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  5. "The brother of Sebastian is …

"The brother of Sebastian is eight years old."

Translation:Fratele lui Sebastian are opt ani.

February 23, 2017



Why is "Fratele Sebastianului are opt ani" wrong? Female names seem to have no problem getting the -i suffix so can't male names just get the -ului suffix in the same way?


Have you learned the answer to this by any chance?


Female names ending in -a go to the -ei suffix in dative/genitive.

Ana -> Anei.

However, rare female names ending in consonant or male names just get the preposition "lui" which has nothing to do with the masculine possession pronoun.

Sebastian -> lui Sebastian.


I attempted to use "a" instead of "are" in the following response: "Fratele lui sebastian a opt ani"

I thought that "are" interchangeable with "a." Is that not the case?


That is not the case at all, as far as my knowledge goes. "are" is the third-person singular form of the verb "a avea" - "to have". So it is used when saying "he/she/it has". The small word "a", on the other hand, has a number of uses. It is generally an auxiliary verb or word with many uses.

For example, you'd use it to form feminine ordinal numbers: "a treia femeie" - "the third woman"

It is used to form feminine abolute possessive pronouns: "pisica asta este a mea" - "this cat is mine"

And it is also very often used to indicate the dative/genitive case.

However, I've never encountered "are" to be shortened to "a", I don't know if there is some dialect that does that. There are some similar pairs like "este" and "e" which are the same thing and interchangeable.


I haven't tried this answer since I got it in a word bank problem, but at the end, would "are opt de ani" work? If not, why? I saw that format in another sentence (something like "The grandparents of these children are ninety years old" where the end was translated as "au nouazeci de ani").


No, "are opt de ani" is not correct. Numbers 20 and above have a "de" following them. Numbers below 20 do not. Deci, astăzi, am 20 de scaune dar ieri am avut doar 19 scaune. De asemenea, astăzi, am 99 de scaune dar ieri am avut doar 7 scaune.

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