"She takes it herself."
Translation:Îl ia ea însăși.
Why can I not say here: ia-o ea însăși?
The correct answer reads: Îl ia ea însăși.
But if we don't know the gender of the direct object, why can't I assume that it is female (i.e. o)? Or did I screw up something else in my sentence also?
Your reasoning is correct, but you screwed up some stuff in your sentence.
Here are the right versions:
- Îl ia ea însăși. (with masculine "it")
- O ia ea însăși. (with feminine "it")
Thanks. I noticed that sometimes the "o" pronoun appends to the end of the verb, for example, in the case of, "I did it!" or "Am făcut-o!" That led me to incorrectly conclude that I was supposed to append the feminine pronoun at the end of the verb. But, maybe that only happens when there's a past participle hanging around or something? So, I'm gathering now that the general rule is that accusative pronoun objects precede the conjugated verb (as in French), but sometimes a feminine accusative pronoun apparently appends to the end of some verbs in some (unknown-to-me) situations.
If we change the above versions from prezent to perfect compus, we get:
- L-a luat ea însăși. (with masculine "it")
- A luat-o ea însăși. (with feminine "it")
In this tense, the singular feminine accusative pronoun "-o" represents an exception to the rule, in that it comes after the verb.
So, this time, I tried the following answer: ea o ia însăși but it was marked wrong. Duolingo says that the correct answer is: Ea o ia ea însăși (shows ea following the conjugated verb in addition to showing up at the beginning of the sentence).
Why does the pronoun ea follow the conjugated verb in this case? Usually, when using pronouns as direct objects, Romanian follows the S-O-V word order (Subject-Object-Verb). But, your response above suggests a O-V-S order, whereas DL seems to be suggesting a S-O-V-S order in this case.
Just so you can form an idea of the meanings involved:
- she = ea
- herself = ea însăși
In Romanian, the subject pronoun is optional and is often left out because it sounds redundant. So the sentence is actually:
(Ea) o ia ea însăși. = She takes it herself.
(optional feminine subject "Ea", feminine object "o", verb "ia", and strengthening pronoun "ea însăși" which strengthens the subject)
As you can see, it's actually (S)-O-V-SP, where SP is the strengthening pronoun.
Now, about that S-O-V word order: it only applies when the object is a pronoun, not a noun. Here's an example:
- I see the cat. = Eu văd pisica.
- I see it. = Eu o văd.
Wow - I would have never guessed that about "ea însăși" going together like that to mean herself. I knew about "însăși," but not "ea însăși" together. Thanks. Your explanations make a world of difference!
Brilliant answer! Just one question though referencing the question above, the answer to which I've not quite understood, is "Eu vad-o" the same as "Eu o vad", and if not, why and how do I know which order to use?
We were never taught grammar properly so Romanian is really killing me!
See the answer I gave to cheerfulcharlie, mentioning the difference between tenses. Btw there's no such thing as
"văd-o" in Romanian. It's either the present tense "Eu o văd" or the past tense "Eu am văzut-o".