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Introduction

Reflexive verbs

A reflexive verb is used to express an action that a person does to himor herself. The direct object of a reflexive verb is the same person (or thing) as the subject, and the object pronoun is called a reflexive pronoun. Typical Dutch reflexive verbs are those that describe daily routines such as zich wassen ‘to wash oneself’, zich scheren ‘to shave’, zich aankleden ‘to dress’, and quite a few of them express a feeling or emotion or state of mind: zich schamen ‘to be ashamed’, zich vervelen ‘to be bored’, zich ergeren ‘to be annoyed’. This chapter discusses ‘true’ reflexive verbs (they are always accompanied by a reflexive pronoun) and those that can also appear non-reflexive.