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French Verb Conjugation

French Reciprocal Verbs List + Exercises

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis on October 2, 2017
French Reciprocal Verb List reflexive

Here is a list of French reflexive verbs that describe reciprocal actions: things that two or more people feel or do to each others.

What Does French Reciprocal Verb Mean?

“Reciprocal” is an adjective, it means “done by both sides to each other” or “felt by both sides about each other”.

  1. Cette maman et sa fille s’aiment très fort
    This mother and her daughter deeply love each other 

Reciprocal Verbs Versus Pronominal/Reflexive Verbs

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Reciprocal Verbs are a subcategory of Pronominal/Reflexive Verbs.

Let’s take the verb “réveiller” which means to wake up.

If you use “se réveiller” in the reflexive form, for example “nous nous réveillons à huit heures”, there could be two translations:

  1. Each one of us wakes up at 8AM (reflexive action – we each do it to oneself)
  2. We wake each other up at 8AM (reciprocal action – we do it to each other)

So how can you tell? Usually from the context of the sentence / story.

I suggest you click on this link to understand the French reflexive/pronominal/reciprocal verbs. It’s all explained very clearly in that article so I won’t explain it here again.

List of French Reciprocal Verbs

  1. to adore each other = s’adorer
  2. to love each other = s’aimer
  3. to phone each other = s’appeler
  4. to fight each other = se battre
  5. to understand each other = se comprendre
  6. to know each other = se connaître
  7. to hate each other = se détester
  8. to tell (things to) each other = se dire
  9. to argue with each other = se disputer
  10. to write to each other = s’écrire
  11. to kiss each other = s’embrasser
  12. to get on each other’s nerves = s’énerver
  13. to find a solution to an argument = s’expliquer
  14. to talk to each other = se parler
  15. to leave each other = se quitter
  16. to look at each other = se regarder
  17. to meet each other = se rencontrer
  18. to meet up with each other = se retrouver (read my article about to meet in French)
  19. to smile at each other = se sourire
  20. to see each other = se voir
  21. to call each other = se téléphoner
  22. to get along = s’entendre (bien/mal avec quelqu’un) – this one is also part of my idiomatic reflexive verbs list

Can you think of more common French reciprocal verbs? I mean, many verbs could be used in a reciprocal form: you could imagine a situation where my daughter and I are brushing each other’s hair…. but it’s not common. So here,  I’m looking to list for some French verbs that are usually used in the reciprocal form.

Please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll add them to this French reciprocal verbs list.

Subject Pronoun or Not?

French Reciprocal Verbs – Exercises

Now we’re going to train on these French reciprocal verbs

1) (s’adorer) Mon mari et moi, nous _______________.

Mon mari et moi, nous nous adorons.

My husband and I, we love each other.

2) (s’aimer) Ils _______________ comme au premier jour.

Ils s’aiment comme au premier jour.

They love each other like they did the first day.

3) (s’appeler) On _______________ ce soir pour le cinéma ?

On s’appelle ce soir pour le cinéma ?

We call each other tonight for the movie?

4) (se battre) Mais vous _______________ sans arrêt !

Mais vous vous battez sans arrêt !

But you fight each other all the time !

5) (se comprendre) Toi et moi _______________ sans nous parler.

Toi et moi nous comprenons sans nous parler.

You and I understand each other without talking.

6) (se connaître) Sylvain et toi, vous _______________depuis la semaine dernière ?

Sylvain et toi, vous vous connaissez depuis la semaine dernière ?

Sylvain and you know each other since last week ?

7) (se détester) Paul et Nathalie _______________ depuis le lycée.

Paul et Nathalie se détestent depuis le lycée.

Paul and Nathalie hate each other since High School.

8) (se dire) Ma sœur et moi _______________ tout.

Ma sœur et moi, nous nous disons tout.

My sister and I, we tell each other everything.

9) (se disputer) Ils _______________souvent à cause de cela.

Ils se disputent souvent à cause de cela.

 They often argue because of that.

10) (se parler) Vous vous parlez souvent.

Vous vous parlez souvent.

You talk to each other often.

11) (s’embrasser) Ils _______________ dans le parc.

Ils s’embrassent dans le parc.

They kiss (each other) in the park.

12) (s’énerver) On ______________ facilement.

On s’enerve facilement.

We get on each other’s nerve easily.

13) (s’expliquer) Ils _______________ sur le terrain de tennis.

Ils s’expliquent sur le terrain de tennis.

They find a solution to their argument on the tennis court.

14) (se quitter) Nous _______________ à Paris.

Nous nous quittons à Paris.

We leave each other in Paris.

15) (se regarder) Les chats _______________ à travers la fenêtre.

Les chats se regardent dans le miroir .

The cats are looking at each other through the window.

16) (se rencontrer) Mon mari et moi, _________________chez des amis.

Mon mari et moi, nous nous sommes rencontrés chez des amis.

My husband and I met at a friend’s house.

17) (se retrouver) On _______________ au café à 14 heures.

On se retrouve au café à 14 heures.

We meet each other at the coffee house at 2PM.

18) (se sourire) Vous _______________ tous les jours.

Vous vous souriez tous les jours.

You smile at each other everyday.

19) (se téléphoner) Ces deux amies _______________tous les week-ends.

Ces deux amies se téléphonent tous les week-ends.

These two friends call each other every weekend.

20) (se voir) Nous _______________ce soir au théâtre.

Nous nous voyons ce soir au théâtre.

We see each other tonight at the theater.

Subject Pronoun or No Subject Pronoun With Reflexive Verbs

I received a couple of questions on numbers 5 and 6, so I’ll clarify things here:

With reflexive verbs, you HAVE to use the reflexive pronoun, the second pronoun.
But you don’t have to use a subject pronoun… You can use a noun, or in this case stress pronouns (moi, toi…) because of the “et”.
  • Toi et moi nous comprenons sans nous parler.
    I could also have said: toi et moi, nous nous comprenons sans nous parler. And it’s more common because it kinds of sound better.
  • Sylvain et toi, vous vous connaissez depuis la semaine dernière ?
    I could also have said: Sylvain et toi vous connaissez depuis la semaine dernière ?
I’m sure “Michel et Anne se comprennent sans se parler” sounds OK to you. Structure wise though, it’s exactly the same thing.
Question of emphasis… I believe it’s the same in English (without the reflexive pronoun that is :-)
You and I get each other.
You and I, we get each other.

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