Reflexive Verbs In Italian

Reflexive verbs (verbo riflessivo) are used when the object of the verb is the same as the person or thing as the subject.

Alzarsi (to get up) is an example of an infinitive reflexive verb, it is identifiable by the -si joined onto it. The present tense conjugation of alzarsi follows. The other tenses follow the same patterns as non-reflexive verbs with the exception of the pronoun, which is usually placed in front of the verb.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.23.20

Nature of Reflexive Verbs

As mentioned above, reflexive verbs are used when the object of the verb is the same as the subject. Here are some examples:

Mi sveglio presto      I wake up early

Roberto si diverte      Roberto enjoys himself

Plural reflexive verbs used with the reflexive pronouns ci, vi, and si express a reciprocal meaning.

Ci vediamo ogni mercoledì      We see each other every Wednesday

Si scrivono spesso           They write each other often

Some verbs have both reflexive and non-reflexive forms.

Noi laviamo tutti i giorni     We wash every day

Noi ci laviamo tutti i giorni      We wash ourselves every day

When using the passato prossimo (present perfect) reflexive verbs always use the auxiliary essere and a past participle that agrees with the subject.

Roberto si è addormentato         Roberto fell asleep

Giovanna si è addormentata       Giovanna fell asleep


Common Reflexive Verbs

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 14.42.52


I hope this post has been useful for anyone learning about reflexives! Let me know if you have any questions/comments.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *