What are reflexive verbs in Italian?

A verb is called reflexive when the subject performs an action on the same subject. For example, ‘I wash myself’ (in Italian ‘Mi lavo’) is reflexive because ‘I’ is both the subject and the object of the verb ‘wash’.

In order to make an Italian verb reflexive, you put a reflexive pronoun before it. Reflexive pronouns in Italian are:

Mi                      Myself

Ti                       Yourself

Si                       Himself/Herself/Itself

Ci                       Ourselves

Vi                       Yourselves

Si                       Themselves

Reflexive verbs are more common in Italian than in English. Many verbs need the reflexive form in Italian, even if they don’t in English. Some of the most common ones are:

Alzarsi ‘to get up’

Ex: Mi alzo alle sette di mattina  ‘I get up at 7am’

Dimenticarsi ‘to forget’

Ex: Anna si dimentica sempre il mio nome ‘Anna always forgets my name’

Sedersi ’to sit down’

Ex: Ci sediamo sul divano ‘We sit on the sofa’

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