Reflexive Pronouns in Spanish Grammar

Introduction

Reflexive pronouns (los pronombres reflexivos) are personal pronouns that are used with reflexive verbs. They agree with the subject in gender and number. 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.

Example

Me miro en el espejo.

Tengo que peinarme el pelo.

Mi madre se sorprenderá de lo guapo que estoy.

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Table of Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

The following table provides an overview of reflexive pronouns in Spanish Grammar.

person reflexive pronoun example English equivalent
yo me me peinoI comb my hair. myself
te te peinasYou comb your hair. yourself (familiar)
usted se se peinanHe/She/You comb your hair. yourself (formal)
él/ella himself, herself
nosotros/-as nos nos peinamosWe comb our hair. we, ourselves (masculine)
vosotros/-as os os peináisYou comb your hair. you, yourselves
ellos/-as se se peinanThey comb their hair. he, she

Usage

Reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive verbs and indicate that a person carries out an action for themselves. The reflexive pronoun always agrees with the subject.

Example:
(Yo) Me miro en el espejo.I look at myself in the mirror.
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.
    Example:
    La abuela se peina.The grandmother combs (her hair).
  • before a negative imperative but directly after a positive one.
    Example:
    ¡No te peines!Don’t comb your hair.
    ¡Péinate!Comb your hair.
  • before or after verbal periphrasis or after the infinitive of the verbal periphrasis.
    Example:
    Ella va a peinarse.She is going to comb her hair.
    Ella se va a peinar..She is going to comb her hair.}
    Me tendría que haber peinado.I should have combed my hair.
    Tendría que haberme peinado.I should have combed my hair.
  • before or after a construction in the progressive tense with estar + gerundio.
    Example:
    Ella está peinándose..She is combing her hair.
    Ella se está peinando..She is combing her hair.