Italian Language/use of: "togliersi"


Dear Maria,  

Would you please tell me if the verb “togliersi” is a reflexive form of the transitive verb “togliere” (to take off, to remove).

If this is true, would you also please tell me if I have correctly worded the following sentences:

Mi toglierò il mio cappotto.
I will take off my coat.

Si toglierà il suo cappotto.
He will take off his coat.

Togliti il tuo cappotto.
Take off your coat.

I just want to make sure that I am correct to think that the reflexive verb "togliersi" (not "togliere") must be used when talking about removing clothing.

Thank you very much.

Very Sincerely,


Dear Rich,

the verb “togliersi” is  a pronominal form of the transitive verb “togliere” (to take off, to remove) and then  your translations “I will take off my coat”, “He will take off his coat”, “Take off your coat” are correct.

Please note that, when a transitive verb such as “togliere” is accompanied by the “particelle pronominali” mi, ti, ci, si, vi, and  has a direct object (e.g. cappotto) which is different from the subject (e.g. Io,  in “Mi toglierò il cappotto”) so that the pronominal particle “mi” in “Mi toglierò il cappotto” becomes an indirect object, i.e. a “complemento di termine”, the form “togliersi” is called pronominal transitive verb.

Also, note that in “Mi toglierò il cappotto” the pronominal particle “mi” stands for “a me” (complemento di termine) and then the sentence  corresponds to “Io  (subject) toglierò (verb) il cappotto (direct object) a me (indirect object, complemento di termine)”.

On the contrary, a reflexive verb has the subject which is the same person as the direct object as in e.g. “Io mi lavo” which stands for “ Io lavo me” (I wash myself) where the action of “lavarsi” falls on  the same person, i.e. the subject “io” in this sentence.

Moreover, I have to tell you that in Italian we say correctly: “Mi toglierò il cappotto”, “Si toglierà il cappotto”, “Togliti il cappotto” instead of  the same sentences with the possessive adjectives “mio”, “ suo”, “tuo”  that are superfluous  because the transitive pronominal  “togliersi” already contains the possessive in  the pronominal pronouns  “mi”,”si”, “ti”, since if you say “Mi toglierò il cappotto”, it is obvious that this coat is yours.

Lastly, it is correct to think that the pronominal transitive  verb "togliersi"  is used when talking about removing clothing.

Best regards,


Italian Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2017 All rights reserved.