"Copiilor le e sete?"

Translation:Are the children thirsty?

November 20, 2016

This discussion is locked.


What is the purpose of le in this sentence?


Oh the beauty of romanian grammar :). That's the wonderful dative case.

Romanian dative phrases exhibit clitic doubling similar to that in Spanish, in which the noun in the dative is doubled by a pronoun. The position of this pronoun in the sentence depends on the mood and tense of the verb. For example, in the sentence Le dau un cadou părinților (I give a present to [my] parents), the pronoun "le" doubles the noun "părinților" without bringing any additional information.

You should check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_grammar#Dative_case


Is the short pronoun in dative case just as mandatory as in accusative (eu îl văd pe tatăl meu)? My theory (no expert!) was that pe+person is not a proper direct object for a transitive verb and thus gets a real accusative with the short pronoun. But a verb doesn't depend on a dative object just as much. So I thought that the clitic doubling of a dative was more of an idiomatic habit parallel to the indispensible accusative doubling. And Duolingo has examples without dative doubling.

My question: Is Eu dau un cadou părinților just as wrong as Eu văd (pe) tatăl, or is the first sentence without doubling grammarwise correct and just feels less "Romanian"?

(Also: Why is Eu văd tatăl - a person as direct accusative object - taboo, whereas Eu văd mărul passes as correct?)

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