L7: The Present Indicative Tense of Reflexive Verbs

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L7: The Present Indicative Tense of Reflexive Verbs

Post by BillyShears »

The Present Indicative Tense of Reflexive Verbs (I Verbi Riflessivi)

The infinitive of reflexive verbs end in –si (fermarsi, mettersi, vestirsi). In most cases reflexive verbs are used where the subject and the object are the same. The reflexive pronouns equate to the English myself (mi), yourself (ti), himself (si), herself (si), itself (si), ourselves (ci), yourselves (vi), themselves (si). In translating to English the reflexive pronouns are often understood but not translated.
* Note the use of Italian subject pronouns in the examples are for clarity only. In every day speech subject pronouns are generally only used for emphasis. For more information about subject pronouns (io, tu, Lei, lui, egli, esso, lei, ella, essa, noi, voi loro, essi, esse) please read L2: Subject Pronouns in Lezioni Gratuite in the Pronouns lessons.
The conjugation of the reflexive verb Fermarsi (to stop oneself)
io mi fermo (I stop)
tu ti fermi / Lei si ferma (you stop - informal / formal)
lui / lei si ferma (he / she stops)

noi ci fermiamo (we stop)
voi vi fermate (you stop)
loro si fermano (they stop)

The conjugation of the reflexive verb Mettersi (to put on oneself)
io mi metto (I put on)
tu ti metti / Lei si mette (you put on informal / formal)
lui / lei si mette (he / she puts on)

noi ci mettiamo (we put on)
voi vi mettete (you put on)
loro si mettono (they put on)

The conjugation of the reflexive verb Vestirsi (to dress oneself)
io mi vesto (I dress)
tu ti vesti / Lei si veste (you dress - informal / formal)
lui / lei si veste (he / she dresses)

noi ci vestiamo (we dress)
voi vi vestite (you dress)
loro si vestono (they dress)

The conjugation of the reflexive verb Pulirsi (to clean oneself)
io mi pulisco (I clean)
tu ti pulisci / Lei si pulisce (you clean - informal / formal)
lui / lei si pulisce (he / she cleans)

noi ci puliamo (we clean)
voi vi pulite (you clean)
loro si puliscono (they clean)


Reflexive verbs can be used to replace the use of the possessive in English:
  • Mi lavo le mani. (I wash my hands.)
  • Si mettono i pantaloni. (They puts on their pants.)
Verbs can be in a reflexive form but not necessarily equate to a reflexive meaning in English. For example with the reflexive verb chiamarsi (to call oneself) the English translation for "Mi chiamo Gugliemo" would more likely be "My name is William" instead of "I call myself William." Other reflexive verbs in this category are:
accorgersi (to realize)
alzarsi (to get up)
annoiarsi (to get bored)
divertirsi (to have fun)
lamentarsi (to complain)
muoversi (to move)
trasferirsi (to move)

A few verbs such as dimenticare (to forget) and ricordare (to remember) have a reflexive and non reflexive form with the same meaning.
  • Mi ricordo bene del meraviglioso fine settimana passato da te. = Ricordo bene il meraviglioso fine settimana passato da te. (I remember well the wonderful weekend which I spent at your home.)
Most reflexive verbs are also used as non-reflexive verbs if the subject is acting on someone or something else. Compare svegliarsi (to wake oneself) and svegliare (to wake).
  • Ci svegliamo alle sei ma i bambini, li svegliamo alle sette. (We wake up at six but the children, we wake them up at seven.)
Reciprocal Verbs (I Verbi Reciproci)

In the plural, non-reflexive verbs can be used with reflexive pronouns to indicate a reciprocal action. The plural pronouns (ci, vi, si) act on each other rather than on themselves. Some often used reciprocal verbs:
  • abbracciarsi (to embrace each other)
  • aiutarsi (to help each other)
  • amarsi (to love each other)
  • baciarsi (to kiss each other)
  • conoscersi (to know each other or to meet)
  • incontrarsi (to meet each other)
  • innamorarsi (to fall in love with each other)
  • rivedersi (to see each other again)
  • salutarsi (to greet each other)
  • scriversi (to write to each other)
  • sposarsi (to get married to each other)
  • vedersi (to see each other)
Ci telefoniamo tutte le sere. (We phone each other every night.)
Vi scrivete spesso? (Do you write each other often?)
Si vedono ogni settimana. (They see each other every week.)
Impariamo.com has a Facebook page < https://www.facebook.com/impariamo.com >

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