Reflexive, pronominal and reciprocal verbs

Reflexive, pronominal and reciprocal verbs

¡Hola! I feel like no matter what level you have in Spanish, it's always a good idea to go back to these verbs.
These are conjugated as normal in the tense you're using but they have a pronoun before that.

Download the grid and let me know if you have any question!
Keep reading to find more about these verb ;)

Reflexive verbs

They're called reflexive because the person doing the action (subject) and the person affected by the action is the same person, so someone does something that reflects on themselves.

The best examples are daily routine verbs: To shower (yourself), to brush your hair, etc.

Pronominal verbs

These are verbs that use the same pronoun as the reflexive verbs. However, the "reflexive" part of them is not so clear, and in some cases is just not there.
Also, if you find a verb that has a pronoun before that seems unnecessary and doesn't add any meaning at all, it'd be part of this group and in that case the pronoun is just there to emphasize:

Ex: Me he decidido - I have decided.

There are lots of these and the best way to understand them is to see examples and practice.

Common pronominal verbs are the ones about feeling something, like to become happy, angry, worried, etc and also all the different words we have for the word "to become" (see below).

See the post on Spanish verbs of change.

Reciprocal verbs

These are verbs where two people do something that affects each other. To hug, to marry, and others.

Something you should know

Many of these verbs can be used without the reflexive pronoun, using another pronoun (indirect pronoun) if they affect someone else (different person doing the action than being affected by it).

Me baño - I bath (myself) - reflexive
La baño- - I bath her
Baño a mi hija- - I bath my daughter

Me enfadé mucho - I got very angry - pronominal
Nos enfadaste - You made us angry

Others can be used without any pronoun. In the case where the pronoun is just emphasizing or refering to the person, that's the part that changes:

Me caso mañana - I get married tomorrow - pronominal
Nos casamos ayer - We got married yesterday - reciprocal
Casé a mis amigos - I married my friends (I performed the ceremony)

However, if the pronoun adds some meaning then the verb without the pronoun and its version without it will be different.

These are three of the most important ones:

Quedar/quedarse

Me quedé en casa - I stayed at home - pronominal
Quedo con Sonia mañana - I meet Sonia tomorrow

Video on all the meanings of quedar/quedarse

Ir/irse

Ella se fue de la fiesta - She left the party - pronominal
Ella fue a la fiesta - She went to the party

Sentir/sentirse

Me siento triste - I feel (myself) sad - pronominal
Siento el viento en mi cara - I feel the wind in my face
(it affects you but what you feel is the wind not your face)

¡Hasta pronto! :D