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Italian Reflexive Verbs

Verbi Riflessivi in Italian


What is an Italian reflexive verb (verbo riflessivo)? An Italian verb is reflexive when the action carried out by the subject is performed on the same subject. Not all verbs are reflexive. In order to make an Italian verb reflexive, drop the -e of its infinitive ending and add the pronoun si. For example, pettinare (to comb) becomes pettinarsi (to comb oneself) in the reflexive. Si is an additional pronoun, known as the reflexive pronoun, which is needed when conjugating reflexive verbs.

Note that some reflexive verbs can be used nonreflexively—without the reflexive pronouns. In this case, their meaning changes:

Tu ti alzi. (You get up.)
Tu alzi la sedia. (You lift the chair.)

For a list of common reflexive verbs in Italian, see the table below:


accorgersi (di)to notice
addormentarsito fall asleep
alzarsito get up
arrabbiarsito get angry
chiamarsito be named
coprirsito cover oneself
divertirsito have fun, to enjoy oneself
farsi il bagnoto bathe oneself
farsi la docciato take a shower
farsi maleto get hurt, hurt oneself
innamorarsi (di)to fall in love with
lavarsito wash oneself
laurearsito graduate
mettersito put (clothing) on
pettinarsito comb one's hair
radersito shave
sedersito sit down
sentirsito feel
spogliarsito undress
sposarsi (con)to get married
svegliarsito wake up
vestirsito get dressed
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