Spanish is one of the most common languages spoken globally, with over 400 million speakers worldwide.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that many people want to pick up Spanish as a second or even third language to communicate with other Spanish speakers, travel to Spanish-speaking countries with ease, and experience classic literature and music by Latin artists in their native language.
Spanish has many similarities to English, as both languages stem from Latin roots. However, there are also many ways in which Spanish and English differ, besides the obvious fact that each language uses different words to describe various objects and concepts.
Spanish has some very specific grammatical rules that can often be difficult for native English speakers to pick up at first.
Though certain aspects of Spanish grammar can seem confusing to those learning the language for the first time, most grammatical rules in Spanish have an English counterpart. Take the reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use, for example.
Since it may have been a while since your last English class, let’s take a moment to remember what reflexive pronouns are. In English, reflexive pronouns are typically words ending in the suffix -self or -selves that are used in sentences where the subject and the object are the same.
As an example, in the sentence, “She believes in herself,” the reflexive pronoun is “herself,” and “her” is both the subject and the object.
There are many different ways in which to describe the subject of a sentence, and there is a reflexive pronoun to suit every situation. Luckily, the reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use according to their own grammatical rules are very similar. The nine reflexive pronouns you’ll find in the English language are:
Now that you have a good understanding of the role of reflexive pronouns in English let’s take a look at some reflexive verbs Spanish examples as well as reflexive Spanish pronouns.
What are Reflexive Pronouns in Spanish?
The reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers incorporate into their sentences serve a similar purpose to their English counterparts, but the sentence structure will look slightly different than what you’re used to as an English speaker.
That’s why it’s so important to start with simple grammatical concepts when learning a new language to get a feel for the way sentences and phrases are usually constructed. Then, you can gradually work your way up to more complex concepts like the reflexive verbs Spanish examples will sometimes include.
The reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use will indicate that something or someone is doing an action for or to itself. One typical scenario in which reflexive sentences in Spanish will be used is the example of activities being performed as someone’s daily routine or a part of a personal care ritual.
Let’s take a look at an example of reflexive pronouns Spanish style and English style in the same sentence. Look closely at how the sentences are constructed with the subjects and objects being placed in different orders depending on the language being used.
- I shower each morning.
- Me ducho cada mañana.
In each sentence, the subject is the person speaking, which is represented by “I” or “Me.” Though this sentence may not be considered to have an English reflexive pronoun as it doesn’t contain a word ending in -self or -selves, the English version of the sentence is simply a translation.
The original Spanish sentence contains the phrase “Me ducho,” which is a noun/conjugated verb combination that is considered to be one of the common reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use.
How to Use Reflexive Pronouns Spanish Style
As you can tell, it can be difficult to translate English reflexive pronouns directly into reflexive pronouns Spanish native speakers might use.
Therefore, it’s important to leave your knowledge of English reflexive pronouns behind and try to understand the unique way that reflexive verbs Spanish examples are constructed within the language’s grammatical context as you’re learning.
Take a look at this reflexive pronouns Spanish chart to get an idea of some of the most common reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use on a day-to-day basis:
If you’re constructing a sentence where the subject is yourself, you’ll use “me.” In a sentence where the subject is in the second person, or “you,” you’ll use “te” or “se.”
In a sentence where the subject is another person or object, you’ll use “se.” To elaborate on the reflexive pronouns Spanish chart, here are some examples of reflexive sentences in Spanish.
- Me lavo. (I wash myself.)
- Se lava. (You wash yourself.)
- Te lavas. (You wash yourself.)
- Se lava. (He/she/it washes himself/herself/itself.)
Additionally, here are some examples of reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use placed correctly before the conjugated verbs within a sentence structure.
- No te pegues. (Don’t hit yourself.)
- Yo me quito los guantes. (I take off my gloves.)
- No se preocupe. (Don’t worry yourself.)
Now that you have an understanding of the reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use in sentences take a look at these reflexive verbs Spanish examples.
- Hablarse (to talk to oneself)
- Verse (to see oneself)
- Comprarse (to buy something for oneself)
As you’ll notice, reflexive sentences in Spanish that use verb tenses involve the combination of a verb and a reflexive pronoun to create a complete idea. Reflexive pronouns and verbs are both very important to understanding the Spanish language.
Tips for Learning to Speak Spanish
Like any new skill, building up your understanding of Spanish words, expressions, and grammar (like the reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers often use) will take time and diligence. However, even the most dedicated students might face some trouble along their journey to mastering the language.
We understand that learning a whole new language can feel extremely daunting and overwhelming at times. That’s why we’ve compiled a few of our top tips for new Spanish learners in order to set them up for success with their studies.
Get the Pronunciation Basics Down
Even if you have a vast knowledge of Spanish words, phrases, and grammar, you’ll never truly sound like a native speaker unless you develop a good understanding of how words in the Spanish language are pronounced.
This understanding means learning to not only speak Spanish with proper conjugations and sentence structure but also learning to speak the language with a proper Spanish accent.
If this is your first time learning a new language, it may feel silly to try to mimic the way that native Spanish speakers form their words or the inflections they use for different types of phrases.
However, keep in mind that by adding the proper accent to your Spanish speaking, you’re doing the language justice by attempting to speak it the way natives do. If you take Spanish lessons, your teacher can help guide your pronunciations to instill proper habits.
Suppose that you’re learning Spanish on your own. In that case, many online resources can give you clear examples of how the most common Spanish words and sentences are pronounced (plus, you’ll likely get to hear some of the reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use first-hand during your research).
Practice a Little Bit Each Day
Learning a language is like developing any skill — you’ll see much more progress and be able to stick with your practice schedule better if you dedicate small amounts of time to it every single day as opposed to long stretches of time once in a while.
It may seem productive to sit down once a week and practice Spanish for three hours, but in fact, you’re more likely to become burnt out and lose interest that way.
Incorporate your Spanish practice into little pockets of time throughout the day. This approach could mean sitting down to study for fifteen minutes, or even just five minutes if that’s all of the time you have to dedicate to it.
Each practice session may not seem like much, but if you stick to it and practice each day diligently, you’ll notice huge improvements in your Spanish skills faster than you think.
Start with Common Words and Phrases
If you’re excited about learning a new language like Spanish, you may end up jumping in head-first and trying to tackle difficult words or complex sentences.
However, just like excessively long practice sessions, taking on more than you can handle too early on can lead to loss of interest and burnout. If you’re constantly feeling frustrated with your own lack of ability, you’re not likely to want to stick with it!
That’s why it’s important to start slowly with simple words and common phrases, particularly phrases that might come in handy on a trip to a Spanish-speaking country like “Where is the bathroom?” or “Which way is north?”
Your practice sessions should feel like they’re slightly challenging you, but you shouldn’t leave a lesson or practice session feeling lost or defeated.
Learning Spanish on Your Own Schedule
For those of us with busy schedules but a drive to learn Spanish quickly, taking lessons with a high-quality Spanish teacher is the best way to go.
Learning from a native speaker makes it easy to develop a deep understanding of the ins and outs of the language, from the most common reflexive pronouns Spanish speakers use to the most complex Spanish ideas.
If you’ve been wanting to learn Spanish but have been putting it off, it’s time to get started! The perfect teacher for you is waiting to help you build your skill and achieve the knowledge you’ve been wanting.