pronominal verb is a verb that is accompanied by a reflexive pronoun. Pronominal verbs fall into three major classes based on their meaning: reflexive, idiomatic, and reciprocal.You have probably already seen the pronominal verb s'appeler (Comment t'appelles-tu? What is your name?). To conjugate pronominal verbs in the present tense, you need to pay attention to both thepronoun and the verb form. Listen carefully to the conjugation of the following pronominal verb. The verb is conjugated normally (here an -er verb) with addition of the reflexive pronouns me, te, se,nous, vous, se.
se raser 'to shave oneself'
je me rase nous nous rasons
tu te rases vous vous rasez
il/elle/on se rase ils/elles se rasent
Pronominal verbs often expressreflexive actions, that is, the subject performs the action on itself. If the subject performs the action on someone else, the verb is not reflexive. Here is a list of common reflexive verbs:s'asseoir, to sit (down)
s'appeler, to be called
s'arrêter, to stop
se brosser, to brush
se coucher, to go to bed
s'habiller, to get dressed
se laver, to wash
se lever, to get up
se promener,to take a walk
se réveiller, to wake up
Compare the difference in meaning between se raser and raser in the following sentences. Note that English does not usually indicate reflexive meaningexplicitly since it can be inferred from the context. However, if reflexive meaning is intended in French, then it must be explicitly stated by using a reflexive pronoun.
Est-ce que Tex se rase?Mais non, Tex, c'est un tatou. Il n'a pas de cheveux. Does Tex shave? Why no, Tex is an armadillo. He has no hair.
Qu'est-ce qu'il fait, Tex, avec le rasoir? Il rase Joe-Bob pour l'été. What's Texdoing with the razor? He's shaving Joe-Bob for the summer.
To negate pronominal verbs, place the ne before the reflexive pronoun and the pas after the verb. When used with an auxiliary verb...