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  5. "Copiii au displăcut-o pe pro…

"Copiii au displăcut-o pe profesoara lor."

Translation:The children disliked their teacher.

November 2, 2017



Why the final "-o" after the past participle?


In the accusative, when being a direct object and a substitute for nouns that designate human beings, the unstressed (clitic) forms of the personal pronoun ( - te - îl - o - ne - - îi - le) can be used, alone or accompanied by the equivalent stressed (full) form (pe mine - pe tine - pe el - pe ea - pe noi - pe voi - pe ei - pe ele).


  • I love him = (Eu îl iubesc pe el) or (Eu îl iubesc)
  • I love her = (Eu o iubesc pe ea) or (Eu o iubesc)

But the sentence that we have here does not have sense at all without pe profesoara lor:

  • Copiii au displăcut-o / The children disliked her (who they disliked?)
  • Copiii au displăcut-o pe profesoara lor / The children disliked their teacher.

So that o is like her in english, and pe profesoara lor is stressed part of the sentence. Literally the sentence means: "The children disliked her their teacher" - it does not make sense in english.

In the compound perfect of the indicative, the unstressed forms precede the auxiliary. When combining the unstressed form of the pronoun and the auxiliary a avea that forms the coumpound perfect, the elison and hyphenation are required: + a = m-a vazut; îl + a = l-a vazut, for example.

However, the unstressed form of the 3rd person singular feminine o comes after the verb (past participle): a vazut-o, for example.

  • Copiii au displăcut-o pe profesoara lor. (the teacher is a woman)
  • Copiii l-au displăcut pe profesorul lor. (the teacher is a man)


Didn't realize that plăcea/displăcea could even be used with a direct object. Wouldn't it be more common to express this with the dative case? That said, I'm not sure what that would event look like. Something like 'Profesoara le-a displăcut copiilor.' or 'Profesoara copiilor le-a displăcut.'?


Well, the verb "a plăcea" (link) can be both transitive and intransitive, while the verb "a displăcea" (link) can only be intransitive.

A Romanian speaker would understand what you mean by using "a displăcea" as a transitive verb, but this is not standard nor common usage. I think Duolingo is pushing the boundaries of the language here. (Or is just plain wrong.)

The correct way to say the above sentence is either of the following:

  • Copiii nu au plăcut-o pe profesoara lor. = The children did not like their teacher.
  • Copiilor le-a displăcut profesoara lor. = The children disliked their teacher.

PS: Your versions are also okay, but they could mean slightly different things depending on context and emphasis. For now, you should stick to the ones I wrote above.


Does Duolingo ever look at their feedback? They never seem to act on it.


Another strange preposition

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