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Conjugate reflexive verbs in Le Présent (present tense)

Look at these examples of reflexive verbs in Présent indicatif

Je me maquille tous les matins.I put on my make-up every morning.

Tu te méfies de lui.You are wary of him.

Le prisonnier s'échappe de la prison.The prisoner is escaping the prison.

Nous nous étonnons de ses bonnes notes.We are amazed by his good marks.

Vous vous amusez bien ?Are you having fun?

Ils se baladent dans le parc.They're taking a walk in the park.

To conjugate a reflexive verb in Présent indicatif, you need to agree the reflexive pronom se (infinitive: se laver, se raser...) with each person, as follows:

je me / m' 

tu te / t'

il, elle, on se / s'                          + verb conjugated in the right form

nous nous

vous vous

ils, elles se / s'

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Vous vous amusez bien ?Are you having fun?
Le prisonnier s'échappe de la prison.The prisoner is escaping the prison.
Ils se baladent dans le parc.They're taking a walk in the park.
Tu te méfies de lui.You are wary of him.
Nous nous étonnons de ses bonnes notes.We are amazed by his good marks.
Je me maquille tous les matins.I put on my make-up every morning.

Q&A Forum 6 questions, 10 answers

DYLANA1Kwiziq community member

Reflexive verbs

Bonjour,

I understand that reflexive verbs are used like in english like "myself, yourself, ect" but I don't understand how some of the examples above are actually doing something to oneself. For example, above it says Le prisonnier s'échappe de la prison. How is this an action to oneself? To escape oneself?? Or how about "Nous nous étonnons de ses bonnes notes."? We amaze ourselves? Why is it a reflexive verb and not just conjugated in le present? Thank you!

Asked 2 weeks ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dylan,

Some reflexive verbs are just so without having a reciprocal (se rencontrer) or reflexive (s'habiller).

Think of :

se dépêcher = to hurry

s'arrêter = to stop

se passer = to happen

s'apercevoir = to notice

s'étonner = to be amazed /to be surprised ( by something)

se méfier = to be wary of something

s'entendre = to get on ( with someone)

s'en aller = to leave/to go 

etc.

Hope this helps!

 

Reflexive verbs

Bonjour,

I understand that reflexive verbs are used like in english like "myself, yourself, ect" but I don't understand how some of the examples above are actually doing something to oneself. For example, above it says Le prisonnier s'échappe de la prison. How is this an action to oneself? To escape oneself?? Or how about "Nous nous étonnons de ses bonnes notes."? We amaze ourselves? Why is it a reflexive verb and not just conjugated in le present? Thank you!

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RobertC1Kwiziq community member

Reflexive verbs (se moquer)

I guess I find most reflexive verbs make some kind of sense in that I can see that an action is performed on oneself (e.g. se laver) or somehow internalized (e.g. s'amuser, se demander), Sometimes however I just need to know how words get formed and se moquer has me puzzled.

Best I can tell, it has been around as a reflexive verb for at least 500 years and probably comes from blowing your nose at someone as a gesture of contempt (vulgar Latin: muccare), as such it makes sense to be reflexive - as of course is the modern se moucher . Other theories are se moquer comes from dutch, german or piedmontese words for mumble, grumble or grimace, which also kind of makes sense as reflexives. BTW the theory it comes from Norman words for 'stirring manure' has been discredited* which is just as well because that wouldn't explain the reflexive

I appreciate this isn't exactly a level A1 question, but I was wondering if anyone out there can confirm or deny my theories?

*Accordng to Tresor de la Lange Francaise

Asked 2 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I love to trace words and phrases to their etymological roots. I don't know that I can contribute to the musing at hand, except that sometimes there are several possible roots and no one knows for sure...

Reflexive verbs (se moquer)

I guess I find most reflexive verbs make some kind of sense in that I can see that an action is performed on oneself (e.g. se laver) or somehow internalized (e.g. s'amuser, se demander), Sometimes however I just need to know how words get formed and se moquer has me puzzled.

Best I can tell, it has been around as a reflexive verb for at least 500 years and probably comes from blowing your nose at someone as a gesture of contempt (vulgar Latin: muccare), as such it makes sense to be reflexive - as of course is the modern se moucher . Other theories are se moquer comes from dutch, german or piedmontese words for mumble, grumble or grimace, which also kind of makes sense as reflexives. BTW the theory it comes from Norman words for 'stirring manure' has been discredited* which is just as well because that wouldn't explain the reflexive

I appreciate this isn't exactly a level A1 question, but I was wondering if anyone out there can confirm or deny my theories?

*Accordng to Tresor de la Lange Francaise

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AshokA2Kwiziq community member

La Lectrice - elle est fantastique!

Hello, bonjour!

 This is not a question, just a comment. I must say I really like to the voice of the woman reading the sentences on this page!! Lovely voice and style - more of this reader, please!

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci, Ashok!

DavidA2Kwiziq community member

Oh na la... Je ne suis pas d'accord, c'est très faux. C'est très difficile écouter.

AshokA2Kwiziq community member

La Lectrice - elle est fantastique!

Hello, bonjour!

 This is not a question, just a comment. I must say I really like to the voice of the woman reading the sentences on this page!! Lovely voice and style - more of this reader, please!

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AndyC1Kwiziq community member

se balader vs se promener

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Andy,

The two verbs mean to walk/to stroll with 'se balader' being more informal.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Andy,

personally, I don't know of any significant differency between the two words. Maybe a native speaker could shed some more light on this?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Andy asked:View original

se balader vs se promener

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DeewanaA1Kwiziq community member

How to know if a Verb is reflexive or not?

Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Deewana - if you are looking at the infinitive of the verb, then there will always be "se " in front of it, like "se raser", "se lever" etc. Many verbs have non-reflexive versions, so "lever" (to lift) exists as well as "se lever" (to get up). Like any verb though, you need to learn it when you first encounter it and so you'll learn if it's reflexive when you first come across it. I hope that helps!
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
My sense of the question asked is more along the lines of: When to know to use a reflexive verb or not? Perhaps that is just my take on it; however, I do find certain things unsatisfactorily explained. I know that to rise, to go to bed, etc. are reflexive but I have not seen anything in study materials, not just on Lawless French, that fully explains this in detail. For example: I used "nous nous sommes discutés" in speaking with a prof about a topic that he and I had previously discussed and he quickly corrected me to "nous avons discuté".

How to know if a Verb is reflexive or not?

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CatherineB2Kwiziq community member

Re the reflexive pronom in the note for this lesson.

I have copied the section and was wondering if for "je" the pronom should be " me/m' " rather than m/m' as it says in the lesson? Note that to conjugate a reflexive verb in Le Présent, you need to agree the reflexive pronom se (infinitive: se laver, se raser...) with each person, as follows: je m / m'
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Catherine, Yes, thanks for pointing out this typo - it's fixed. :-)

Re the reflexive pronom in the note for this lesson.

I have copied the section and was wondering if for "je" the pronom should be " me/m' " rather than m/m' as it says in the lesson? Note that to conjugate a reflexive verb in Le Présent, you need to agree the reflexive pronom se (infinitive: se laver, se raser...) with each person, as follows: je m / m'

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