Reflexive Pronouns II / Pronombres Reflexivos II


Phrases with two verbs

In sentences with two verbs, where one verb is conjugated and the other one is in the progressive form or in the infinitive form, the reflexive pronoun can be placed before the conjugated verb or attached to the infinitive / progressive verb. Study the examples below:


She needs to wash (herself

Reflexive pronoun before the conjugated verb: Ella se necesita lavar.

Reflexive pronoun attached to the infinitive verb: Ella necesita lavarse

I’m drying my hair.

Reflexive pronoun before the conjugated verb:  Me  estoy secando el pelo.

Reflexive pronoun attached to the progressive verb: Estoy secandome el pelo.


Phrases with both direct object and reflexive pronouns


When a sentence has both object direct pronoun and reflexive pronoun, the reflexive pronoun always come first. See the examples:


  • Did María take the shoes off? Yes, she took them off.

María se quitó los zapatos? Sí, ella se los quitó. (In this example the reflexive pronoun “se” is used before the object direct pronoun “los”)

More reflexive verbs


Some verbs are always reflexive even when the action is not directed to the subject or person.

  • Arrepentirse – to repent
  • Atreverse – to dare
  • Jactarse – to boast
  • Quejarse – to complain
  • Suicidarse – to commit suicide


Last note


Reflexive sentences are also used by Spanish speakers to emphasize the person who is executing the action.


  • Juan se va al cine. (Juan is going to the movie)