Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 92): le ordre mot avec les verbes pronominal


Source: french.about.com

Where to put the reflexive pronoun with negation and questions

Placement of the reflexive pronoun is exactly the same as for object pronouns and adverbial pronouns: the pronoun directly precedes the verb in all tenses and moods*

Je m’habille. I’m getting dressed.
Tu te reposeras. You will rest.
Il se levait quand… He was getting up when…

*Except the affirmative imperative, when it follows the verb, attached by a hyphen:

Repose-toi ! Rest!
Habillons-nous. Let’s get dressed.

Pronominal verbs in the negative
With negation, ne precedes the reflexive pronoun:

Je ne m’habille pas. I’m not getting dressed.
Tu ne te reposes jamais. You never rest.

Pronominal verbs in the interrogative
Questions with pronominal verbs are usually asked with est-ce que and the reflexive pronoun once again stays directly in front of the verb. If you use inversion, the reflexive pronoun precedes the inverted subject-verb:

Est-ce qu’il se rase ? Se rase-t-il ? Is he shaving?
Est-ce que tu te laves les mains ? Te laves-tu les mains ? Are you washing your hands?

Pronominal verbs in the negative interrogative
To ask a negative question with pronominal verbs, you pretty much have to use inversion. The reflexive pronoun stays directly in front of the inverted subject-verb, and the negative structure surrounds that whole group:

Ne se rase-t-il pas ? Isn’t he shaving?
Ne te laves-tu jamais les mains ? Don’t you ever wash your hands?

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