Translation:the man

November 16, 2016



I notice that "bărbat" is in the sentence, ended by "ul". For reference to others, I assume this is a suffix "-ul" defining a specific object, using the English "the". I'm a bit confused on this, but this is my guess. Correct me if I'm wrong.

November 16, 2016


You're totally correct. In fact this suffix shows up in the famous name "Dracula". This was originally 'Drac-ul', "the dragon", the title of Vlad II of Wallachia. His son, Vlad III - the ruler associated with the Dracula legend - was then called "Dracula", a Slavicized form meaning "(son) of the dragon".

November 16, 2016


-ul is the definite article used for some masculine and neuter nouns. bărbat > bărbatul (man > the man), băiat > băiatul (boy > the boy), fruct > fructul (fruit > the fruit) etc.

November 16, 2016


Thank you for your answer, but that leaves me at another confusion. I'm familiar with gender-specific nouns (being partial to German), but how do I determine what nouns are masculine, feminine, and neuter?

November 16, 2016


Hi, Eric_Allen. If the noun ends in "e", "ă" or "a" you know it is feminine. For the one ending in "i" it is not that simple: zi - day (feminin), ardei - pepper (masculin). The rest are masculin or neuter which behave similar (have the same article "ul").

In my head, I cannot find exceptions to this rule right now.

November 17, 2016


I'd to add that there exist masculine nouns ending in "e" and "ă" (although there are very few with "ă"):
conte - count
tată - father

The noun "cinema" is neutral and ends in "a" (maybe there's more, but I can't think of it right now).

January 7, 2017


Actually, there is no clear cut rule. As in German, or French, you have to learn the gender of every noun.

October 5, 2017


It can be masculine with -e ending too: un păduche, un grăunte, un munte etc.

October 5, 2017


Just like in Scandinavian languages, e.g. Norwegian

"mann" = man

"Mannen" = The man

November 19, 2016


It's not my problem we don't speak Norwegian etc.

June 24, 2018


Note also, in the normal speaking sometimes you can't hear the ending l.

November 17, 2016


That is the mistake I made. I didn't hear the ending in normal speed. I always have to listen to the slow version to get it. Sometimes that voice is so hard to understand even then!

April 6, 2018


Romanian is the only romance language whose definite articles come after the word! Very interesting!

November 25, 2016


Strictly speaking, the article doesn't come after the word. The article is an enclitic, it attaches to the end of the word.

November 26, 2016


I was going to try to summarize the noun-gender rules, but they were a little more complicated than I gleaned from my text. Take a look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_nouns

November 17, 2016


So everything that ends in "ul" just means "the" and then the part that precedes "ul"?

September 10, 2017


There are words that end in -ul in their non-articulated form and add another one when articulated (tumul = tumulus, tumulul = the tumulus). But most of the time you can GUESS that a word ending in -ul is masculine/neuter and articulated.

October 5, 2017
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