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Reciprocal verbs are a type of pronominal verb, meaning they have both a subject pronoun and a reflexive pronoun. In the case of reciprocal verbs, the reflexive pronoun indicates that the action of the verb is exchanged between two or more subjects acting upon each other.
|Si amano.||They love each other.|
|Ci conosciamo.||We know each other.|
|Vi parlate spesso?||Do you talk to each other often?|
Most common Italian reciprocal verbs
|adorarsi||to adore each other|
|amarsi||to love each other|
|ascoltarsi||to listen to each other|
|baciarsi||to kiss each other|
|cercarsi||to look for each other|
|chiamarsi||to call each other|
|comprendersi||to understand each other|
|conoscersi||to know each other|
|farsi del male||to hurt each other|
|guardarsi||to look at each other|
|incontrarsi||to meet each other|
|lasciarsi||to leave each other|
|litigarsi||to fight with each other|
|odiarsi||to hate each other|
|parlarsi||to talk to each other|
|promettersi||to promise each other|
|raccontarsi||to tell each other|
|scriversi||to write to each other|
|sorridersi||to smile at each other|
|superarsi||to outdo/outwit each other|
|vedersi||to see each other|
Note that most of these verbs can also be reflexive. To stress the reciprocal nature of the verb, you can include something like
- l’un l’altro – each other
- mutuamente – mutually
- reciprocamente – reciprocally
- tra noi/voi/loro – between us/you/them
All of the above verbs require a reflexive pronoun when they indicate that the subjects are acting upon each other. But remember than they can also be used non-reflexively, to express the verb’s action directed at someone or something else (or nothing, in the case of intransitive verbs).
|Si guardano.||vs||Guardano al tv.|
|They’re looking at each other.
||They’re looking at the TV.
|You’re smiling at each other.||You’re smiling.|
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