French Reflexive Verbs

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French Reflexive Verbs

The subject and object are the same with reflexive verbs. They are called this, because the action reflects back on the subject. The subject is actually doing the action to itself. These are unlike direct and indirect object pronouns, which are used when the action is being done to someone or something else.

Reflexive verbs are very common, and they are used in everyday French. The infinitive form of a reflexive verb is preceded by the reflexive pronoun se, as you will see in the list of common verbs below.

As you will learn in my video lesson below, these verbs require reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns always agree with the subject they refer to. ME and TE change to MOI and TOI in affirmative commands.

Present tense

Place the pronoun directly before the conjugated verb.

PassƩ ComposƩ

When using reflexive verbs in the passĆ© composĆ©, you need to use the verb ĆŖtre as a helping verb. Place the pronoun right before the helping verb. Remember to make the subject and past participle agree in number and gender.

Body Part Rule (PassƩ ComposƩ)

When using reflexive verbs in the passĆ© composĆ©, if a body part follows the past participle, you do NOT need to make agreement, even if the subject is feminine or plural. Also note that body parts are preceded by definite articles, and not possessive adjectives. You don’t need to use possessive adjectives, because the reflexive pronoun has already made it clear whose body part it is.

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