1 What is a reflexive verb?
A Luxembourgish reflexive verb describes an action of someone (subject) where the action reflects back to the subject. In other words, whoever is speaking is doing an action to himself.
- Ech wäsche(n) mech. I wash myself.
- Du stells dech vir (sech virstellen). You present yourself.
Luxembourgish reflexive verbs are used in connection with a reflexive pronoun.
2 But what is a reflexive pronoun?
A reflexive pronoun is an object pronoun. For example: mech myself, dech yourself, sech himself, eis ourselves…
- Ech wäsche(n) mech all Dag. I wash (myself) everyday.
Ech is the subject of the sentence. I’m acting: I wash.
wäschen is the reflexive verb.
mech is the object pronoun of the sentence.
- Ech konzentréiere(n) mech op den Test. I concentrate on the exam.
Ech is the subject of the sentence.
konzentréieren is the reflexive verb.
mech is the object of the sentence.
Luxembourgish reflexive verbs are commonly used in the Luxembourgish language and you will hear them on a daily basis. But in which situations do Luxembourgers use a reflexive verb? This is used…
1 to describe things you do (to yourself)
2 to describe a change (sech tommelen: to hurry up, sech undoen: to get dressed)
And of course – Luxembourgish wouldn’t be Luxembourgish if this rule didn’t depend on the case. That’s why the Luxembourgish cases are so important to learn. The Luxembourgish reflexive verb is used either in the accusative Case or in the dative Case.
3 How to conjugate reflexive verbs
The present tense of Luxembourgish reflexive verbs is used in the same way as an ordinary verb. The only difference is that you always need the reflexive pronoun with it. Let’s illustrate this with the verb sech tommelen to hurry up.
Ech tommele mech
Du tommels dech
Hien/hatt tommelt sech
Mir tommelen eis
Dir tommelt iech
Si tommele(n) sech
4 Word order
In statements, the reflexive pronoun should come directly after the conjugated verb, or as close to the subject as possible (while maintaining verb-second position).
- All Dag duschen ech mech. Everyday I take a shower.
- Ech hu mech haut ëm d’Iessen gekëmmert. I took care of the meal today.
In questions, the same rule applies: the reflexive pronoun stays as close to the subject as possible, allowing for correct verb placement:
- Hues du dir d’Zänn gewäscht? Did you brush your teeth?
- Erënners du dech un déi lescht Vakanz? Do you remember last holidays?
5 False reflexive verbs
You can build actually a lot of verbs with the reflexive pronoun:
wäschen – if you decide to use a reflexive pronoun before it will become sech wäschen.
- Ech wäsche mäin Auto. I wash my car.
- Ech wäsche mech. I wash myself.
Translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:
- I always dress (myself) at a quarter past seven during the week. (sech undoen)
- My husband takes care of the children every Saturday morning. (sech këmmeren ëm)
- Have they washed their hands? (sech wäschen)
Check the solution by downloading the PDF and practice with MORE sentences to translate !
I hope you liked it and found it useful. And …. why not sharing this lesson with your friends:-)
Learn Luxembourgish online
Have your private Luxembourgish online lessons via Skype with me.
Online learning is particularly recommended for Luxembourgish conversation and Sproochentest preparation.
It is one of the best ways to learn to speak Luxembourgish FASTER , because the stress is on the oral skills.
Email me at email@example.com