O Segredo

The Secret


Alice and Raul discuss their favourite books as they browse the options at a local bookstore.


  • Hi
    I wonder if you could tell me when to use “rir” and when to use “rir-se”, please? Or are they interchangeable?

    Thank you

    • Olá, Debbie. Rir is generally considered a reflexive verb, so you should use the appropriate reflexive pronoun, which varies per person (1st, 2nd, 3rd person, singular or plural). Using “rir” without any reflexive pronoun usually only happens when you’re talking about the act itself, impersonally. For example: “Rir é o melhor remédio” (laughing/laughter is the best medicine).

      In this dialogue, there’s the line “Promete que não te vais rir”, which makes it seem like “rir” is on its own. Actually, the reflexive pronoun is right there — te (second-person singular). But since the sentence is in the negative, it was pushed to the front, instead of appearing as rir-te. Tricky!

      Here’s a Learning Note on reflexive pronouns: Reflexive Pronouns

  • Thank you , Joseph.
    I did realise that rir was reflexive in this passage but I thought I had seen it used elsewhere in a non- reflexive way.
    Many thanks – your explanations are always great!
    Best wishes

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