One of my concise dictionaries listed an intransitive form for the verb "casar" so I went to spanishcentral.com for some example sentences. I think it cleared up my question about the intransitive usage but I noticed that the same example appears under both transitive and reflexive.

Los casó el cura del pueblo. (They were married by the village priest.)

I expected a reflexive more like this (which I made up myself and might be wrong):

Nos casamos en un lugar muy especial y hermoso.

Would you say theirs is a perfectly good example and I'm just missing something?

  • 2
    I'm unsure of what would be a good answer to this question, so I'll just leave a comment. I think that the problem is that "casar" can also be intransitive, and thus be used as a pronominal verb. Not that pronominal verbs don't have a reflexive meaning, but not always. Compare "nos casamos" with "nos peinamos", "nos caemos" or "nos besamos". It doesn't have the same meaning, since you don't marry (office the wedding) yourself(ves) to yourself(ves) (reciprocal interpretations aside...). So I guess that does not make a good example for reflexive (they married each other, not "themselves").
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


The web you link has a mistake. As you correctly noticed, the examples for the reflexive use are wrong. It looks like somebody just cut and pasted the examples for the transitive use instead of inserting the right ones. Your made-up example is a good one indeed.

Casar is a funny verb because, strictly speaking, it should always be reciprocal. Two people marry each other; the priest (or the judge, or whoever) just acts as an officiant. But use of the verb has changed through the years. Now we have:

  • Transitive use (the examples from the web are good)
  • Reciprocal use (as I wrote, your made-up example is excellent)
  • Reflexive use (Me casé en un lugar muy especial y hermoso, for instance)
  • Intransitive use (Casé con la hija del médico del pueblo)

The non-reflexive intransitive use can be found in some older texts and is still in use in some places, such as Galicia. But, apart from this, it is quite unusual and is generally replaced by the reflexive (Me casé con la hija del médico del pueblo).


ESPAÑOL (see english at the end):

Un mismo verbo puede tener diferentes propiedades según el modo de empleo, e incluso puede tener diferentes significados dependiendo del uso.

En el caso del verbo casar y según la Real Academia Española es siempre transitivo excepto en su forma reflexiva.

En tu primer ejemplo "Los casó el cura del pueblo" el verbo casar actúa como transitivo, porque el cura realiza la acción de casar sobre algo o alguien (una pareja de personas).

En el segundo ejemplo "Nos casamos en un lugar muy especial y hermoso" el verbo casar actúa como intransitivo reflexivo recíproco. El mismo uso se encuentra en otros verbos como separarse y pelearse: Dos personas se casan/separan/pelean entre sí, y la acción no puede llevarse a cabo sin uno de los participantes.

No obstante, este verbo es un ejemplo bastante inusual, y no es el que yo escogería para usar como ejemplo.

Te sugiero que eches un vistazo a estos ejemplos de verbos reflexivos en la web de Lingolía: https://espanol.lingolia.com/es/gramatica/verbos/verbos-reflexivos


The same verb can have different properties depending on the method of use, and may even have different meanings depending on the usage.

In the case of casar verb and according to the Real Academia Española is always transitive except in its reflexive form.

In your first example "Los casó el cura del pueblo", the casar verb acts as transitive, because the priest performs the action of marrying on something or someone (a couple of people).

In the second example "Nos casamos en un lugar muy especial y hermoso", the casar verb acts as intransitive reflexive reciprocal. Same usage can be found for verbs like separarse and pelearse: Two people get married / separated / they fight each other, and the action can not be carried out without one of the participants.

However, this verb is an unusual example, and is not what I would choose to use as an example.

I suggest you to take a look at these examples of reflexive verbs in the Lingolía web: https://espanol.lingolia.com/es/gramatica/verbos/verbos-reflexivos

  • I appreciate your effort in posting this answer and I had been mulling things over for a few days. One thing I immediately noticed though was that the RAE link indeed showed several "intr" senses and so I was confused by your statement that it's always transitive.
    – shawnt00
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 19:20

the verb "casar" you can use as transitive or intransitive; it depend the context. In the first form (intransitive) the meaning is: get married (husband or wife). Él (husband) y yo (wife) nos casamos. In the second form (transitive) the meaning is: approve a wedding (priest or judge). Él (judge) nos casó.

You can see the next website http://dle.rae.es/casar

  • This does not address the possible reflexive meanings of "casarse" / "nos casamos". The OP already understand the verb and that is both transitive and intransitive (says so in the question). The second example is his/her doing, and wants to know if it is a good example for a reflexive verb. Your answer does not address the reflexive sense of "nos casamos".
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 1:28

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