This page contains some audio files. You can press this button here to test your sound settings. Read our help pages for more information in case our sound feature does not work for you.
Reflexive pronouns and reflexive verbs
Let's step back from all the time related issues and study something else. We will introduce you now
to a new class of verbs, the so called reflexive verbs. Reflexive verbs can be described as verbs,
for which the subject and the direct object are the same person.
You already know reflexive verbs
from English even though they are used less frequently than in German or other languages.
For example the verb "to scratch oneself" is reflexive in English. Here, the reflexive pronoun
"oneself" is the direct object, because the person who scratches is at the same time the person who
is scratched. Thus in English, the reflexive pronouns are "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself",
"ourselves", etc ...
The following table shows the German reflexive pronouns for all persons (singular and plural):
The infinitive of reflexive verbs is formed by using "sich" plus the verb.
When you look at the reflexive verbs below, please note that most of them are not reflexive in English.
For example: "sich freuen" ("to be happy") is a reflexive verb in German, weird no? When you
have to deal with reflexive verbs in German that are not reflexive in English, try to build little
helper contructions => Make up phrases in English that resemble the German reflexive verb. These phrases
might sound a little funny, but they serve a good purpose.
For example: For the verb "sich verspäten" (to be late), think about something like "to make oneself late".
Ok? Let's have a look at some useful reflexive verbs in German. Study the following
list of German reflexive verbs, before we will practice their use on the following pages.