"The girls read the books on the table."

Translation:Fetele citesc cărțile de pe masă.

December 30, 2016

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Is the "de" here necessary or optional? Because I've seen sentences where "pe masă" on its own has been enough.


It is necessary, but I have no idea how to explain why.


no problem, that still answers my question :)


Still not a proper explanation, but I tried giving some more examples here.


I think it works like this: In Romanian, if you want to modify a noun or noun phrase (like "cărțile", "the books") with a prepositional phrase (like "pe masă", "on the table"), you need to link them with a "de". (Sometimes the "de" gets joined with the next preposition, so "de în" > "din", but that's not relevant here.)

Without the "de", you get the prepositional phrase modifying the verb instead.

"Fetele citesc cărțile de pe masă." - "The girls read the books on the table" - the books are on the table

"Fetele citesc cărțile pe masă." - "The girls read the books on the table" - they're reading on the table.

So both Romanian sentences can be translated with the same English sentence, but they have different meanings. The English sentence is ambiguous.

(If I'm wrong, please correct me! I'm still very much a learner, but that's the pattern I've put together.)


Here is an simple way to understand it for us English speakers: In this instance, "de" in Romanian works the same way as "that" in English. Strictly speaking, in English the sentence should be:
"The girls read the books THAT are on the table." The "that" makes clear that it is the books that are on the table. Without the "that", "on the table" would refer to the verb "read". The same as in Romanian. I think that English speakers are having trouble with this concept because we have become "relaxed" with our language and usually don't bother with the word "that" unless it is absolutely necessary. We just assume people know what we mean. Hope this helps.


You are correct.


My understanding is the "de pe" indicates a movement : from . "pe" alone is a situation: "on" . You can imagine that your eyes which are reading word from the book on the table and bring them to your brain. So "de pe masă" is more indicated in this case. Like I read in another comment. "pe masă" in this sentence means , the girl is on the table and reads the book. It's also possible but means something different.


As dieprinzessin in another sentense explains: the books from, wwhat was on the table


In romanian this sentence means literally: the girls are on the table and read the books. That's so funny!


So you could translate it like, the girls are reading the books from on the table, so to mean they are reading from the position of on top of the table.


Originally typed the correct answer, then checked the hints because i second guessed myself, and because the hint was wrong i changed my answer and got it wrong


why from the table is the only correct way (de pe)? the girls could totally be sitting on the table and read the books, so both ways should be correct.

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