2 Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns (textbook page 160)The action of a reflexive verb is something the subject is doing to or foritself. The subject and the object of the sentence indicate one and thesame person or thing, and a reflexive pronoun is used for the object.In English the reflexive pronoun is expressed by attaching -self to asingular object pronoun or -selves to a plural one. The reflexive pronounsin German are similar to the regular accusative and dative pronouns,except in the third person singular and plural:
3 Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns (textbook page )In dictionaries, reflexive verbs are indicated by one of the followingabbreviations: s. - sich - refl., or v.r. In vocabulary lists in this book,you’ll find reflexive infinitives with sich, e.g. sich amüsieren to amuse(oneself ); sich setzen to sit down; sich waschen to wash (oneself ).When a plural or compound subject occurs reflexively, the best translationmay be each other or one another.
4 Meanings of Reflexive Verbs: Actions (textbook page 161)The reflexive occurs for many more verbs in German than in English.Some German verbs are always reflexive, but many can be eitherreflexive or not. Often, the meaning of the reflexive form is quitedifferent from the non-reflexive form.In German verbs that express individual, personal activities one does tooneself or decisions one makes for oneself are reflexive.Note how often the expression -self is lacking in the English equivalentsof the German reflexive actions. For actions involving one’s own bodyor clothing, English uses a possessive adjective (my, her, his) where theGerman generally uses a reflexive construction to indicate that theinvolved action is being done to oneself: Sie zieht sich den Mantel an.(She’s putting her coat on.)
5 Meanings of Reflexive Verbs: Common verbs sich ärgento get angrysich befindento be located, find oneself (somewhere); to feelsich bemühenTo make an effortsich benehmenTo behavesich beschäftigen mitTo work on; be concerned withsich bewegenTo movesich drehen umTo be a matter of; revolve aroundsich entscheidenTo decide, make up one’s mind(textbook page 162)Numerous German verbs must have reflexive pronouns to completetheir meaning. The English equivalents generally do not have reflexivepronouns.
6 Meanings of Reflexive Verbs: Common verbs sich erinnern an (+ acc)to remember, recallsich freuen auf (+ acc)to look forward tosich freuen über (+ acc)to be glad aboutsich gewöhnen an (+ acc)to get used tosich handeln umto be a matter ofsich interessieren fürto be interested insich überlegento consider, think about (something)sich verlassen auf (+ acc)to rely onsich (acc.) vorstellento introduce oneselfsich (dat.) vorstellento imagine(textbook page 162)Numerous German verbs must have reflexive pronouns to completetheir meaning. The English equivalents generally do not have reflexivepronouns.
7 reflexive Verbs as Passive Substitute (textbook page 162)Reflexive constructions are also used sometimes as substitutes for thepassive.It is quite common in German for an inanimate noun to be the subjectof a reflexive verb. Attempts to translate these combinations literallyinto English are often awkward. Instead, use some form of passive constructionor perhaps to get + verb.
8 Position of the Reflexive Pronoun in Main Clauses (textbook page 163)In main clauses, the reflexive pronoun usually follows right after theconjugated verb.
9 Position of the Reflexive Pronoun in Main Clauses (textbook page 163)In compound tenses, the reflexive pronoun follows the auxiliary whilethe main verb stands at the end of the clause.
10 Position of the Reflexive Pronoun in Main Clauses (textbook page 163)This word order also holds true for questions, unless the subject is apronoun.
11 Meanings of lassen (textbook page 163-164) The verb lassen (ließ, gelassen; lässt) has a variety of uses, mostly inconnection with other verbs, and can be translated as to let, allow,leave; to cause or arrange for something.
12 Sich lassen (without object) (textbook page 164)This active construction, with an inanimate object or idea as a subject,acts as a substitute for the passive voice with können and means can,could, or is able to.
13 Sich lassen (with object) (textbook page 164)Used with an object, sich lassen means to cause, have (something) done(by someone for oneself).In the final example above you see an example of a double infinitive:bauen lassen. See Kapitel 17.1 to learn more about double infinitives.
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