How to use Reflexive verbs (pronominal verbs) in French

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A pronominal verb is a verb used with a pronoun. The verb is used with a pronoun to show that the person doing the action is also the person receiving it. The person is both subject and object of the verb.

Example:

Je me lave (“I wash myself.” (The person doing the action is “Je”, the person being washed is also “Je”).

Pronominal verbs are preceded by “se” in the infinitive. The pronoun takes different forms depending on the grammatical person:

Je me …
Tu te …
Il se …
Nous nous …
Vous vous …
Ils se …

Example:

Je me lève à 7h tous les matins. (I wake up at 7 a.m. every morning)

*Pay attention to the word order when the sentence is negative, the “ne” is placed after the subject and before the pronoun.

Example:

Tu ne t’es pas rasé hier. (You didn’t shave yesterday)

L’ordre des mots au passé composé est identique:

Example:

Il s’est blessé en se rasant. (He hurt himself while shaving.)

“pas” is placed between the auxiliary and the past participle in the past tense.

Example:

Il ne s’est pas levé hier. (He didn’t get up yesterday)


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Other Resources: https://grammar.collinsdictionary.com/french-easy-learning


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