Chapter 18 - Myself, Yourself, and so on

In English, actions which are received by the person doing the action are generally not distinguished in any way, unless there is a special reason to do so.  For example, if I tell someone that I shaved this morning, it is understood that I was the person who received the action of shaving, and no additional information is necessary.  In English, the reflexive forms are expressed by using words such as myself, yourself, and so on. 

In Italian, when a person performs an action, and also receives that action, a special verb construction is used.  In these forms, the verbs are combined with a set of pronouns in order to convey the idea that the person who performed the action also received the action.  In these cases, the action is said to reflect back on the person, and the verbs are called reflexive verbs.

In dictionaries, verbs which are reflexive are shown with the pronoun si, such as lavarsi.  The set of pronouns is
                        English            Italian              example
                        me                   mi                    Io mi lavo                                ( I am bathing.)
                        you                  ti                      Tu tidiverti                             (You are having fun.)
                        her, him           si                      Quando si anima?                   (When will she cheer up?)
                        us                     ci                     Ci alziamo alle otto.                (We get up at 8AM.)
                        you                  vi                     Vi preparaste per la festa.        (You got ready for the party.)           
                        them                si                      Sisẹntono allegri.                    (They feel happy.)

These forms are used much more frequently in Italian than in English.

The compound forms of these verbs are made by using ęssereand the past forms of the verbs.

example: I washed my hands. = Io mi è lavate le mane.