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Old January 31, 2009, 06:53 PM
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literacola literacola is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 107
Native Language: American English
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You have the right idea. You should note that lavar, cepillar, and despertar are not reflexive forms. The correct way to write the infinite of a reflexive verb is to add se to the end. Lavarse, cepillarse, and despertarse. To wash oneself, to brush oneself, and to wake oneself up(to wake up).

When someone or someone is performing an action on anyone or anything but themselves, there will be no reflexive action and therefore no reflexive pronoun used. So when you say The woman brushed the girls hair, there is no reflexive action being performed.

There are also reflexive verbs that are not so obvious. For example, acordarse (+de, to remember), acostarse (to go to bed), dormirse (to fall asleep), despedirse (+de, to say goodbye to).

In English we do not say I remember what happened myself, or I go to bed and fall asleep myself. In Spanish these are seen as actions that are performed on oneself, and are sometimes hard to figure out if you do not already know that the verb is reflexive.

Also remember that reflexive pronouns are not the same as indirect object pronouns, even though they are very similar.
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