List of the most common Reflexive Verbs French Speakers use

Reflexive Verbs French Speakers Use The Most – Frequency Vocabulary List

Looking for a list of the Reflexive Verbs French people use the most? First let's explain what Reflexive verbs are:

Reflexive verbs, or ‘verbes pronominaux’ are widely used in French. What are they and which are the essential ones to know?

These verbs use a ‘reflexive pronoun’, which is placed in front of the verb in most tenses. In French we distinguish:

  1. “I wash myself” – Purely reflexive verbs, where the subject and object of the verb are the same. In other words, the action is done by the subject on itself. The pronoun in English will  be translated by ‘himself’, ‘herself’, ‘ourselves’ etc. For instance: je me lave = I wash myself
  2. “They love each other” – Reciprocal verbs, where the subject and object are reciprocal. In English, we will express the pronoun by ‘each other’, ‘among themselves’ ‘one another’ etc. For example: Nous nous connaissons bien = we know each other well; ils s’aiment = they love each other.
  3. Special cases. Finally, pronominal constructions that don’t have any logical value (don’t you love those!), where the construction uses a reflexive pronoun that is usually not translated in English. For instance:
        • Se promener = to go for a walk
        • S’amuser = to have fun
        • S’ennuyer = to be/get bored

The good news is that all three types function the same way! That is, with a reflexive pronoun corresponding to the subject:

Pronouns for Reflexive Verbs in French:

Subject pronoun Reflexive pronoun Example of conjugated verb
Je me Je me réveille
Tu te Tu te réveilles
Il/ Elle/ On se Elle se réveille
Nous nous Nous nous réveillons
Vous vous Vous vous réveillez
Ils/ Elles se Ils se réveillent
  • Note that me, te and se elide before a vowel or a mute h: je m’amuse, il s’ennuie, tu t’arrêtes, elles s’aiment. Same for the infinitive! S’arrêter = to stop

Here is a list of the 40 most common Reflexive Verbs French speakers use:


to love oneself / one another


to have fun


to be called


to stop


to sit down

se baigner

to go swimming

se battre

to fight

se brosser (les dents, les cheveux)

to brush (one’s teeth, one’s hair)

se casser (la jambe, le bras…)

to break (one’s leg, one’s arm…)

se coiffer

to style one’s hair

se connaître

to know one another

se coucher

to go to bed

se couper

to cut oneself

se dépêcher

to hurry

se disputer

to quarrel


to fall asleep


to get irritated, to get angry


to be/get bored


to get dressed

s’habituer à

to get used to


to worry


to enroll, to sign up

s’intéresser (à quelque chose)

to be interested (in something)

se laver (les mains, le visage, les cheveux…)

to have a wash/ to wash (one’s hands, face, hair…)

se lever

to get up / to stand up

se maquiller

to put on makeup

se marier (avec)

to get married (to)

se moquer de

to make fun of

se moucher

to blow one’s nose

s’occuper de

to take care of

se passer

to happen, to occur

se plaindre

to complain

se promener

to go for a walk

se rappeler

to remember

se raser

to shave

se rassembler

to gather, to assemble (as a group)

se réveiller

to wake up

se taire

to get quiet

se tromper

to make a mistake, to be in the wrong

se trouver

to be (located)

We hope you enjoyed this post about Reflexive Verbs French people use! Check out more of our posts for French grammar here.

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