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What you will learn in this lesson:

  • when to use and how to form reflexive verbs

  • what is and how to use the “personal a

  • when and how to form and use direct object pronouns (it, them)

  • when and how to use “tener que” and “hay que”

  • to understand one single dialogue which encompasses all basic grammar structures and tenses to which you have been exposed up to this point

  • to create your own dialogue tailored to your own specific field and needs

  • vocabulary related to a dental exam

  • typical vocabulary, phrases, and questions utilized during a dental exam

  • vocabulary related to an ophthalmologic exam

  • typical vocabulary, phrases, and questions used during an eye exam

  • vocabulary related to dermatology

  • vocabulary related to the pharmacy

The goal of this lesson is to be able to understand a dialogue using all tenses and structures (including the reflexive verb and direct object pronouns) taught thus far wherein the patient presents abdominal pain, and to then create your own specialized dialogue, as well as to be able to perform a dental, eye, and dermatological exam in Spanish.


We are now ready at last to reveal in detail the concept that you have been so diligently questioning (or, perhaps, the concept by which you have been so frustratingly confused) for much of this book—the reflexive verb! You may have noticed that many reflexive verbs deal with actions of daily routine and personal hygiene. Think of a reflexive verb as a situation in which a person is doing something to him or herself. Study the differences between the following paired examples. The expressions on the left side are not reflexive; those on the right side are reflexive.



  • In the first example, the subject yo is doing something to something else, la ropa (“clothes”), so the verb is not reflexive; in the paired example, the subject yo is doing something to the doer’s own face, la cara, so the verb is reflexive.

  • Observe that there are no changes in the conjugations of the verbs. Regular -ar, -er, and -ir verbs, stem-changing verbs, and irregular verbs are conjugated as they would be in the present tense. The only difference is the addition of a reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, etc.) to each verb form.

Study the conjugations of two regular, reflexive -ar verbs:

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llamarse (to call [oneself])

lavarse (to wash [oneself])

me llamo

nos llamamos

me lavo

nos lavamos

te llamas

te lavas

se llama

se llaman

se lava

se lavan

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Me llamo Carla.

Me lavo las manos.

I call myself Carla.

I wash my ...

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