Guide to Conjugating Reflexive Verbs in Present Tense for Beginners

I made a guide to conjugating verbs in the present tense which can be found here:

Today I will be sharing how to conjugate reflexive verbs in Spanish.

What is a reflexive verb?

A reflexive verb is an action you preform on yourself.

Reflexive Examples:

I got up.

She was sick.

I brushed my hair.

Note how the last one says "my hair". This is still considered a reflexive because it is my body part.

Non-Reflexive Example:

These examples are not reflexive.

I woke him up.

You are not waking up yourself so it is not reflexive.

Conjugating Reflexive Verbs

In my last guide, I explained how to conjugate verbs in the present tense. We will build on that knowledge.

I will be mainly using three reflexive verbs: lavarse (to wash oneself), despertarse (to wake up), and quemarse (to burn yourself). The non-reflexive versions of these verbs are lavar, despertar, and quemar. Most verbs can be turned in to reflexive verbs.

Notice the "se" ending in these verbs. This is an indicator that the verb is reflexive.

To conjugate reflexive verbs, take off the "se", put the proper pronoun in front, and conjugate the ending. If you're confused- don't worry, the examples will help explain it. Here is the six pack of the pronouns:


I wake up.

The Spanish verb for to wake up is despertarse.

Take of the se- despertar.

Add in the proper pronoun. I am waking up, so the pronoun will be "me".

So far we've got Me despertar. Let's conjugate the ending.

I am waking up. It's an -ar verb, so the ending would be -o.

I wake up = Me desperto.

Additional Links:

If you liked this guide, let me know. I'll be doing my next guide on preterite (past) tense.

April 28, 2015


This is awesome! Please keep posting new topics. Should I wake up be "me despierto"?

April 28, 2015

despertarse = to wake up

yo - me despierto, tú - te despiertas, él/ella - se despierta, nosotros/nosotras - nos despertamos, vosotros/vosotras - os despertáis, ellos/ellas - se despiertan,

Please note the irregular conjugations (the added i)!

April 28, 2015

You're right! That's what in my class we call a "boot". I'll do my next guide on those!

April 28, 2015
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Michelle - Thank you so much for this! I echo LakerCat in saying that I would love to see more of you on the forums.

¡Qué tenga un buen día amiga!

April 28, 2015
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Thanks for this info it now makes sense to me. Keep up the good work.

April 28, 2015

Muchas gracias! These are really helpful!

April 28, 2015


April 28, 2015
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