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Spanish Newsletter


Welcome to Vol. 74 of the Spanish Online Newsletter! Part of the Spanish Learning Blog - your weekly lessons with mp3 files, as well as links to Spanish travel spots and more. To give the gift of Spanish teaching this Christmas, check out our new Insta Spanish eShop. Mention you are a newsletter subscriber in the "comments" box and we will make sure to apply a 20% discount for any of the products we publish (I think you know which ones those are by now :)

Happy holidays to all of you! We have a few exciting new features on the websites - probably the most important of which is the Penpal Finder. This allows you to post a quick paragraph on the Insta Spanish site saying that you are either looking for a Spanish speaking penpal, or offering yourself as one - and people can respond to your right on the site, through a form that keeps your email address hidden, so that you won't end up getting unwanted spam as the result of posting. Also, you can choose to correspond w/ people via the private messaging features on the website. I'll be migrating all of the Penpal seeking posts on the forums over to this new section - so check it out and consider posting if that's something your're interested in!

We also have a great new chatroom with a strong language filter, as well as a virtual bot named Esteban who you can chat with even when no actual human beings are online. He can answer the basic questions about where he's from, how many brothers and sisters he has, what he does for work, etc - but it's a work in progress - so don't get frustrated if you find Esteban's vocabulary to be limited! You have to register to view the chat - sorry about that but it is necessary to keep our chatroom clean and family friendly. There will also be an organized grammar chat hour - this week I've scheduled Wednesday, December 14th, at 6pm West Coast time (9pm East Coast time).

Reflexive Verbs

Yo me baño! - I bathe myself

Reflexive verbs are verbs that are used with a pronoun, in order to refer back to the person doing the action.

hear audio mp3Click above to hear an mp3

Reflexive verbs often have to do with parts of the body, clothing, or one's state of mind. The infinitive forms of reflexive verbs have the pronoun SE attached to the end, as you can see below:

aburrirse................... to get bored
acordarse..................to remember
acostarse................. to go to bed
afeitarse....................to shave
alegrarse...................to be happy
animarse................... to cheer up
arreglarse..................to get ready
asustarse...................to get scared
bañarse.....................to bathe oneself
calmarse....................to calm down
caerse.......................to fall (down)
cansarse....................to get tired
casarse....................to get married
cepillarse...................to brush (hair, teeth)
colocarse...................to get a job
cortarse.....................to cut (hair, nails)
decidirse....................to make up one's mind
despedirse.................to say goodbye to
despertarse................to wake up
divertirse....................to have a good time
dormirse.....................to fall asleep
ducharse.....................to take a shower
enfermarse................. to get sick
enojarse......................to get angry
imaginarse...................to imagine
irse to leave............... (take oneself)
llamarse...................... to call oneself
lastimarse................... to hurt oneself
lavarse........................ to wash (up)
levantarse.................... to get up
maquillarse.................. to put on makeup
peinarse...................... to comb (hair)
pintarse....................... to put on makeup
ponerse....................... to put on, wear, or become
preocuparse................. to worry
probarse....................... to try on
quebrarse..................... to break (arm, leg)
quedarse...................... to stay, remain
quejarse....................... to complain
quemarse..................... to burn oneself
quitarse........................ to take off (clothes)
romperse...................... to tear (clothes); to break (arm, leg)
sentarse........................to sit down
sentirse........................ to feel
sorprenderse................ to be surprised
vestirse........................ to get dressed

Now let's look at some sentences using these words:

Yo me siento mejor
I feel better

¿De verdad te pones calcetines para dormir?
Do you really put on socks to sleep?

¡Tú siempre te preocupas tanto!
You always worry so much!

Nos levantamos a las ocho de la mañana.
We get up at 8 o'clock.

You can also vary the placement of the pronoun - which doesn't always have to go in front of the verb. Take a look at these examples:

Yo necesito levantarme más temprano
I need to wake up earlier

¿De verdad te vas a poner esa falda?
Are you really going to put on that skirt?

Ellos no deben precuparse tanto.
They shouldn't worry so much.

Nos gusta levantarnos a las ocho de la mañana.
We like to get up at 8 o'clock.

Reflexive Pronouns - what are they?

Reflexive pronouns are those little words used with verbs that indicate WHO the action is being done to. For 1st and 2nd person, the reflexive pronouns are:

me, te, nos

For the third person the reflexive pronoun is

se

In addition to these pronouns, the expressions "sí mismo" can be used

sí mismo or sí misma
mí mismo or mí misma
ti mismo or ti misma

These can be used in conjunction with the word mismo or misma - often to add a greater degree of specificity - adding the word "myself, yourself, themselves, etc, as you can see in the following examples:

Yo me amo a mí mismo. I love myself
Ellos se aman a sí mismos. They love themselves.
Ella se ama a sí misma. She loves herself.

The extra "mismo" part of the sentence can be helpful in examples like the 2nd one above - where the sentence could be interpreted differently without it. Look at these variations using the verb amar.

Ellos se aman. They love each other.
Ellos se aman a sí mismos. They love themselves.
Ellos aman la pintura. They love the painting.

Worksheet/Activity: Reflexive Verbs

Quiz: Reflexive Spanish Verbs


Travel Spot of the Week:

visit San Luis Potosi and practive your español!

San Luis Potosi, Mexico

A bit off the beaten tourist path, the northern colonial city of San Luis Potosi has played an important role in the history of Mexico, including a key role in the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The former silver mining city boasts a campus of the prestigious ITESM university, as well as a well preseved colonial square, the Plaza de Armas. As the elevation is over 6000 ft, you may want to take some precautions against altitude sickness!

 
Spanish Learning Product of the Week:
 

buy the complete tutorial on CDs and book from Musical Spanish

20% off sale for any newsletter subscriber - just type "newsletter subscriber" in order comments or at toll free 1 866 297-2128.

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© Spanish Online 2005, Newsletter Volume 74, 12/10/05

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