Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs in French are certain verbs that refer to the fact that the subject of the sentence is doing something to himself/herself/itself (the verb is “reflecting” back on the subject of the sentence). In French, certain pronouns must be included when you’re constructing a sentence with a reflexive verb, even if the same sentence in English would not contain “myself/yourself/itself, etc”.

The reflexive pronouns
je          me nous        nous
tu         te vous        vous
il/elle   se ils/elles    se

Common French Reflexive Verbs

Remember, reflexive verbs have mostly to do with emotion, one’s body, or location. The following is not a comprehensive French reflexive verbs list but gives examples of the most frequently used reflexive verbs:

To Approach
Verb: s’approcher de
Conjugation: regular -er veb
Used in a sentence: Je m’approche de la maison. I approach the house.

To Sit Down
Verb: s’asseoir
Conjugation: irregular veb
Used in a sentence: Tous les étudiants, s’il vous plait, asseyez-vous! Students, please, sit down!

To Bathe or Swim
Verb: se baigner
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Nous baignons dans la mer! Let’s go swimming. Also, Je me baigne après avoir fait du jogging. I shower after I go jogging.

To Brush
Verb: se brosser
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me brosse les cheveux après avoir me brossé les dents. I brush my hair after I brush my teeth.

To Break
Verb:se casser
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me casse le bras. (or la jambe, etc.) I break my arm, my leg, etc.

To Go to Bed
Verb: se coucher
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me couche à 9. heures. I go to bed at 9 o’clock.

To Cut Oneself
Verb: se couper
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a setence: Je me coupe les doigts. I cut my fingers.

To Get Undressed
Verb: se déshabiller
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Nous nous déshabillons avant de nous coucher. We get undressed before we go to bed.

To Take a Shower
Verb: se doucher
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Vous vouz douchez avant de nager dans la piscine. Take a shower before swimming in the pool.

To Get Angry
Verb: se fâcher
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me fâche contre toi! I am mad at you.

To Get Dressed
Verb: s’habiller
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je m’habille le matin. I get dressed in the morning.

To Wash
Verb: se laver
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Tu te laves la figure après avoir mangé de la glace au chocolat. You wash your face after you eat chocolate ice cream.

To Get Up
Verb: se lever
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: À quelle heure est-ce que vous vous levez? What time do you get up?

To Get Married
Verb: se marier
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me marie dimanche. I am getting married on Sunday.

To Comb Your Hair
Verb: se peigner
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Il se peigne les cheveux. He combs his hair.

To Take a Walk
Verb: se promener
Conjugation: stem changing verb
Used in a sentence: Je me promène tous les jours. I walk every day.

To Shave
Verb: se raser
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me rase avant d’aller au travail. I shave before I go to work.

To Look at Oneself
Verb: se regarder
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Elle se regarde toujours dans le miroir !

To Rest
Verb: se reposer
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Tu te reposes aujourd’hui parce que demain tu dois courir dans une course. You’re resting today because tomorrow you are running in a race.

To Wake Up
Verb: se réveiller
Conjugation: regular -er verb
Used in a sentence: Je me réveille le matin. I wake up in the morning.

To Remember
Verb: se souvenir de
Conjugation: irregular verb
Used in a sentence: Je me souviens de nos vacances au Québec.

Idiomatic Verb Meaning Meaning Without Reflexive Pronoun
s’en aller to go away to go
s’amuser to have a good time to amuse
s’appeler to be named to call
s’arrêter to stop (oneself) to stop someone or something else)
s’attendre (à) to expect to wait for
se demander to wonder to ask
se dépêcher to hurry to send quickly
s’endormir to fall asleep to put to sleep
s’ennuyer to be bored to bother
s’entendre to get along to hear
s’habituer à to get used to to get in the habit of
s’inquiéter to worry to alarm
se mettre à to begin to to place, put
se perdre to get lost to lose
se rendre compte de to realize to account for
se réunir to meet, get together to gather, collect
se tromper to be mistaken to deceive
se trouver to be located to find
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