Reflexive Pronouns in Spanish Grammar

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What are reflexive pronouns?

Reflexive pronouns (los pronombres reflexivos) are personal pronouns that are used with reflexive verbs.

Reflexive pronouns indicate that the subject and object are the same i.e. the subject is performing an action for himself/herself.

Learn about reflexive pronouns in Spanish grammar with Lingolia, then practise using them in the exercises.


Me miro en el espejo.

Tengo que peinarme el pelo.

Mi madre se sorprenderá de lo guapo que estoy.

Table of Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

The table below shows the Spanish reflexive pronouns:

Person Reflexive Pronoun Example
yo me me peinoI brush my hair.
te te peinasYou brush your hair.
él/ella/usted se se peinaHe/She/You brush your hair.
nosotros/-as nos nos peinamosWe brush our hair.
vosotros/-as os os peináisYou brush your hair.
ellos/-as se se peinanThey brush their hair.

How to use reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive verbs.

They indicate that the subject and the object of the sentence are one and the same (i.e. the person is carrying out an action on or for themselves).

The reflexive pronoun therefore always matches the subject.

(Yo) Me miro en el espejo.I’m looking at myself in the mirror.

Spanish has many more reflexive verbs than English, so it’s not always necessary to translate the reflexive pronoun.

Tengo que peinarme el pelo.I have to comb my hair.
Mi madre se sorprenderá de lo guapo que estoy.My mum will be amazed at how handsome I am.

Position of Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns can be placed:

  • before a conjugated verb
    La abuela se peina.The grandmother is combing her hair.
  • before a negative imperative but directly after a positive one
    ¡No te peines!Don’t comb your hair.
    ¡Péinate!Comb your hair.
  • before the conjugated verb in a verbal periphrasis or attached to the end of the main verb
    Ella se va a peinar. ↔ Ella va a peinarse.She is going to comb her hair.
    Me tendría que haber peinado. ↔ Tendría que haberme peinado.I should have combed my hair.
    Ella se está peinando. ↔ Ella está peinándose.She’s combing her hair.