Romanian For Beginners

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Wednesday 01st of November 2006 10:03:25 AM
For Beginners: I'm trying to start a forum that will be able to help beginners, like myself. How about I start with this: I do know that there are 4 different types of Romanian verbs.

1. verbs ending in -a
2. verbs ending in -e
3. verbs ending in -ea
4. verbs ending in -i

Can we start with the first category (verbs ending in -a). What are the endings for each of the persons? Can someone verify that these endings are correct? Thanks a lot!!

eu (I) just take off the final -a
tu (YOU) add -i to the root of the verb
el/ea (HE/SHE) add -ă to the root
noi (WE) add -ăm to the root
voi (YOU-PLURAL) add -aţi to the root
ei/ele (THEY) add -ă to the root

Wednesday 01st of November 2006 08:57:23 PM
Yes, it's correct! Maybe you should try some examples. :)

Wednesday 01st of November 2006 08:59:27 PM
verbs in -a:

eu - (zero ending)
tu -i
el, ea, ei, ele
noi -ăm (ă is stressed)
voi -aţi (a is stressed)

its useful to memorize also the subjunctive form, which differs only in 3rd person (for other persons/numbers its the same as for indicative):
el, ea, ei, ele -e

some verbs receive additional suffix -ez- (-eaz- for the 3rd ps), for all the forms, excluding the ones for noi, voi. actually, they're not 'some' but almost two times as many as those without this suffix.

eu -ez
tu -ezi
el, ea, ei, ele -ează (stress: -EAză )

3rd person subjunctive:
el, ea, ei, ele -eze (stress: -Eze)

how to distinguish which verbs take -ez- and which dont - i think theres no way, only memorizing. although to me it seems that the '-ez-' suffix is often taken by some 'more clever/complex' words, which are used a bit more rare in eveyday speech. and many of them come from french. but this is only a feeling, there are lots of exceptions to this 'rule' %) such as 'dansez', 'lucrez', 'urez' etc. i've seen also some attempts to devise some phonetic rules which would tell you if there is that suffix or it isnt, but those didnt seem practical to me. i went with memorizing %) btw, some verbs allow both forms.

some verbs in -a dont behave exactly like that, if you want to complex the matters, you can read about it here:

btw, there youll find also some info on other types of verbs.

Thursday 02nd of November 2006 12:01:49 AM
Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate you looking at my thread because I really would like to learn the language. Laura suggested some examples:

a cānta: to sing??
present tense: subjunctive tense:
eu cānt noi cānt?m eu cānt noi cānt?m
tu cānti voi cānta?i tu cānti voi cānta?i
el/ea cānt? ei/ele cānt? el/ea cānte ei/ele cānte

Can someone verify this? Also, I'm unsure of the pronunciation of the ā, ?, ī, ?, and ? sounds. The "?" is pronounced like "uh" right? And the "?" is "sh", and the "?" is "ts"?? The ā and the ī, I don't know at all. Thanks (multumesc?)sandmann and laura!!!!

Thursday 02nd of November 2006 12:06:44 PM
you're welcome

a cānta - to sing, to play a musical instrument (a cānta la chitară )

eu cānt
tu cānţi - note that stem final 't' changes to 'ţ' if 'i' is added. and thats a common phonetical rule, not only about verbs. e.g. 'fericit' (happy, singular masculine) -> 'fericiţi' (happy, plural masculine)
el, ea, ei, ele cāntă - here you forgot the ending 'ă'
noi cāntăm
voi cāntaţi

el, ea, ei, ele cānte
(other ones are the same with indicative)

ă - mmm, like 'u' in 'run'
ā = ī - doesnt exist in english either, some kind of 'i' in 'bill' but deeper in the throat
ş = sh
ţ = ts

if you refer to that pdf i gave you the link to, you can find there more insights on pronunciation of romanian sounds.

'multumesc' is written like 'mulţumesc'

btw, seems someone has stripped the unicode letters from your post, i.e. substituted them with '?'

Friday 03rd of November 2006 10:28:32 AM
yeah, sandmann, i noticed that after i submitted the reply, the special characters changed into question marks. i don't know why. i hope it doesn't happen anymore because they're very essential for this language in particular. do you know how to fix that on my computer??

also, in regards to the pdf link, i did look that over, and since it is very long (186ish pages), i just skimmed over a few things. okay, now that the -a verbs have been covered briefly, can we do the -e verbs? i don't know those endings at all. can you help me with at least the indicative tense?? mulţumesc!

Friday 03rd of November 2006 02:52:52 PM
do you know how to fix that on my computer??
this time it seems it worked ok (the word mulţumesc). maybe you were using a different pc ? are you using some special web-browser ? or maybe you wrote your post in smth like notepad then saved it as non-unicode text file, on this step the unicode symbols are substituted for '?'

yep, that pdf is big, but it pretends to cover all the romanian grammar. if you cannot find smth, here are some hints:
romanian special letters - page 16, section
verbs in -a - page 124, section
verbs in -ea - page 127, section
verbs in -e - page 128, section

if for short, verbs in -ea and in -e are basically conjugated alike.

eu, ei, ele - zero ending, for roots ending in vowel - u
tu - i
el, ea - e
noi - em
voi - eţi

the subjunctive has different forms only in 3rd person (as with other types of verbs):
el, ea, ei, ele - ă

a cere - to ask
eu/ei/ele cer, tu ceri, el/ea cere, noi cerem, voi cereţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele ceară (yep, often there are phonetic mutations)

a cădea - to fall
eu/ei/ele cad, tu cazi, el/ea cade, noi cădem, voi cădeţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele cadă

a scrie - to write
eu/ei/ele scriu, tu scrii, el/ea scrie, noi scriem, voi scrieţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele scrie (the same as indicative, since scriă seems phonetically impossible for romanian, -iă- never happens in romanian words)

ill add -i and -ī verbs next time.

Friday 03rd of November 2006 08:57:02 PM
i think i found the problem with the special characters. at home, i have an older computer that doesn't have those, but at school, they have updated and new computers, so they do have them. mulţumesc for the sections for verbs in that pdf file. i'm looking at it and posting this reply at the same time :) i'm also trying to find a way to print all those pages because i would like to have a hard copy of that because it looks very helpful.

also, mulţumesc for the -e endings. also for the examples. i really appreciate your help because some people seem to not pay attention to new learners. and after the -i and -ī verbs, maybe we could start building my vocabulary? that way i could start making simple sentences and you could check them? sound like a plan?

Friday 03rd of November 2006 09:13:31 PM
i forgot in my other reply to add an example. then you could check it. also, i put the prnounciation in parentheses, can you check that too? i put the accent in all capital letters. mulţumesc!

a atrage >> to attract

eu atrag (pronounced aTRAG)
tu atragi (pronounced aTRAjee)
el/ea atrage (aTRAjay)
noi atragem (aTRAgehm)
voi atrageţi (atraGETSi)
ei/ele atrag (aTRAG)

eu atrag (aTRAG)
tu atragi (aTRAjee)
el/ea atragă (aTRAguh)
noi atragem (aTRAgehm)
voi atrageţi (atraGETSi)
ei/ele atragă (aTRAguh)

Sunday 05th of November 2006 08:41:35 PM
In word atrageţi the second syllable is stressed (atrAgetsi). Otherwise OK.

You can try to play our game - conjugation of verbs. Doesn't matter if you don't know all the forms of verb inflection, just write what you know!

Monday 06th of November 2006 10:35:27 AM
sandman, i thought about starting to play in that verb-conjugating game, but i don't think i know the conjugations well enough. i've been looking at the pdf file you gave, and it's been very helpful. and my grandparents are going to be buying me some computer software that's supposedly going to help me learn the language. but i won't get that until christmas >:| i'm going to study the verb endings extremely hard from that file and hopefully i'll feel comfortable enough to start posting on the verb-conjugation game. well, i will talk to you later!

Tuesday 07th of November 2006 12:16:27 PM
maybe we could start building my vocabulary? that way i could start making simple sentences and you could check them?
there are several threads, where you can build your vocabulary (plurals game, alphabet game, word association game, verb conjugation game etc.). there are also some threads where you can practice composing sentences - the person below me, questions & answers, wishful thinking, a place to talk etc.
and pls dont think people dont pay attention to beginners, everybody (including me) will be glad to help you, to check your sentences, to explain things etc. dont be afraid of making mistakes, just start practising.

regarding the conjugation example you gave - i strongly recommend to learn romanian spelling as soon as possible, since the englicized pronunciation looks ugly, but actually the main reason is that its very inaccurate, even wrong, you cannot convey romanian in a way like that.
e.g. tu atragi (pronounced aTRAjee) - the last 'i' sound is very very short, you cannot convey it with english 'pronunciation'. actually it affects the last consonant ('g'), so it sounds 'soft' (as 'j' in 'jim'), but the vowel 'i' itself is not pronounced.
el/ea atrage (aTRAjay) imho is a bit more accurate if written as 'atrajeh'
voi atrageţi (atraGETSi) - again, the last 'i' is not really pronounced, but affects the 'ts' sound (palatalizes it).
im not really sure what means 'G' in all those pronunciations, hope you know that 'g' in romanian is pronounced as english 'j' in 'just' if 'i' or 'e' follows it. (such as in 'atrageţi' etc)

sandman, i thought about starting to play in that verb-conjugating game
that reply was written by spilka, not by me
but i don't think i know the conjugations well enough
you dont need to know them well, the purpose of that game is to learn. make a guess, post it, someone will correct you.

btw, there are some sources where you can check if you're right about the conjugations:

the latter is a great resource, which you will use more and more as your level rises. there are several dictionaries, explicative, with synonims, antonims, ortography etc. you cannot use it at its full potential right now, since its purely romanian, not bilingual.
but you can use the ortographic dictionary right away.
e.g. enter the verb 'pune' acolo, and in its output, somewhere down there youll see this:

pśne vb., ind. prez. 1 sg. şi 3 pl. pun, 2 sg. pui, 1 pl. pśnem, perf. s. 1 sg. puséi, 1 pl. pśserăm; conj. prez. 3 sg. şi pl. pśnă; ger. punānd; part. pus
Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic <- (you can use this string 'ortografic' to find it)

so, what that text means:
pune, verb, indicative present 1st person singular and 3rd person plural 'pun', 2nd person singular 'pui', 1st person plural 'punem', .... (other verb tenses which i guess you dont need right now)... conjunctive (subjunctive) present 3rd person singular and plural 'pună'... past participle 'pus'

not all the forms are listed here, only basic ones (or irregular ones), which are supposed to give you the idea of the rest of the forms. of course verbix is more useful in this sense, since it provides all the forms, but verbix doesnt indicate the stress.

ps: will get back with '-i' and '-ī' verbs later %)

Wednesday 08th of November 2006 02:03:02 AM
sandman, thanks for that. i've been posting replies on some of those threads that you listed. i've also found myself using a lot. someone else also told me about the, and so i have been using that also. and i want to thank you again for that pdf file. it's been coming in very handy! every time i go to post something, i look it up in that first, so i don't end up looking like an idiot! ;)

also, about the "g" sound, yes, i know that it's like the "j" sound when followed by an "i" or an "e." i don't know if you ever looked at my profile here, but i am also learning italian, which does the same thing.

i just went to that website, and although it is in only romanian, i was able to follow it mostly. well, i look forward to hearing from you again soon so we can start with the other verbs.


Friday 17th of November 2006 10:48:55 AM
can someone give me the endings to -i and/or -ī verbs? mulţumesc mult!

Friday 17th of November 2006 03:01:47 PM
-i and -ī verbs are conjugated alike
and the whole picture is almost the same as with verbs ending in '-a', the only difference, that the additional suffix is '-esc-' in place of '-ez-' (the suffix mutates a bit in different persons, just as the one for '-a' verbs). this suffix is stressed, just as in '-a' verbs. and the last vowel of the infinitive is always stressed (just as in '-a' verbs again)

-i verbs without suffix:
eu, ei, ele - zero ending
tu - -i
el, ea - -e
noi - -im
voi - -iţi

el, ea, ei, ele -

a dormi - to sleep:
eu/ei/ele dorm, tu dormi, el/ea doarme, noi dormim, voi dormiţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele doarmă

-ī verbs without suffix:
eu- zero ending <- notice the difference with -i verbs
tu - -i
el, ea, ei, ele - <- notice the difference with -i verbs
noi - -ām
voi - -āţi

el, ea, ei, ele - -e

a coborī - to walk down/descend
eu cobor, tu cobori, el/ea/ei/ele coboară, noi coborām, voi coborāţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele coboare

-i, -ī verbs with suffix:
eu, ei, ele - -esc / -ăsc
tu - -eşti / -ăşti
el, ea - -eşte / -ăşte

el, ea, ei, ele - -ească / -ască

a hotărī - to decide
eu/ei/ele hotărăsc, tu hotărăşti, el/ea hotărăşte, noi hotărām, voi hotărāţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele hotărască

a trăi - to live
eu/ei/ele trăiesc, tu trăieşti, el/ea trăieşte, noi trăim, voi trăiţi
subjunctive: el/ea/ei/ele trăiască

Friday 17th of November 2006 09:16:23 PM
what do you mean by "suffix?" is it whether or not they have a vowel at then end right before the -i or -ī? that's really the only thing i don't understand ... thanks sandman!

Sunday 19th of November 2006 03:26:39 PM
well, maybe its better to call it 'interfix', i.e. smth thats inserted between.
look, the endings are almost always the same, some verbs just receive that additional interfix part, and some not:

eu, ei, ele dorm-0 (zero ending)
eu, ei, ele trăi-esc-0

tu dorm-i
tu trăi-eşt-i

el, ea doarm-e
el, ea trăi-eşt-e


eu sper-0
eu dans-ez-0

tu sper-i
tu dans-ez-i

el, ea, ei, ele sper
el, ea, ei, ele dans-eaz


Monday 20th of November 2006 10:22:27 AM
ok, mulţumesc. and how do you know which verbs get the interfix? is it something that you just have to memorize? i've been really using that pdf link you gave me before. i think it's very very helpful. i'm starting from the beginning and i'm going to work my way to the verbs. and i also found another website that is a great conjugator, along w/ the and the ... it's it's a great online dictionary too. let me try this verb: a ieşi (to go out)

eu ieş
tu ieşti
el/ea ieşte
noi ieşim
voi ieşiţi
ei/ele ieş

maybe the eu/ei/ele is just ies. it sounds better without the "ş" character. ?? what do you think?

Wednesday 22nd of November 2006 12:11:01 AM
yes, its something you have to memorize %)

well, as for that pdf, i guess you shouldnt read it thoroughly from the very beginning to the very end, not moving further without memorizing first all the previous material - this way you unlikely reach the end %) i recommend you to read at least basic parts from every chapter, to have some notions of all the stuff which exists in romanian grammar. this will allow you to become acquainted with the structure of the book also, so you could find the parts you need more easily. dont worry if you cannot memorize evth, next time you read a chapter youll find it familiar and will memorize a bit more. use it rather as a 'random access' handbook, than a novel book %)

a ieşi is conjugated like this:
eu, ei, ele ies
tu ieşi
el, ea iese
noi ieşim
voi ieşiţi

el, ea, ei, ele iasă

Wednesday 22nd of November 2006 01:24:38 AM
thanks sandman. i really haven't been using that pdf file as a novel, although i have been reading more and more of it. :P i did end up printing all of it off. at first i just printed off the stuff about the verbs, and then little by little i printed more of it off. i think the biggest thing i'm having trouble with is still pronounciation. i really need something that i can listen to so i can hear the correct way to pronounce the ā and ī letters. do you know anywhere that can help with that? are there any audio links in phrasebase?

Friday 24th of November 2006 12:58:19 PM
check the thread 'romanian audio'

Monday 27th of November 2006 11:49:59 PM
great! thanks a lot sandman! i will try it and hope for the best. if i have any questions, i'll be sure to post on this thread.

Friday 01st of December 2006 11:55:47 PM
ok, sandman, now that i have a better understanding of the pronounciation of those characters, can we start something new? Like the definite article -ul and how to add it to the nouns. Mulţumesc!

Thursday 07th of December 2006 07:05:15 AM
Hi Josh
I hope this will help you.

The defined article stays after the word and has different forms depending the termination of the word.

Masculine: fratele- the brother
copacul-the tree
peretele-the wall
So, when the word finishes in "e" the defined article is "le" . When the word finishes with a consonant the definit article is "l". "u" is a helpful vowel to easy the pronunciation. When the noun finishes in another vowel except "e" then you will simply add "l". Example: un tată-a father, tatăl-the father, un ardei - a pepperoni => ardeiul - the pepperoni.

Feminine: fata-the girl
casa-the house
fusta-the skirt
The simpliest case is when the word finishes in "ă" because it's simply changes into "a" as in the above examples. But when the word finishes in "a " such as " coffe" - cafea when you want to put it in the definied form you
will add an "u" => cafeaua - the coffe , o lalea - a tulipe => laleaua - the tulipe. Usually, this happens when the word finishes in "ea". A feminin word ending only in "a" without an "e" I haven't found. And unfortunatelly there is more. Some feminine words end in "e". And their behaviour is different.
o floare - a flower
floarea - the flower
o carte - a book
cartea - the book
So these word add an "a" to their previous form. BUT
o cutie - a box
cutia - the box
The rule is the following : when the "e" is precedet by a vowel it changes into "a"; when it's precedet by a consonant you must add an "a".

un ziar - a newspaper
ziarul-the newspaper
un tablou - a painting
tabloul-the painting
un dicţionar - a dictionary
dicţionarul - the dictionary
un birou - a desk
biroul - the desk
The neutral behave like the masculine.

As general rules :
- "u" is the ending for neutral
- any ending consonant will indicate a neutral or a masculine
- "ă" is the ending for feminine . Exception : tată-father
- "e" ending will indicate a masculine or a feminine

Monday 11th of December 2006 10:44:47 PM
Bună Alina!

Mulţumesc for the defined article explanations! They will help me very much when I try to post on some of the Romanian forums. :p I needed the help so much, and I'm so glad that you could help me. If I have any future questions, I'll be sure to post on this forum.

Mulţumesc again!

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