Italian Reflexive Verbs

Learning Italian

Struggling to get you head around Italian reflexive verbs?

A reflexive verb is used where the subject and object of the verb is the same. For example “to wash yourself”. In this case you are both the subject (the one doing the washing) and the object (the one being washed)

In English we don’t bother making verbs reflexive as it’s usually pretty obvious. We don’t say “I get myself up at 09:00″ or “I wash myself before breakfast”. We’d just say “I get up” and “I get washed”.

However, in Italian, you always need to make the verb reflexive when the subject and object are the same. So the verb “lavare” (to wash) changes to “lavarsi” (to wash oneself). You combine the standard verb with the reflexive pronouns.


The reflexive pronouns are as follows:








We learn our very first reflexive verb in the beginners Italian course when we learn to introduce ourselves. “Come ti chiami?” “Mi chiamo Mario.” The verb “chiamarsi” is as follows:

mi chiamo

ti chiami

si chiama

ci chiamiamo

vi chiamate

si chiamano

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