Italian reflexive verbs

Italian language Grammar

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Ciao a tutti! 😀 Something that most of my students struggle with are definitely the reflexive verbs. It's a sort of verb that is not present in many languages, or not like it is in Italian, and it can definitely be quite to understand at first.

Reflexive verbs, as the word itself suggests, are a kind of verb that reflexes the action to the subject that does them. Verbs like this in their infinite form ends with the suffix -si like

muoversi to move (oneself)

sentirsi to feel

incontrarsi to meet each other

But their suffix and also part of the verb changes when conjugated. In fact, it's important to learn the reflexive pronouns if you want to change the suffix in the correct way.

Another important aspect of these verbs is how they change in their past form (passato prossimo). In fact, they requiere the verb "to be" as auxiliar verb and never the verb "to have".

Mi sono mosso I moved (myself)

Mi sono sentito I felt

Even if you know that the verb "sentire" and "muovere" are verbs that requiere the verb "to have" when not used as reflexive verbs, when it comes to the latter (reflexive verb), it's a completely other story.

Ho mosso I moved (something)

Mi sono mosso I moved (myself)

Ho sentito I heard

Mi sono sentito I felt