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Reflexive verbs in Russian

Hello, dear student! Today I would like to talk about reflexive verbs. Yes, there is such category in the Russian language which we should know and use in our speech correctly.

Let's find out, why these verbs have such name. Their name is derived from the Russian word "возвращаться" [vazvrashchatsya] (to come back), i.e. the action is directed backwards to those who have completed it, for example:

Мыться [myt'sa] to wash
Умываться [umyvat'sya] to wash somebody's face
Краситься [krasit'sya] to make up one's face
Наряжаться [narizhat'sya] to dress up

As you have probably noticed, such verbs are formed through adding the particle -ся in the end of a verb. It's called "постфикс" [postfiks] (postfix) in the Russian grammar, that means "прикрепляться" [prikriplyatsya] (to fasten oneself):

Одевать - одеваться (reflexive verbs with the particle -ся) [Adivat' - adivat'sya] - to wear

The particle -ся can remind you the pronoun "себя" [sibya] (oneself), that's why we say that an action is directed to oneself (на себя).

There are some rules which you should memorize:
Reflexive verbs are formed from transitive and intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs express the action which is directed to an object. Intransitive verbs (unlike transitive verbs) cannot be used with nouns and pronouns with preposition in accusative case. For example:

Одевать- одеваться (transitive verb "одевать") [adivat' - adivat'sya] - to dress - to dress oneself
Стучать - стучаться (intrasitive verb, стучать в дверь) [stuchat' - stuchat'sya] - to knock (the door)

To turn transitive verb into intransitive one, just add the particle -ся to it:

Одевать (кого? Что? Accusative case) - одеваться (intransitive)

We can add the particle -ся to a verb, if it ends with a consonant:

Мыть - мыться, моются ( we refer the soft sign to consonants) [myt' - myt'sya, moyutsya] - to wash

We can add the particle -сь after vowels, for example:

Одевалась, одевались [adivalas', adivalis'] - to wear

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