Romanian A Little Confused... Eu/am/m-am?

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nebraskanspy
Sunday 06th of November 2005 10:53:24 AM
A little confused...: I knew that 'eu' means 'I', but I've seen people use 'am' or 'm-am' sometimes and translate it as 'I'... can anyone tell me the difference?


lorelai
Monday 07th of November 2005 12:19:14 AM
Hi Nebraskanspy,

You're totally right, the corresponding form of the pronoun "I" in Romanian is "eu". However, in most cases, when talking or writing in Romanian, the pronoun will be dropped, as the verbs change accordingly when conjugated and there's no danger of confusing the subjects.
This is the case with those forms that you heard "am" and "m-am". They are in fact not pronouns but conjugated forms of the verb "a avea" - "to have", corresponding to the first person, singular pronoun (eu).
This verb is instrumental in Romanian grammar, as, besides expressing possession, it also works as an auxiliary verb, helping us form the "compund perfect" tense.
This is probably the way you've seen this form used: "Am vorbit cu Maria"- "I talked to Maria". So, here "am" is not the pronoun , "I", which is implied, but part of the predicate of the sentence "am vorbit" - "talked".
The second form, "m-am" is the corresponding form for a reflexive verb. A reflexive verb denotes that the action is performed on the subject itself (English sometimes uses the form "myself, yourself, etc." to express this) and, in Romanian, the infinitive form of such verbs is "a se [insert verb here]". The "se" particle from the infinitive changes when the verb is conjugated into "mă, te, se, ne, vă, se". "M-am" is the short form correspong to "I" as a subject, again when the verb is in the compound perfect tense. For example: "De dimineaţă m-am trezit şi m-am spălat" - "This morning I woke up and washed (myself)".

Does this clear the matter up for you a little bit? Or did I just manage to confuse you even more with all this grammar? :( (Sorry, couldn't think of any other way of explaining it)Anyway, you're always welcome to ask for further clarification or any other questions. :)


nebraskanspy
Monday 07th of November 2005 01:56:24 AM
Oh. xD Yeah, that was a little confusing, but I understand it well enough. Multumesc!

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