Lezione 34-Acting reflexive

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In verità avrei molto da studiare adesso, ma voglio almeno finire questo capitolo!

In truth I actually have loads to study right now, but I want to finish this chapter at least!

Today we're going to talk about reflexive pronouns and verbs! Sounds exciting, ne? (lol)


Reflexive pronouns and verbs-cosa sono?

Do you know what reflexive pronouns are? They exist in other romance languages, like French (se, me, te) and Spanish (se, me, te, nos).

They are used with reflexive verbs-verbs that describe doing something to your self (ex. to wash oneself).

How to form them

Firstly, remember that not all verbs considered reflexive in Italian are considered reflexive in English. The verbs 'to get up' and 'to shower' are reflexive in Italian, but not in English.

Take the verb 'lavare'-to wash. This would take a direct object, like 'clothes'. Lavo i vestiti. (I wash clothes).

But how do I say, 'I wash myself?'.

Remove the -e from 'lavare'. You are now left with 'lavar-'. Add the reflexive pronoun 'si'-lavarsi (to wash oneself/to get washed).


Another example could be 'alzare'-to lift up. If you make it reflexive, its meaning changes to 'to get up' (after sleeping/after falling down).

Try and make it reflexive based on what we did to 'lavare'.

Alzare-alzar-+si= alzarsi. To get up.

Now that we have discovered a new species of verb, let's conjugate it! Wait, how?


Before conjugating, you need to know the reflexive pronouns.

They correspond to: myself, yourself, him/herself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.







Hold your horses! Let me explain those oddities you may have noticed:

mi, ti, ci and vi are also direct object pronouns. How to differentiate them from being reflexive pronouns? Well, it is all based entirely on logic.

Look at 'ti mangio' and 'mi mangio'. The meanings are very different: the first, ti mangio, means 'I eat you'. The second, however, mi mangio= I eat myself.

You basically just need to observe which pronoun has been used and how the verb has been conjugated =)

Also, him/herself and themselves, as you will have noticed, are the same. Not to worry! As I said, look at the verb endings afterwards in order to find out which pronoun we're using.

Conjugating is facile. Take the verb 'lavarsi', for example, and conjugate its particle (reflexive pronoun) 'si': mi, ti, si, ci, vi, si-based on whom you want to discuss-then conjugate 'lavare' based on the fact it is an -are verb-lavo, lavi, lava, laviamo, lavate, LAvano. The pronouns always precede the verb.

Lavarsi-io mi lavo, tu ti lavi, lui/lei si lava, noi ci laviamo, voi vi lavate, loro si LAvano. (I wash myself, you wash yourself etc)

Alzarsi-io mi alzo, tu ti alzi, lui/lei si alza, noi ci alziamo, voi vi alzate, loro si ALZano. (I get up, you get up, he/she gets up etc.)


1) Conjugate the following reflexive verbs then translate. Ex.: Mangiarsi-io. Answer: Io mi mangio (I eat myself)

1. Vedersi (to see oneself)-tu. __________

2. Guardarsi (to look at oneself)-noi. _________

3. Pettinarsi (to comb oneself)-lui/lei. ___________

4. Svegliarsi (to wake up)-voi. _____________

5. Addormentarsi (to fall asleep)-loro. ______________



1. Tu ti vedi (you see yourself)

2. Noi ci guardiamo (we look at ourselves)

3. Lui/lei si PETtina (he/she combs him/herself)

4. Voi vi svegliate (you pl. wake up)

5. Loro si addorMENtano (They fall asleep)

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