Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"The child is at the table."

Translation:Copilul este la masă.

1 year ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/limhwa_97
limhwa_97
  • 13
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

Why is it la masă instead of la masa in this case? Wouldn't masa translate to "the table" as opposed to masă which just means table?

.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/potestasity
potestasity
  • 21
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6

Simply put: different languages have different rules for when to use articles.

Short version, that works in a lot of situations:
* when using the definite article in English, you would use no article in Romanian:
We are going to the circus. - Mergem la circ.
* when using the indefinite article in English, you would use the indefinite article in Romanian.
We are going to a circus. - Mergem la un circ.
(the nuances in English are kept in Romanian).

These rules are kinda complicated, I'll try my best:

The definite article is omitted with nouns preceded by a preposition that is not "cu" (with)
The child is at the table. - Copilul e la masă.
The food is on the table. - Mâncarea e pe masă.
The chair is next to the table. - Scaunul e lângă masă.

But is required when using an adjective with said noun
The child is at the large table. - Copilul e la masa mare.
The food is on the white table. - Mâncarea este pe masa albă.
The chair is next to the tall table. - Scaunul e lângă masa înaltă.

And is required with "cu"
He is leaving with the chair. - El pleacă cu scaunul.
We are going by car. - Noi mergem cu mașina.

However, it is ommited with cu if talking about adding something (having a property)
Lemon tea. - Ceai cu lămâie.
House with wheels. - Casă cu roți.

The definite article is also required when talking about family members
I talked to mom about this. - Am vorbit cu mama (not mamă) despre asta.
He is your uncle. - El este unchiul tău.

Or when adding a possesive adjective
He is your friend. - El este prietenul tău.
She stole your pencil. - Ea ți-a furat creionul.

The indefinite article is not required when talking about the status of someone (religion, nationality, sex etc.)
He is a man. - El e (un) bărbat.
She is a student. - Ea este (o) studentă.
Bob is a muslim. - Bob e (un) musulman.

However, it is required when adding an adjective to said status
He is a kind man. - El e un om bun.
She is a lazy student. - Ea este o studentă leneșă.
Bob is a devout muslim. - Bob e un musulman devotat.

The indefinite article is not required when talking about two objects in some relation (I don't know how to express this)
It's a chair, not a table. - E masă, nu scaun.
Is it a spoon or a fork? - E lingură sau furculiță?

The indefinite article is ommited with nouns preceded by interrogative/indefinite pronominal adjectives
What a great book! - Ce carte grozavă!

In all other cases, things should be the same in both languages, unless I am forgetting something.

NOTE
"required" means that the article must be there.
"not required" means that the article may or may not be there.
"ommited" means that the article must not be there.

Disclaimer: I am a native speaker, but I might have forgotten some obscure exceptions to these rueles.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/limhwa_97
limhwa_97
  • 13
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

Fantastic explanation ! I wish I could thank you more for this. Seems Romanian grammar is fairly hard after all, especially compared to Spanish. I think I got what you meant ... nouns after prepositions require no article, cu being the exception.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreiChich
AndreiChich
  • 15
  • 14
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 3
  • 3

Spanish is not completely different, a lot of these rules are used in Spanish too (I'm a native Spanish), ... and way too different from English, which is like the opposite in these grammar rules lol

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/limhwa_97
limhwa_97
  • 13
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

Also, the definite article is used together with possessives, right? For example la masa mea.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/potestasity
potestasity
  • 21
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6

Correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coldyham

What happened to this so highly praised comment? Sounds like useful information to know

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/violeta877655
violeta877655
  • 14
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8

@potestasity

Best explanation I've seen so far regarding this topic here on duolingo, kudos to you! :)

”The definite article is also required when talking about family members I talked to mom about this. - Am vorbit cu mama (not mamă) despre asta. He is your uncle. - El este unchiul tău.”

Not only family members. ;) I talked to the teacher/principal/doctor. Am vorbit cu profesorul/directorul/doctorul.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulMinden

What an amazing and thorough explanation! Multumesc mult! It's a lot more complicated than I thought, the part with prepositions.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/romanului

How marvelous is romanian. I am pretty amazed (Native spanish speaker).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grant22345

What is the difference in the pronunciation of a and ă?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hannie125
hannie125
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 5

not a native but I live with romanians

a - "ah"

ă - "ugh"

â - "euh"

example:

masa = "mah-sah"

masă = "mah-suh"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grant22345

Thanks

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca
Arcaeca
  • 17
  • 14
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

We're supposed to know se află for the "Pick All Correct Translations" activity... because... why?

1 year ago