- Zichzelf is primarily used with verbs that are optionally reflexive. Verbs with mandatory reflexivity like zich vergissen typically take zich. Exceptions to this strong tendency show up occasionally, however. Hendriks, Spenader and Smits (2008) note in a corpus 638 occurrences of the mandatorily reflexive verb ontpoppen involving the reflexive zich, versus 1 with the reflexive zichzelf. One cannot simply dismiss such cases as errors, since they are on the whole more common than the literature often assumes.