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Ok now i am really confused! I just read this elsewhere which says reflexive verbs are considered intransative "Verbi riflessivi (reflexive verbs) are considered intransitivi because the action takes place on the subject itself, therefore the reflexive verb lavarsi (to wash oneself) as in mi lavo le mani (‘I wash my hands’ or more literally ‘I wash myself the hands’) is intransitive, but lavare (to wash) as in io lavo il piatto (I’m washing the plate) is transitive!" Please can you explain the discrepancy here? Thanks.
By definition an intransitive verb is one that doesn't support a direct object: that means that "lavarsi" in "mi lavo le mani" is transitive (as "le mani" is a direct object). The concept of a transitive reflexive is a hard one, as it basically means that a sentence can have two direct objects; if it weren't for that you could consider a reflexive as either a transitive with a fixed direct object or as intransitive, and it would simply be a point of view. My point, however, was in the way you turn a transitive verb into a reflexive: in English you simply omit the object (I wash = I was myself), in Italian you need an explicit reflexive pronoun.
Grazie mille! One of the best explanations I've read about transitive/reflexive verbs yet. So, to be clear, with "lavorare," for example, it is transitive in "Io lavoro la macchina" (I wash the car.), but it turns reflexive in "Io mi lavoro" (I wash (myself))? Correct?