of other reflexive verbs to use in everyday life:

Svegliarsi (to wake up)
Alzarsi (to get up)
Mettersi (to put on yourself)
Riposarsi (to rest)
Addormentarsi (to fall asleep)
Sedersi (to sit down)

Now you just need to know where to put the reflexive pronoun in the sentence. They usually precede the verb.

For example: mi lavo = I wash myself

If the verb is in the infinitive form, the pronoun is attached to the ending of the verb dropping the final –e of the verb.

For example: vado a lavarmi = I go to wash myself

In a negative sentence, you have firstly the negative non and then the pronoun that is placed after non and before the verb.

For example: non mi lavo = I don’t wash myself

Choose the correct reflexive pronoun

Noi siamo stanchi e non ______ alziamo!

  1. a) ci
  2. b) vi
  3. c) ti
  4. d) mi

Luca oggi ha lavorato molto e _____ è già svestito per andare a dormire.

  1. a) ci
  2. b) si
  3. c) mi
  4. d) ti

In questa stanza fa caldo. Perché non _____ togliete i maglioni?

  1. a) ci
  2. b) si
  3. c) ti
  4. d) vi

In fondo alla sala ci sono dei posti liberi. Perché non ______ sediamo lì?

  1. a) ti
  2. b) vi
  3. c) ci
  4. d) si

Non ________ togliere il cappotto perché dobbiamo riuscire subito.

  1. a) ti
  2. b) mi
  3. c) ci
  4. d) vi

Thank you for reading the article, if you find it useful, you could like it or leave a comment. And don’t forget that you can write your exercises in a comment to have the correction.

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