Essentially Pronominal Verbs

Verbes essentiellement pronominaux

Je me souviens
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Two dozen French verbs always require a reflexive pronoun but aren’t necessarily reflexive or reciprocal. These "essentially pronominal" verbs can only be used pronominally, because without the pronoun, the verb is meaningless (though there are some literary exceptions).

Par exemple…

Je me souviens.  I remember.
Il s’est suicidé.  He killed himself.

Most common French essentially pronominal verbs

Here are the most common verbes essentiellement pronominaux.

s’abstenir to abstain, refrain
s’acharner to harass, attack, persevere
s’arroger to claim falsely
se dédire to recant, go back on one’s word
se départir de to abandon, lose
se désister to withdraw, stand down
s’ébattre to frolic, romp about
s’écrier to exclaim
s’efforcer to endeavor, do one’s best
s’emparer to seize, take hold of
s’enfuir to flee, escape
s’enquérir to inquire
s’entremettre to mediate
s’envoler to fly away, blow off
s’éprendre to become enamored
s’évader to escape, evade
s’évanouir to faint
s’évertuer à to strive to
s’exclamer to exclaim
se méfier de to mistrust, distrust, beware of/about
se méprendre to misjudge, make a mistake
se moquer de to make fun of
se pâmer to swoon
se repentir to repent
se souvenir de to remember
se suicider to kill oneself

 See the main lesson on pronominal verbs for details on using essentially pronominal verbs in different tenses and moods.

 Related lessons

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French pronominal verbs
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