"Eu mă spăl pe păr."

Translation:I wash my hair.

September 14, 2017

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I wash me on hair

"me" is the direct object (i.e. accusative) for the transitive verb "wash sth.",
and "on hair" is a prepositional complement and not the actual object of the washing (grammarwise)

PS. This is confusing for German speakers, who would say something like:
"I wash to me (dative) the hairs (accusative)" - so it's the hair that gets washed directly.
[Ich wasche mir die Haare -> Rumänisch: Ich wasche mich über Haar]


Romanian has also the dative variant "Eu îmi spăl părul / mâinile/ fața picioarele " but for some reason the most common used is the "pe" variant "Eu mă spăl pe păr/ mâini/ față/ picioare"


Eu mă spăl pe cap (lit. "I wash me on head"; "Ich wasche mich über Kopf") is also common, with the same meaning and pattern.


Yes, and pe is probably not even actually interpreted by Romanians (pe = Lat. per or super), but the dative mir to accusative thing will haunt me for a while. It is probably easier for English natives who need to learn it by heart anyway as they do not "feel" the cases of declension.


In English a reflexive verb is not needed but you need the possessive adjective (my).

In German the possessive adjective becomes a pronoun akkusative if you don't say which part of your body or dativ if you say which part

Ich wasche mich. Ich wasche mir die Haare.

In Romanian the possessive adjective becomes a pronoun and we have seen that we write "pe" before direct objects

Eu mă spăl pe pâr.

In Spanish the same thing but without "pe". We use an article. The possessive pronoun is not needed because it is supposed that you wash your own hair if you wash somebody's hair the reflexive pronoun is not needed

(Yo) Me lavo el pelo.


Could it also mean, "I wash the hair myself?"


The better translation is "I'm washing my hair".


No. If you use "mă " or "imi" it is only about parts related to you, so you could not refer to someone else's hair


What is the difference between "insumi" "ma" and "imi"? I feel that "insumi" must use when I need to point that do something myself but last two fully confuse me


"Însumi " is "myself"

"Mă" is used with the verb for actions you do on yourself (Mă spăl/ mă bărbieresc/ mă privesc / mă tund)

"Îmi " is used with a verb for actions you do on a specified object belonging to you (Îmi spăl părul/ îmi zugrăvesc casa / îmi ridic piciorul / îmi aplec capul)


Thank you for your input on so many of these questions. So just like when we use mea, ta, voastre ect after a noun the definitive form is required, we also require it when it is in this structure with imi ect before the verb but relating to the noun to come?

Regardless the format of the sentence, when the noun is owned, we must always use the "the form", whether the owner & object are directly next to each other or separated in the sentence. eg. pahar becomes paharul any time we specify whose glass it is.

imi umplu paharul or paharul meu

Sorry I have written this question in a very confusing way! Hopefully you understand what I mean here :)


Indeed! Giving information on the owner of one noun is defining it , therefore you use the defined article. The ownership can be indicated directly ("paharul meu") or indirectly by "îmi/ îți/ își/ ne/vă/ își " ("eu îmi golesc paharul"). An undefined article would be used if there is no information on the noun ("eu golesc apa din pahar ")


Also I have been trying to figure out the rule of when to use ma vs imi or te vs iti ect with different verbs.

As you have said above ma is doing something directly to myself, imi is doing something to my object?


Love reading these as a Romanian who doesn't know how to explain it to others. I find it fascinating. Learning my native tongue again!


This section sucks, Duolingo. I will never set foot in it again.

As so often, what is really worth it are the comments of the participants!!!


i dont think thats a bit right. its "ma spal pe cap" since it's more logical

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