Reflexive verbs - Sentar-se

I have just completed one of the reflexive verb lessons and one of the sentences I had to construct was ‘Podemos sentar-nos naquela mesa’.

I find it confusing to see sentar-nos together and would have expected to see sentano-nos.

Any feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

@tommy-82, sentamo-nos is not applicable here, because the sentence asks for the verb sentar to be in the infinitive. Sentamo-nos uses a present-tense conjugation (1st-person plural), which in this context should only be applied to the auxiliary verb poder. So, we have sentar-nos, which is the appropriate infinitive form paired with the reflexive pronoun.

1 Like

I think I understand…

So the word for word translation will read ‘we can sit ourselves at that table’ ?

Yes, if it helps you to think of it that way, that would be the literal translation, assuming that sentar is a truly reflexive verb (its classification is somewhat ambiguous) :slight_smile:

1 Like

A thought for native English speakers: The requirement for the second verb to be in the infinitive is the same in English. We just don’t notice it, because English conjugation is super simple. As in your example “sit”: to sit, I sit, we sit, etc – all the same.

To test rules like this in English you have to use the verb “to be”, which has sufficient conjugation to make things visible. So we can have: We are ready – “to be” conjugated. Or we can have: Can we be ready – where the second verb (just like your sitting example) needs to be in the infinitive.

There are lots of other conjugations that are only apparent in English if we use the verb “to be”. They are invisible in regular verbs. Like: If she were your friend, you would tell her…… An example of the imperfeito de conjuntivo in English (IE It’s were not was). You can’t see it with other regular verbs.

Hope that’s of some help.