reflexive verbs

HaroldKwiziq community member

reflexive verbs

I have a question about reflexive verbs. In general I understand the concept, and I in general I know when to recognize the verbs. What I have trouble with is knowing when to use them in a sentence. For example take these two sentence:


I walk in the morning. Camino por la mañana.
I bathe in the morning.  Me baño por la mañana.

Now I use the Google translate app and one of these sentences uses a reflexive verb and its pronoun and one does not. I don't understand the difference. I understand "I bathe myself in the morning" is how the translation would be from Spanish to English. But why does "I walk in the morning" not translate as "I walk myself in the morning". After all I'm not walking the dog or walking somebody else, I'm walking myself. Or is this just a matter of the Google translate app being incorrect??

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Harold 

As Marsha said, not all verbs are used "pronominally", i.e. with reflexive pronouns (me, te, se, nos, os, se). In any good Spanish dictionary, if you look up a verb, it will tell you if it is also used "pronominally". The meaning of the verb may change completely and used in a different context. 

If you used a virtual dictionary like "wordreference" for example, you can type the verb in Spanish and then you will see that it will also give you the verb with a -se at the end (reflexive/pronominal) if that verb can be used pronominally. Then you will see what the meaning is for each form. 

Try and type the verb "volver" here for example, and you will see also the entry for "volverse" - if you have a look at their meanings and the examples they give, you will see there are different nuances.

I hope it helps.

Saludos

Inma

MarshaC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The thing is not all verbs are reflexive e.g. caminar. 

It's better to use a dictionary rather than Google translate because a dictionary will state whether the verb is reflexive or not. [SpanishDict or Word reference]

HaroldKwiziq community member

So, I was under the impression that almost all verbs could be reflexive, and it's more based on the situation/context.  Is this incorrect?  So, its totally based on whether the verb is  reflexive?  I have a English/Spanish dictionary and it does not list reflexive verbs.  So, I need a true Spanish Only dictionary that should specify whether or not the verb is reflexive?  

MarshaC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I suggest using the online dictionary SpanishDict. It tells you if the verb is reflexive or not.

reflexive verbs

I have a question about reflexive verbs. In general I understand the concept, and I in general I know when to recognize the verbs. What I have trouble with is knowing when to use them in a sentence. For example take these two sentence:


I walk in the morning. Camino por la mañana.
I bathe in the morning.  Me baño por la mañana.

Now I use the Google translate app and one of these sentences uses a reflexive verb and its pronoun and one does not. I don't understand the difference. I understand "I bathe myself in the morning" is how the translation would be from Spanish to English. But why does "I walk in the morning" not translate as "I walk myself in the morning". After all I'm not walking the dog or walking somebody else, I'm walking myself. Or is this just a matter of the Google translate app being incorrect??

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