I'm interested in reading more about this grammatical phenomenon and its rules but I don't know what to call it. Is it considered a tense, or does it have a different term? There's no corresponding phenomenon in French or English, e.g. no "tohaveus" or "avoirnous", so I haven't encountered it before.

  • 1
    levantarse [stand or stand up] and quedarse [[remain or stay in a place] are called reflexive verbs. In Spanish they say: verbos pronominales. In French there is the same thing: se laver [les mains], s'asseoir [to sit down] etc. In French, they are called les verbes pronominaux. In English, we use reflexive pronouns to lift ambiguity: The cat was licking itself. For the Spanish and French, you just have to memorize the uses. They are not tenses, they are a "form". In Spanish, you have to add the pronouns based on the person: Nos levantamos temprano. =We wake up early.
    – Lambie
    May 1, 2021 at 19:29
  • In French, these are conjugated too: Nous nous lavons les mains trois fois par jour. Perhaps you go look these up: verbos pronominales, verbes pronominaux.
    – Lambie
    May 1, 2021 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


A verb that requires a reflexive pronoun is called a verbo pronominal. This pronoun is attached at the end of the verb in the infinitive, gerund and (affirmative) imperative tenses, but appears before the verb and separate from it in other tenses1:

  • Vamos a cansarnos mucho.
  • Está duchándose.
  • ¡Cállate!
  • Se cayó al suelo.
  • No te rindas.

A pronoun that is attached at the end of a verb is called a pronombre enclítico. This may be a reflexive pronoun (that refers to the subject), but it may also be a pronoun that refers to an object different from the subject:

  • No quiere moverse de allí (reflexive enclitic pronoun).

  • No necesito mi bicicleta antigua. Voy a venderla en eBay (non-reflexive enclitic pronoun "la", that refers to the feminine object "la bicicleta").

1In old literary texts, personal tenses with attached enclitic pronouns such as the famous "Érase una vez" or "díjole" are common. This is not common anymore.

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