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Reflexive Verbs in the Present Tense


I. Theory

In German, a large amount of verbs are transitive. This means that these verbs require an object. Reflexive verbs are transitive verbs whose object is the same as the subject of the sentence. For this reason, they usually convey that the subject is doing something for his/her/itself.

Here we see some examples in English:

I am buying myself a new computer.
The cat bathes itself.
The woman sees herself in the mirror.

  1. Reflexives in German
  2. In German, we find reflexive verbs used more frequently than in English because it is less common in English for a verb to require an object. In the examples below, the English sentence requires no reflexive where the German does:

    Die Welt verändert sich.
    The world is changing.

    Er kann sich nicht bewegen.
    He can’t move.

    Du musst dich jetzt entscheiden.
    You must decide now.

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