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French grammar - Parts of the body and reflexive verbs

Parts of the body and reflexive verbs

When referring to a part of the body in French we don't use the possessive adjective ('my leg' or 'his back').

Instead in French the definite article is used ('la jambe' or 'le dos')

And often whose body part it is conveyed by which reflexive pronoun is used.

-- We could also of course use the possessive de to specify who the body part belongs to - for example la jambe de Jacques.

Examples:
Je me brosse les dents.
I brush my teeth.

se brosser means 'to brush onself'

dent (f) means 'tooth'

Elles se brossent les dents.
They (females) are brushing their teeth.
Pourquoi ne te brosses-tu pas les dents ?
Why don't you brush your teeth?
Vous brossez-vous les cheveux ?
Do you brush your hair?

With inverted questions the pronoun stays attached to the verb.

Ils se lavent le visage.
They wash their faces.

visage (f) means 'face'

Est-ce qu'elle se lave les mains ?
Does she wash her hands?

main (f) means 'hand'

Se lave-t-elle les mains ?
Does she wash her hands?

With inverted questions the pronoun stays attached to the verb.

Se rase-t-il le visage ?
Does he shave his face?

With inverted questions the pronoun stays attached to the verb

se raser means 'to shave oneself'

Il se coupe toujours un doigt avec ce couteau.
He always cuts a finger with this knife.

doigt (m) means 'finger'

couteau (m) means 'knife'

Dans cette scène, elle se casse la jambe.
In this scene she breaks her leg.

scène (f) means 'scene'

casser (verb) means 'to break'

jambe (f) means 'leg'

Elle se coupe les ongles.
She is cutting her fingernails.

ongle (m) means 'fingernail'