French Grammar: «Pronominal verbs»
From Polyglot Club WIKI
You can identify a pronominal verb by its infinitive.
It always has the pronoun "se" right before the infinitive, like in "se préparer" [to get oneself ready].
Pronominal verbs only existing in the pronominal form[edit | edit source]
If the pronominal verbs only exists in the pronominal form, it always agree in gender and number with the subject.
- Elle s'est souvenue de vous. [She remembered you]
Note: Only "Se souvenir" (to remember) exists. "souvenir" does not exist as a verb.
Pronominal verbs also existing in the non-pronominal form[edit | edit source]
Occasionally pronominal verbs also existing in the non-pronominal form, follow the same agreement rules as the past participle like with the auxiliary "avoir".
Those verbs agree with the complement (direct object complement, Complément d'Objet Direct COD in French) if the complement is before the verb. If the COD is not before the verb, the verb is invariable.
- Ils se sont échangés des lettres. [They exchanged letters]
(COD after the verb: no agreement)
- Les lettres qu'ils se sont échangées. [The letters they exchanged]
(COD before the verb: agreement)
Note: both "Echanger" and "S'échanger" (to exchange) exist as two separate verbs.