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Here we are again, ready to reflect on reflexive verbs reflectively; let’s leave puns aside and remember we’ve talked about this topic widely before. We started with ingestion verbs, followed by movement verbs and finally quedarse, one of the most difficult one for our students on

Today, we’ll carry on with them and put the spotlight on the pair of verbs “poner” and “ponerse”.

We’ve already address pronominal verbs at our blog. Remember that if we have a pair of verbs, one of them pronominal and its corresponding regular one, this last form has the standard (original and etymological) meaning. On the other hand, the pronominal verb changes its meaning. Let’s see both:

Poner is polysemic; it means “to put”, “to place”, “to set (the table)” “to send (a letter)”, “to lay (eggs)”… and others derived from the previous ones. So, using poner we can poner el libro en la mesa (to put the book on the table), poner la mesa para la cena (to set the table for the dinner, poner un correo para quejarse de algo (to send a mail in order to complain about something), ver cómo una gallina pone un huevo (to see how a hen lays an egg)…

Ponerse is a different story; let’s tell one:

Yo vivo en un fantástico lugar. Todas las tardes, me pongo un bañador (I put on my swimsuit) y voy a la playa para ver cómo se pone el sol (how the sun sets). En ese momento siempre me pongo contento por vivir aquí (I always feel happy because I live here). Me pongo a hacer fotos (I start taking photos) y cuando todo este espectáculo termina, me pongo de pie y vuelvo a casa (I stand up and I go back home).

Among a number of meanings, we emphasize today these:

  • Ponerse + adjectives: it describe a change of a physical characteristic, the mood or other state. Me pongo contento; mi camiseta negra se ha puesto gris (my black t-shirt has turned grey); tu hermano se ha puesto gordo (your brother got fat).
  • Ponerse a + infinitive: it’s a verbal periphrasis we use to express an action we are going to start doing. Me pongo a hacer fotos.
  • Ponerse de + position: we express a change in the position of our body. Some options here are: de rodillas (to kneel down), de pie (to stand up), de espaldas (with your back towards something)…

Well, as you can see, learning reflexive verbs is possible with us. What are you waiting for? Ponte a aprender español (start learning Spanish) and reserve a free trial class via Skype with us. Te pondrás emocionado (you’ll feel exciting) when you come to Spain and speak Spanish.