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what are pronominal verbs? Are they used the same way besides that theres an object pronoun?

  • french -

    Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. Don't let the "terminology" frighten you! These are also known as "Reflexive Verbs."

    In a reflexive (or pronominal) verb, the action is performed by the subject on itself. Thus, the subject and the pronoun object refer to the same person(s): he hurt himself; we will enjoy ourselves.

    Example: s'amuser (to enjoy oneself)

    je m'amuse
    tu t'amuses
    il/elle/on s'amuse
    nous nous amusons
    vous vous amusez
    ils/elles s'amusent.

    The reflexive pronouns "me, te, se, nous, vous" like other personal pronoun objects, normally precede the verb. In th affirmative imperative they follow the verb. (amuse-toi) After the verb, toi is used instead of te.

    The reflexive pronoun is not always a direct object. It may be an indirect object, with or without a direct object expressed in the sentence.
    Se parle-t-il souvent? = Does he talk to himself often? (indirct-object)

    A verb that is reflexive in French need not be reflexive in English. (Vous vous trompez. = You are mistaken)

    Reflexive verbs used in the plural may show "reciprocal" force, that is, action of one part of the subject on another part. (Nous nous aidons. - We help one another/each other.)

    Any French verb that takes an object, direct or indirect, may be made reflexive by adding a personal pronoun object that refers back to the subject. Often times the meaning of the verb is changed: lever = to life, raise OR se lever = to get up, rise.

    Please feel free to ask any other questiions you might have.


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