Translation:I am running away.
Reflexive verbs confuse me. Is there any rule to make sense of why some verbs are reflexive and others aren't? I thought it was to indicate who the action was being performed on in cases where it could be ambiguous, but that doesn't really seem to make sense with s'enfuir.
Some verbs make sense: "je me lave" = "I'm washing myself". When you perform the action on yourself you can easily guess they're reflexive. However, every language has its weird reflexives that cannot be explained, and which you need to learn by heart.
I'm starting to finally understand these myself...so for "enfuis", can you never say j'enfuis in French? is it always going to be je m'enfuis?
Yes, either "je fuis" or "je m'enfuis".
It is comparable to: "je m'en vais" (I am going/leaving - aller de [from place] à [to place]
And there are others, that do not imply a movement, and where "en" is a pronoun meaning "de quelque chose", like:
- "je m'en moque" (I don't care about it) - se moquer de qqch
- "je m'en doute" (I have no doubt about it) - se douter de qqch
- "je m'en occupe" (I'll see to it) - s'occuper de qqch
- "je m'en réjouis" (I'm glad about it) - se réjouir de qqch
Because the verb « enfuir » doesn't exist by itself, it is really « s'enfuire ». We say « s'enfuire » is reflexive (« pronominal » in french).
Oops, sorry! I wasn't paying enough attention to the autocorrect... It doesn't work well whis those French words inside the English text. Sorry again.
they are not exactly interchangeable and not constructed the same way:
je m'enfuis de prison (active move)
je fuis les hôpitaux (figurative= I manage not to enter a hospital)
So, maybe (if I'm interpreting Sitesurf's comments correctly) s'enfuir = to escape from, and fuir = to shun, avoid.
Doesn't s'enfuir= s'en fuir so that enfuir is a combination of en and fuir , Je m'enfuis means I flee a situation or place i do not like je fuis means I run away from something chasing me
Literally, "s'enfuir" means to flee (oneself) from somewhere
"en" means "from somewhere".
"je m'en vais" = I am leaving (= going away from here)
"je fuis" means the same thing when in isolation, yet can be complemented by other information, notably with a direct object:
"je fuis la ville et sa pollution" (I run away from the city and its pollution)
"je fuis mes responsabilités" (I'm ducking my responsibilities)
There seems to be no reply button to your later comments so it seems to me that yor reply to my comments is more or less what I said except for your assertion that en means from somewhere in verbal locutions ,i would add sometimes Il en va de meme pour lui where is the sense of spmewhere? Or s'en prendre a quelqu'un which as far as i know means to blame/attack?
"il en va de même" or "s'en prendre à quelqu'un" have "en" as a pronoun as well, still standing for "preposition + something".
In the case of a movement, it is easy to translate "en" as "from somewhere", but the latter phrases may not have "en" standing for a translatable preposition.
"il en va de même pour..." is figurative, so there is no clear 'movement', except that the whole phrase means "it goes the same for.../the same goes for...". So my hypothesis is that we are facing the same case as above (s'en aller).
"s'en prendre à quelqu'un" is more complex because it is reflexive and uses verb "prendre" that you will find in hundreds of phrases. So I cannot decipher how this phrase was formed.
With some of these reflexive verbs can "je" only be combined with "me/m'", "il" only with "se/s'" and so forth? Or is it for example also possible to have "je s'enfuis" (I flee from him?)? And if so does this hold for reflexive verbs in general?
In reflexive verbs, the object pronoun matches the subject pronoun:
- je me, tu te, il se, elle se, on se, nous nous, vous vous, ils se, elles se.
"Reflexive" means that the action describes by the verb acts as a mirror.
- je me lave = I wash myself
- ils se parlent = they talk to each other
- les 2 garçons se battent = the 2 boys fight (against each other)
Verb s'enfuir is reflexive by nature and "m' " does not have a real function. In other words, "enfuir" does not exist. In that sense, "s'enfuir" would be a fake reflexive.
I flee from him = je le fuis.
Bug report. I typed Je m'enfuir (using the infinitive by accident) and it came back with "You missed a space Je m'_enfuis"