Italian Reflexive Verbs


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Reflexive Verbs in Italian

Reflexive verbs express actions performed by the subject on the subject.  These verbs are conjugated like regular verbs, but a reflexive pronoun precedes the verb form.  This pronoun always agrees with the subject.  In the infinitive form, reflexive verbs have -si attached to them with the final e dropped.  Lavare is to wash, therefore lavarsi is to wash oneself.  (Note that some verbs are reflexive in Italian, but not in English.)

Reflexive Pronouns
mi ci
ti vi
si si

Common reflexive verbs:

to be satisfied with accontentarsi di to graduate (from college) laurearsi
to fall asleep addormentarsi to wash up lavarsi
to get up alzarsi to put on mettersi
to be bored annoiarsi to get organized organizzarsi
to get angry arrabbiarsi to make a reservation prenotarsi
to be called chiamarsi to remember to ricordarsi di
to forget to dimenticarsi di to make a mistake sbagliarsi
to graduate (from high school) diplomarsi to feel (well, bad) sentirsi (bene, male)
to have a good time divertirsi to specialize specializzarsi
to shave (the face) farsi la barba / radersi to get married sposarsi
to stop (oneself) fermarsi to wake up svegliarsi
to complain about lamentarsi di to get dressed vestirsi
Io mi lavo. I wash myself.
Noi ci alziamo presto.  We get up early.
Si sveglia alle sette. She wakes up at seven.

The plural reflexive pronouns (ci, vi, si) can also be used with non-reflexive verbs to indicate a reciprocal action.  These verbs are called reciprocal verbs and are expressed by the words each other in English.

to embrace abbracciarsi to run into incontrarsi
to help aiutarsi to fall in love with innamorarsi
to kiss baciarsi to greet salutarsi
to understand capirsi to write to scriversi
to meet conoscersi to phone telefonarsi
to exchange gifts farsi regali to see vedersi
to look at guardarsi  

Ci scriviamo ogni settimana.  We write to each other every week.
Vi vedete spesso?  Do you see each other often?




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