"The man eats dinner."

Translation:Bărbatul mănâncă cina.

December 9, 2016

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Why does "cina" have to be the definite form instead of the indefinite form, "cină", like it is in English?


It's like this. For lack of a better explanation, see "cina" as something particular that the man is eating. E.g.: you have dinner only once during a day as opposed to, say, fish which can use both the definite and the indefinite article, with similar meaning as in English:

He eats fish. -- Mănâncă peşte.

He eats a fish. -- Mănâncă un peşte.

He eats the fish. -- Mănâncă peştele.

Btw, in real life, say if your mother were to ask you "Did you eat/have dinner?" she would say "Ai mâncat de seară?" -- "Have you eaten for the evening?". "Ai mâncat cina?" or "Ai cinat?" sound odd.

Duo has a propensity for literal translations which makes it easier for beginners to spot the one-to-one mapping of the sentence structure.


For comparison, English uses the definite article only if it's a special meal, and more often with an adjective in between: "the anniversary dinner." Usually, it implies a formal event.. Romanian seems to use definite articles much more freely than English.


Surprisingly I've never used the word cina to talk about dinner in my Romanian household. My parents only used the phrase masa de seară

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