"She put the coat on when she saw how cold it was outside."

Translation:Ea și-a pus paltonul pe ea când a văzut cât de frig este afară.

October 18, 2017

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I always reference the fact that I am married to a Romanian woman and I always ask her question when I either am confused by or do not understand the translation. In this situation, she said to me that "Ea și-a pus paltonul când a văzut cât de frig este afară" is what would be said because the "pe ea" is redundant. When I asked about the present tense "este afară" instead of using the past tense, she said, "this is Romanian dear".


In Romanian, the tense agreement is not mandatory. You can either use "prezent" or "imperfect" without changing the meaning of the sentence:

  • Ea și-a pus paltonul pe ea când a văzut cât de rece este afară.
  • Ea și-a pus paltonul pe ea când a văzut cât de rece era afară.


So, is "... a fost afară" wrong?


My Romanian girlfriend says no, but is unable to give a reason why.


To me it sounds a bit weird and kinda implies that she saw how cold it had been outside. As in, for example, she saw a news report about how cold it had been in the last period, so she put her coat on before going outside.

But the Duo sentence implies that she saw the temperature at that time was low, either by checking the weather forecast, or by looking at the outside thermometer, or simply by feeling it herself etc., so she put her coat on. In which case "imperfect" and "prezent" are acceptable tenses for the last verb in the Romanian translation.


Yes, it is, because "imperfectul" is used to describe the atmosphere/setting. It is also used for an unfinished action in the past or for past habits. On the other hand, "perfectul compus" is used to describe a finished action in the past.

A similar thing happens in English as well:

  • It was raining when I arrived in Bucharest.

You can't use "past simple", the equivalent of "perfect compus" in this case. You have to use "past continuous" (imperfect). In Romanian, the sentence looks like:

  • Ploua când am ajuns în București.

Don't hesitate to ask for additional help if you are still confused!


"era" is not accepted, I reported this. 2020-03-14


Thanks for the explanation. I wrote this and it was not accepted. So I am glad to know that it is nevertheless correct...


As a native Romanian speaker, I think that the following sentence should be accepted as well: "Ea și-a pus haina când a văzut cât de rece era afară."


Si eu am zis la fel


what is wrong with rece instead of frig?


"Rece" can be used as well. But watch out that "frig" cannot act as an adjective, so you can replace "rece" with "frig" only when you talk about weather! "Mâncarea este frigă" is a wrong sentence, but "Mâncarea este rece" is a correct one.


I am guessing that și here is a pronoun for coat. Is that correct? I have never seen this pronoun before used like this. I would be grateful if anyone could kindly clarify this extra și here.


The "și-" here is a (mandatory) past tense contraction of the pronoun "își". It expresses the fact that the coat is her own coat. In my opinion, there are slight inaccuracies in the translation. Here's what I think is most accurate, maybe it will help you:

  • Ea și-a pus paltonul pe ea. = She put her coat on.
  • Ea a pus paltonul pe ea. = She put the coat on.

You will find this type of phrasing things quite often in Romanian.
Here are more examples in the present tense:

  • Eu îmi repar mașina. = I am fixing my car.
  • Tu îți plimbi câinele. = You are walking your dog.
  • Ea își vopsește unghiile. = She is painting her fingernails.
  • Noi ne iubim părinții. = We love our parents.
  • Voi vă practicați meseriile. = You are practising your professions.
  • Ei își caută copilul = They are looking for their child.


Thanks! You're a genius! That really helps!


I think there is a confusion here between reflexive and possessive dative


...și-a pus paltonul pe ea doesn't mean it's her own Please correct me if I'm wrong


I just discussed this with my talented Romanian teacher this morning. She agrees with you. She confirmed that the usage here is a reflexive verb usage (a-și pune = to put on haine vs. a pune ceva undeva = to put something somewhere). She confirmed that this usage is not dative possession in this case.

Thanks for pointing this out. I just learned something new this morning. Much appreciated!


i put e instead of este and it was wrong


That is obviously a correct answer, but it's still being marked wrong a year later. I reported it.


I put a second EA in front of "a văzut" and it was marked wrong


Probably because it is redundant. There are evidently situations where Romanians want to avoid redundancy and other situations where it is commonly used. I haven't entirely figured out the pattern.


But i wrote this sentence except instead este i wrote e and it was incorrect


Then report it. Writing comments like this here doesn't help because the course creators don't read the comments (they only see reported sentences).


"e" = "este" just shorter.

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