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Reflexive verbs are not passive voice?

MaxC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Reflexive verbs are not passive voice?

I thought and had the same meaning and are both passive voice constructions. This comes up in a question asking for an active voice sentence to be turned into a passive. I used which sounds better to me than . So, are reflexive constructions passive voice or not? I was taught, like 50 years ago, that they were. C'est un peu tatillon, mais j'ai envie de savoir.

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Max,

This is a very broad topic so I will try and condense it.

Reflexive verbs are used in 4 different ways:

1. Quite a lot of verbs are just reflexive like se souvenir ( to remember), s'enfuir ( to flee), se dépêcher ( to hurry), se passer ( to happen)  etc.

2. Some have a true reflexive meaning 

Elle se regarde dans la glace = She is looking at herself in the mirror

Il se rase tous les matins à 7h = He shaves (himself) every morning at 7 am

3. Some have a reciprocal meaning -

 

Les enfants se disputent sans cesse The children argue all the time 

Ils se jettent des boules de neige They throw snow balls at each other 

elles se parlent au téléphone tous les jours They speak to each other on the phone every day  

4. Some convey a passive like -

Les ventilateurs se vendent très bien en ce moment = Fans are selling very well at the moment

Ça ne se fait pas = That's not done ( people don't do that )

Le café se boit très chaud Coffee is drunk very hot 

Cette maison s'est vendue très rapidement = This house (was) sold very quickly

Certaines langues se lisent de droite à gauche Certain languages are read from the right to the left

Cette porte s'ouvre difficilement This door is hard to open

Hope this helps!

VelinB2Kwiziq community member

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VelinB2Kwiziq community member

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Reflexive verbs are not passive voice?

I thought and had the same meaning and are both passive voice constructions. This comes up in a question asking for an active voice sentence to be turned into a passive. I used which sounds better to me than . So, are reflexive constructions passive voice or not? I was taught, like 50 years ago, that they were. C'est un peu tatillon, mais j'ai envie de savoir.

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