French pronominal voice
The pronominal voice, sometimes erroneously called the "reflexive voice," indicates that the subject and object of a verb are the same: the subject is acting upon itself. This relationship is made clear with the inclusion of a reflexive pronoun.
Je me réveille à 8 heures. - I wake (myself) up at 8am.
Il se mentit. - He's lying to himself.
Est-ce que tu t'en souviens ? - Do you remember that?
Nous nous parlons tous les jours. - We talk to each other every day.
There are three different kinds of pronominal verbs:
- Reflexive verbs (e.g., se réveiller - to wake up, se laver - to wash)
- Reciprocal verbs (s'aimer - to love each other, se parler - to talk to each other)
- Idiomatic pronominal verbs (se douter - to suspect, s'en aller - to go away)
Idiomatic pronominal verbs have different or unexpected meanings when compared to their active voice equivalents.
- Elle s'est vu refuser l'entrée du club. - She was refused entry to the club.
- Je me suis entendu dire qu'il était malade. - I was told that he was sick.
- Il s'est fait punir. - He was/got punished.
- Je me suis laissé dire qu'il l'avait vendu. - I was told that he'd sold it.
Learn more: Introduction to voice