Pronominal Verbs in Spanish: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Mastering Them Once and for All



The Instituto de Verbología Hispánica
(Hispanic Verbology Institute) has a tremendous 100,700 various Spanish verbs in its online database.

That’s a great deal of verbs!

On the other hand, the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española
(Royal Spanish Academy’s Dictionary) just has around 1,000 simply pronominal verbs.

The distinction in between the 2 figures is astonishing, however the bright side is that you do not need to invest centuries finding out pronominal verbs.

So what is a Spanish pronominal verb, anyhow? And how does it suit your Español
research studies?

Read on to find out everything about them!


What Is a Spanish Pronominal Verb?

Simply put, a pronominal verb is a verb that needs areflexive pronoun In English, these pronouns include those that end in – self or – selves like myself, yourself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and so on.

You’ve most likely currently seen some Spanish verbs ending in – se These are pronominal verbs! Like in English, Spanish pronominal verbs explain an action that we either do to ourselves or that impacts us straight.

Here are some examples of Spanish pronominal verbs in the infinitive:

Unlike English verbs, Spanish verbs will normally be either pronominal or not. This indicates, for instance, that the verb vestirse is a pronominal verb and each time a subject gowns themselves, you’ll have a pronominal conjugated verb in Spanish, no matter the context:

Acabo de vestirme.
( I simply got dressed)

¡Mamá, me he vestido yo solo!
( Mum, I got dressed myself!)

Pronominal verbs are far more typical in Spanish than in English, and regrettably, there’s no one-size-fits-all guideline for them.

Some of them will make good sense (like vestirse and afeitarse), while others are pronominal even if (like acabarse
or “to lack” and llamarse
or “to be called”). Envision stating something like “I simply ran myself out of milk” in English!

Before we enter into the nuts and bolts of Spanish pronominal verbs, I’m going to run you through the reflexive pronouns that frequently feature these verbs:

Spanish Reflexive Pronouns English Translation
himself, herself, itself

Later, I’ll describe in more information how to utilize these pronouns. Simply keep them convenient in the meantime and pay mindful attention to how they’re utilized relative to pronominal verbs in Spanish sentences.

6 Types of Spanish Pronominal Verbs

In truth, there are numerous kinds of pronominal verbs in Spanish. Thankfully, you do not require to understand all of them to become fluent in the language. Even native speakers do not utilize them all, and if they do, they do not do it purposefully!

That stated, it is possible to condense the most typical pronominal Spanish verbs into 6 primary classifications.

1. Simply Pronominal Verbs

Let’s begin with a simple one. Simply pronominal verbs, understood in Spanish as verbos pronominales puros
are a little group of verbs that just exist in the pronominal type (for this reason their name). To put it simply, they can not exist without a reflexive pronoun.

Here are a couple of examples:

2. When individuals believe about Spanish pronominal verbs, reflexive Verbs

This 2nd group is most likely the greatest one and probably the very first one that comes to mind. verbos reflexivos
However, you must bear in mind that although all reflexive verbs () are pronominal,

not all pronominal verbs are reflexive!

Remember that reflexive verbs suggest that the topic of the sentence is carrying out the action on themselves. Due to the fact that of that, the reflexive pronoun needs to concur with the topic:

As you can see, the majority of grooming activities are reflexive in Spanish. Do not fret– you’ll get utilized to it. Voy a bañar a mi hijo
But once again, pronominal verbs in Spanish aren’t constantly reflexive. In sentences like ( I am going to shower Dile a papá que te vista
my kid) and ( Tell Dad to get you dressed

), the words utilized to explain grooming activities end up being typical verbs, because the actions are carried out on a various individual.

False Reflexive Verbs

Just to make complex things, there are verbs that appear like reflexive verbs however aren’t.

English has expressions like “to have actually something done” to state that somebody does something for another individual (like “having your nails done”), however Spanish does not.

In other words, even if a verb utilizes a pronoun that looks reflexive does not instantly imply that the verb is reflexive.

deberías cortarte el pelo ya.
Take this sentence, for instance:

( You must get your hair cut currently.)

Notice how the topic of the above sentence concurs with the pronoun, which might make you believe this individual is going to cut his own hair. It’s more most likely he’s going to the hair stylist to have it cut.

Tengo que hacerme las uñas.
Here are 2 more examples:

Nos hemos hecho una liposucción.
( I need to get my nails done.)

( We have had a liposuction done.)

3. Mutual Verbs Reciprocal verbs resemble reflexive verbs, other than rather of somebody doing an action to themselves, we have 2 individuals doing the very same action to each other. verbos recíprocos
These verbs are called

( mutual verbs).

Here are a couple of examples: Since the actions constantly occur in between 2 or more individuals,

just the plural types are utilized.

4. Ethical Datives or Datives of Interest dativos éticos
Ethical datives ( dativos de interés
) or datives of interest () are things pronouns contributed to verbs to suggest that

the topic of the sentence is in some way impacted, included or worried by the action. In English, utilizing “me” like “Cry me a river” or “I am going to purchase me

some brand-new books” stumbles upon as colloquial at finest and ungrammatical at worst.

No te me vayas a caer.
In Spanish, on the other hand, this is not just appropriate, however likewise compulsory if you desire another individual to understand that they’re crucial to you:

( Please, do not fall.)

No te nos mueras.


in this case does not suggest that I’m about to fall. It simply indicates you’re crucial to me and I do not desire that taking place to you. verbos pseudo-reflexivos
Here are 2 more examples: ( Do not pass away on us now.)( Please, look after yourself.)

5. Pseudo-reflexive Verbs
Pseudo-reflexive verbs ( Me aburrí mucho en la reunión.
) aren’t as made complex as they sound. They’re verbs that appear like genuine reflexive verbs (due to the fact that they need reflexive pronouns), however they just explain a modification in feelings instead of an action carried out, as in: ( get tired): (




tired at the conference.) This example does not imply I “used monotony on myself,” however just that I got tired.

Have a couple of more:

6. Pronominal and Non-pronominal: Verbs That Change Meaning

Finally, there’s a group of

verbs that alter their significance depending upon whether they’re pronominal or not. These verbs are special because they have non-reflexive brother or sisters.

It would take me another entire post to consist of all of them, however I can not conclude this list without offering you the most crucial sets:

How to Use Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

Now that I’ve completely puzzled you with the ins and outs of Spanish pronominal verbs, I believe we can relax and speak about the finer points of Spanish reflexive pronouns.

Me llamo Franko.
There’s just one crucial distinction in between English and spanish reflexive pronouns:

Ella se viste.
Spanish reflexive pronouns alter their location in the sentence depending upon the type of the verb.

Luckily, the guidelines worrying this are quite easy.

1. The reflexive pronoun precedes it if the pronominal verb is conjugated.

Yo me prefiero bañar por la mañana.
For example:

Yo prefiero bañarme por la mañana.
( My name is Franko.)

( She is getting dressed.)present progressive 2. The reflexive pronoun either precedes the conjugated verb or is connected at the end of the infinitive if the pronominal verb is in the infinitive.estar You can put the pronoun anywhere without altering the significance, as long as you utilize the suitable pronoun depending upon the topic of the sentence.

( I choose having a bath in the early morning.)

Nosotros nos estamos bañando.
( I choose having a bath in the early morning.)

Nosotros estamos bañándonos.
3. You can either include the pronoun prior to

or connect it to the infinitive if the pronominal verb is in the

.Spanish grammar terms Once once again, you need to select the pronoun bearing in mind the topic of the sentence.the DELE exam( We are having a bath.)conversation with your Spanish-speaking friends( We are having a bath.)

For more examples of pronominal Spanish verbs in action, have a look at the videos on the language finding out platform


And that, gentlemen and girls, concludes this post on pronominal verbs.

I understand will then love FluentU just matter to some individuals. Not all of you are preparing yourself for , however I’m sure this post will can be found in convenient when attempting to have a


I can truthfully inform you that you now called much (or perhaps even more) about pronominal verbs as a native speaker, so take pride in yourself!


Happy knowing! And One More Thing … . , if you’ve made it this far that indicates you most likely take pleasure in finding out Spanish with engaging product and .. .
. Other websites utilize scripted material. FluentU utilizes a natural technique that assists you relieve into the Spanish language and culture with time. You’ll find out Spanish as it’s really spoken by genuine individuals. .
. FluentU has a wide array of videos, as you can see here: .




FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive records. You can tap on any word to look it up quickly. Every meaning has examples that have actually been composed to assist you comprehend how the word is utilized. If you see an intriguing word you do not understand, you can include it to a vocab list. .
. Evaluation a total interactive records under the

DialogueStart using FluentU on the website tab, and discover expressions and words noted under download the FluentU app Vocab

Every student has a genuinely tailored experience, even if they’re finding out with the very same video.(*) .
(*) .(*) with your computer system or tablet or, even better, (*). .
(*) Download:(*)
This article is offered as a portable and hassle-free PDF that you.
can take anywhere.
Francisco J. Vare enjoys mentor and blogging about grammar. He’s a happy language geek, and you’ll generally discover him finding out languages, teaching trainees or reading. He’s been composing for FluentU for several years and is among their personnel authors. (*).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here