When the subject does something to itself (when the subject and the object of the verb are the same) you have reflexivity.
The reflexive pronouns are used to denote this.
NB : me, te, and se become m’ , t’ and s’ before vowels and mute h
Je me regarde dans le miroir, horrifié.
I look at myself in the mirror, horrified.
Soudain, la moto s’arrête.
Suddenly, the motorcycle stops.
If the verb is followed by an object, if the object is a part of the subject, the reflexive pronouns are normally used.
Il se rase la barbe.
He shaves his beard off.
Almost always, verbs that are used reflexively can also be used non-reflexively.
Elle se lave – Elle lave son bébé.
She washed herself – she washes her baby.
Following are some verbs that are commonly used reflexively:
|s’arrêter||to stop oneself||se lever||to get up|
|se blesser||to hurt oneself||se peigner||to comb one’s hair|
|se brosser||to brush oneself||se raser||to shave oneself|
|se coucher||to go to bed||se reposer||to rest|
|se demander||to wonder||se réveiller||to wake up|
|s’habiller||to get dressed||se trouver||to be located|
|se laver||to wash oneself||se taire||to be quiet|
Reflexive pronouns are also used to express reciprocal exchanges:
Ils se parlent toute la nuit.
They talk with each other all night long.
Verbs of the mind (to feel, to anger, to remember) are naturally reflexive.
|se fâcher||to become angry|
|s’intéresser à||to be interested in|
|se sentir||to feel|
|se souvenir de||to remember|
|se tromper||to be mistaken|
Il ne se souvient pas de cette nuit.
He does not remember that night.
Nous nous sentons triste.
We feel sad.
The pronominal is sometimes used to create a passive sentence. The following sentences are clearly passive; There aren’t any other interpretations.
Les pommes de terre se cuisent à la vapeur.
Potatoes are cooked by steam.
Les glaces se vendent mieux l’été que l’hiver.
Ice cream sells better during summer than winter.
Now you can practice by talking about you, your feeling….