"He reads his newspaper."

Translation:El își citește ziarul.

September 2, 2017

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What is the difference between "se" and "isi"?


Would it not be "he 'to himself' reads the newspaper"? Does "își" inform us that the newspaper is his?


Yes, from what I've read on other replies, "își" is possessive.


Would "își citește ziarul său" be incorrect?


Someone gave a lengthy explanation on another exercise, the gist of which (if I understood correctly) was "își is possessive; do not add anything else to try to show possession bc that's nonsensical in Romanian".


That is correct. I live here, and when they give commands such as "brush your teeth" they don't give possession to the teeth, because who else's teeth would you be brushing?


I'm not buying își as possessive. Arguably it's a native pronoun that in some situations might imply possession, but that's not the same thing. I've sent this precise sentence to a dear Romanian friend who's good with the languages and I'm waiting for her to get back to me. I personally think it's just one of the many situations where proper Romanian seems redundant to outsiders. I also think it implies that he's reading it silently and not out loud to someone else.


What did the Romanian friend say?

Îşi has the meaning of he/she doing something for themselves.

Ea îşi bea cafeaua - she drinks her cafeaua. Îşi implies the coffee is hers.

El îşi mănâncă supa - he eats his soup.

Once you remove the îşi the sentences translate as follows

Ea bea cafeaua - she drinks the coffee

El mănâncă supa - he eats the soup

At least that's how I remember it. Been living abroad for a decade now

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