Italian reflexive verbs: chiedere o chiedersi?
Posted by Monica Corrias on March 23, 2009
As you know, reflexive verbs (look at the lesson) have the same conjugations as verbs ending in -are, -ere, -ire, but we have to put a reflexive pronoun before the verb. Generally the pronoun means “myself, yourself …”.
Usually, Italian pair reflexive/un-reflexive verbs (e.g. chiamare/chiamarsi); English corresponds (e.g. to call/to call oneself), so in Italian as in English we use only one verb. However there is a special situation: the verb “to ask” along with the verb “to wonder” is the Italian pair “chiedere/chiedersi”. If you use the verb “to ask” we use “chiedere” but if you say “to wonder” we say “chiedersi” (the reflexive of to ask).
e.g. Lui si sta ancora chiedendo come ciò è/sia potuto accadere = he’s still wondering how that could have happened
Mi chiedo se è/sia malata = I wonder whether she is ill