I've been really enjoying this course so far, the only thing I'm missing atm is some sort of pattern for the conjugation of verbs. Knowing the structure of the regular verb conjugation has always helped me a lot with other romance languages like French or Spanish. I don't know the language that well yet, so it might not even be possible to point out a recurring pattern of verb endings in Romanian, but I wanted to ask regardless.
I looked at a few verb conjugations so far, and the only recurring pattern I could recognize so far is for verbs that end with -i:
-esc -eşti -eşte -im -iți -esc
Is it even possible to generalize like that?
There also seems to be a slight difference in the conjugation between the words that end with -a, e.g. 'a ajuta' and 'a ascuta' vs 'a plăcea' and 'a părea' :
ajut ajuți ajută ajutăm ajutați ajută // par pari pare părem păreți par
I also read somewhere that the 4 groups of verb endings can be divided into subcategories, is that the case here? And does that mean that it's better to just learn every verb and its conjugation on its own?
I hope my question isn't too confusing and I would be really glad if someone could help me out with this!
The classical view on Romanian verbs separates them into 4 classes; this is what I was taught in school and, AFAIK, it's what's still being taught. These classes, however, are distinguished by verb form in the infinitive, which has more to do with etymology and seems very forced. The classes are:
-a (e.g. a ajuta)
-ea (e.g. a plăcea)
-e (e.g. a spune)
-i/-î (e.g. a privi, a hotărî)
(indeed, "-a" and "-ea" verbs differ)
These aren't very helpful since you can't generalize any conjugation rules in some of these classes. A more modern approach identifies 11 classes, effectively dividing these 4 into subcategories. As far as I know this is pretty "official", i.e. it has been accepted by the Romanian Academy and published in "Gramatica Limbii Române".
These classes are not only concerned with indicative present conjugation, but also stuff like the past participle.
Knowing the class of a verb gives you a pretty good idea on its conjugation, but more information is needed to determine that class; the form of its infinitive is not enough. Usually, you'll need to know the indicative first person/third person singular conjugation or its past participle.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a page that illustrates these classes well. This one might be helpful, as it shows the characteristics of each class and how to identify it, but it's in Romanian and does not offer examples.
Here is one example from each class with full present indicative conjugation and past participle:
I. "a afla"
* in this class, there are also verbs whose indicative present conjugation takes no suffix for the first person singular, but is otherwise the same:
II. "a lucra"
III. "a coborî"
IV. "a oferi"
V. "a fugi"
VI. "a citi" (this is the class you identified)
VII. "a urî"
VIII. "a tăcea"
IX. "a face"
X. "a merge"
XI. "a rupe"
Final word: although these classes should help you to some extent, you must keep in mind all Romanian sound changes that might occur (which may or may not imply changes in spelling). Some of the examples above contain them and I tried to isolate them from what is actually the conjugation of those verbs.. On Wikipedia, it is claimed that a classification that takes all these into account would go up to 70 categories + irregular verbs.
Thank you very much for such a detailed explanation! It definitely helped me out with understanding this topic better
I think when Romanian gets out of Beta, there will be the "words learned" section like with other languages. Usually they give the conjugations and such there. :) I know how you feel.