RomanianPod101.com Blog
Learn Romanian with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Romanian Words' Category

Is it Hard to Learn Romanian?

Thumbnail

The Romanian language never makes it onto the lists of the world’s easiest languages.

Instead, it’s treated as a curiosity because of its rather different grammatical features compared to other languages in the same family. After all, it’s certainly rather different from Spanish and Portuguese!

As an English-speaker, you might be wondering: “Is it hard to learn Romanian?” 

While aspects of the language may be difficult when you first start out, think of the possibilities that open up if you do learn it. Romania offers more adventure to some people than the more frequently visited countries in Western Europe. It’s a great destination, and since you’ll get Moldovan basically for free, learning Romanian opens a good number of doors.

Let’s dive into what might make the Romanian language hard to learn, and which things about it are actually easier than its neighboring languages. You might be surprised what you find out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Romanian Table of Contents
  1. The Tough Bits of Learning Romanian
  2. Romanian’s Easy Street
  3. Beginning Romanian – What a Learner Should Look Out For
  4. How RomanianPod101 Can Make the Language Even Easier
  5. The Quick Foundation to Good Romanian
  6. Conclusion

1. The Tough Bits of Learning Romanian

Romania with Its Flag Colors

The first thing any linguistics enthusiast will tell you about Romanian is that it’s got cases—and it’s the only one of the family that still has them, since all of its closely related languages lost their cases several centuries ago.

Cases are different forms of words that reveal the grammatical role they play in the sentence. They add a bit of complexity to each word, but they allow you to free up your word order so you can place emphasis on different parts of the sentence.

Look at the phrase “the capital of America,” for instance. In English, we could also express it in another way: “America’s capital.” Here, we’re showing possession by adding an extra ending to the noun. Romanian takes this one step further by changing the noun ending as well as reversing the word order: capitala Americii.

Romanian also has a serious thing for verbs.

The Romanian verb can be, and frequently is, conjugated in seventeen different tenses and moods, allowing for extremely subtle distinctions that English-speakers have to use several words to express. Some of these are only used in certain regions of Romania and Moldova, adding extra fun to the whole situation.

Compare the English “I had done” with the Romanian făcuserăm, and you’ll see what we mean here. Fortunately, it’s actually not all that bad, since the vast majority of the tenses are made with auxiliary verbs like aveți (“to have”) conjugated with the participle of the root.

In fact, the language as a whole would probably fall into the “it’s not that bad” category. 

2. Romanian’s Easy Street

A Sunny Day in a Neighborhood

After all that, you’ll be glad to learn that Romanian has some easy parts, too—and depending on how you prefer to learn languages, they might outweigh the hard parts.

First, Romanian has just one new vowel and one new consonant to learn: the â and the rolled R. You’ll find all of the other sounds in English. These two sounds aren’t even that hard to make, since all they require is a shift in tongue position.

The â is made by raising your tongue ever so slightly when you say the neutral vowel in “duh.” Try to keep your tongue flat while raising it up toward the roof of your mouth, and you’ll hear your new Romanian vowel spring to life! 

Rolling your R is a little tricky, but most English-speakers can tap their Rs—say “ladder.” Notice how the “dd” part isn’t a full D like in “dog”?

It’s just a tap on the roof of your mouth, which is precisely the sound made by the Romanian R most of the time. Check out another guide on Romanian pronunciation to learn how to draw out that sound into a long trill.

Second, you’ve got a big leg up on Romanian already because so many words are related to English! (You’ll have an even greater advantage if you’ve studied any Spanish, Italian, or Latin.) Lots of “formal” English words appear in Romanian as everyday vocabulary.

Learning these will also flex your pattern-matching skills. Take saluta for instance. By itself, you might not immediately know what it means (you might guess “salad,” but you’d be wrong). As soon as you learn it means “to greet,” though, you can automatically connect it to the English word “salute” and keep that connection strong for a long time. 

3. Beginning Romanian – What a Learner Should Look Out For

A Complex Railway System

Another factor that will determine whether you find the Romanian language easy or hard is how prepared you are for using it in the real world. Here are some things you need to watch out for and keep in mind:

Romanian spelling has undergone a couple of different reforms over the years, but nowadays, it’s very easy to read and pronounce. In the last century, the Romanian language suffered only five changes, and four of those changes were about the use of the vowels î and â. The rule for determining when to write those vowels and when not to has been pretty off-and-on. It’s such an important thing for Romanians because one of those vowels shows up in the country name: ROMÂNIA.

Although you’ll have an advantage if you know another Romance language, when it comes to speaking, you may be misled by other languages’ orthography.

In everyday, informal conversation, you’ll notice that a lot of Romanians have the tendency to cut words short or not pronounce them completely. Keep in mind that this is not acceptable when you’re having a formal conversation.

Another thing to note is something that’s totally absent in English. But think about the difference between the two N sounds in “can” and “canyon.” The “ny” letter combination in “canyon” represents a softened sound, where the tongue is placed closer to the front of the mouth.

A beginner should also be careful not to learn too much Romanian from the Internet! It turns out that, unlike French or German, even published articles online in Romanian often come without diacritics, so you don’t know if the “a” you’re seeing is really an ă or an â in disguise. A native Romanian will understand the meaning of the words without diacritics (sometimes from the context, sometimes just guessing), but keep in mind that this is an incorrect way to write (and publish) an article. For that reason, definitely focus on listening. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a heavy accent and it will take a long time to train yourself away from it.

Also, although there are a lot of cognates and connections you can use to make vocabulary learning easier, watch out for the false friends. Plenty of words weren’t borrowed from English; they were borrowed from French or developed separately from Latin, meaning that their definitions won’t match up exactly with English’s.

A gimnaziu in Romanian isn’t a place to work out, it’s a middle school. Also, don’t say that you’re mizerabil if you’re down in the dumps, because that means “dirty” instead! As you can see, it’s much better to know the real definitions for new words than it is to just guess. 

4. How RomanianPod101 Can Make the Language Even Easier

A Pleasant Green Meadow

RomanianPod101 is exactly the kind of course you need when you’re stuck without a strong pathway to proficiency.

Assuming you’re following the podcast levels as recommended, you’ll start off with the Absolute Beginner series and slowly work your way up to Advanced.

As you run into difficult concepts along the way, you can look around the website for related articles or supplementary vocab exercises. So let’s say you’re really focused on developing a perfect Romanian accent—you can read through a blog article, then watch a video with clear and accurate pronunciation to get the correct accent in your head.

And let’s not forget the vocabulary lists, either. Each of our vocabulary resources has example sentences so that you can see the context for each word as it comes up. You don’t need to worry about memorizing every word in every sentence, but you should make an effort to link each word to its English meaning. 

5. The Quick Foundation to Good Romanian

Playing Cards

Here’s a nice study routine you can follow: 

Attack the difficult grammar memorization from the beginning. Work on memorizing—yes, memorizing—all of the different Romanian verb paradigms. Start with the most common irregular verbs first. Once those are out of the way, you’ll notice how easy it is to pick up the regular verb paradigms.

Don’t put time pressure on yourself, though. Expect that it’ll be hard at first, but that you’ll slowly get reinforcement from your studies and it’ll seem more and more natural. For example, you’ll see a sentence combination like this:

  • Am jucat cărți noaptea trecută.
    “I played cards last night.”

That combination of am jucat might seem really tough to memorize at first in a big chart, but soon it will be second nature to think of it as the past tense of a juca (“to play”). Then you’ll be able to consult your mental model of the conjugation chart and be completely certain.

You’ll want to do this from the beginning, because you want it to be absolutely automatic later on. And do you know what else this applies to? Pronunciation!

Although Romanian pronunciation isn’t that challenging, it’s important to start with it early on or else risk misunderstandings and even stigma from a bad accent later on. (Don’t worry if you’ve been learning for a while; any accent can be corrected!)


6. Conclusion

The best way to learn Romanian is to start and never stop. When they need to accomplish something difficult, Romanians will encourage themselves by saying: “Repetition is the mother of learning.” And this can apply to the Romanian language itself! 

Any obstacle that seems to come up when learning a language is never that big of a deal; you can always just put on the brakes for a bit and try learning something else. There’s always more to read, more to watch, and more to hear.

That’s what RomanianPod101 is for, anyway. With one subscription, you can get access to a massive library of texts, audio recordings, and videos that you can learn from anytime, anywhere.

So don’t let anybody tell you that Romanian is too hard to learn. It’s a solid challenge for the right learner with good motivation and good resources—and that sounds like you.

If you’ve already started learning Romanian, which parts are most difficult for you? And which parts do you find the easiest? Let us, and aspiring Romanian-learners, know in the comments!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Romanian

The Common Mistakes in Romanian Every Learner Needs to Avoid

Thumbnail

Would you call yourself a perfectionist?

Language-learning doesn’t really suit itself to perfectionism. Languages change in so many ways all the time, and there’s really no way to define “perfect” speech.

On the flip side, though, you do have to pay attention to some rules in order to avoid the most common mistakes Romanian-learners make.

Trying to come up with Romanian—written or spoken—without being aware of the rules of the language is a surefire way to ingrain bad habits and make your communication with natives less effective.

In this article, you’ll see an overview of the classic learner mistakes in Romanian, as well as what you can do to stay far away from them.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Make the Right Sounds
  2. Confusing Words
  3. Just How Free is Romanian Word Order?
  4. Hit the Grammar Books
  5. Miscellaneous Errors
  6. The Biggest Mistake in Romanian Learning
  7. Conclusion

1. Make the Right Sounds

Man Playing the Piano

Romanian is not that bad of a language to pronounce. Even someone who confused the language for “Roman” would probably be able to read off a couple of words if they had to.

However, if you don’t pay attention to a couple of key things, your foreign accent is always going to shine through.

1- Vowels

The most important thing to think about is the vowels.

The five core Romanian vowels are the same pure vowels in Spanish and Italian, but there are also two more.

The first additional vowel is also in English, written as the “uh” in “duh.” That’s the sound represented by the letter ă. Be careful that you don’t pronounce this sound anywhere else! English-speakers have a habit of not stressing vowels in words and reducing the vowel sound to this same ă. But in Romanian, the vowels stay pure.

The second vowel to watch for is, strangely enough, represented by two different letters: î and â. It’s notoriously one of the trickiest sounds in Romanian for foreigners. Because â and î sound the same, sometimes even native speakers make mistakes when writing words that contain those vowels.  

Basically, you want to make the ă sound and then move your tongue vertically so that it’s still flat, but nearly touching the roof of your mouth. It definitely takes some practice to say it smoothly in the middle of words, but pulling that off goes a long way toward getting your Romanian pronunciation up to par! 

2- Consonants

Next is the consonants. 

Romanian doesn’t have particularly difficult consonants, either. Just remember that you should roll your R. 

3- Aspiration

One thing that sometimes escapes English-speakers is that Romanian never aspirates its letters.

When English words begin with the sounds “p,” “t,” or “k,” English-speakers release a small puff of air, without even thinking about it. In Romanian, that sounds odd, almost like the speaker is out of breath. 

Pay attention to this and try softening the “p,” “t,” and “k” sounds at the beginning of Romanian words. Soon, your pronunciation will be indistinguishable from that of a native speaker!

2. Confusing Words

Cinnamon Apple Tea

Romanian happens to be one of those languages without a ton of near-homophones, or confusing tongue-twisters that are almost the same but still have different meanings.

That said, there are a couple of words that even native speakers end up using wrong from time to time. The first is kind of funny to learners:

  • ceai
    “tea”
  • Ce-ai?
    “What do you have?”

This is a mistake that most learners don’t make because they learn to read Romanian at roughly the same pace that they learn to understand it. But native speakers have years of only listening before they learn to read, and that’s how you end up with people unable to remember which one gets the hyphen!

  • odată
    “once”
  • o dată
    “one time”

Well, that’s a lot more difficult-looking! The secret is in the words around these terms, or the contexts in which they tend to appear. 

O dată is used to mean “one time,” when you’re counting specific instances of events occurring, and contrasting with “twice.” Odată appears in set phrases like A fost odată… (“Once upon a time…”), and it has the meaning of “at some point” or “a moment in time.” 

Romanian also has no shortage of false friends with English and other European languages. Cămin in Romanian refers to a school dormitory, while kamin in Russian means “fireplace.” 

Comercial in Romanian isn’t an English advertisement; instead, it only means “related to business.” And much like French, smoking in Romanian is a noun meaning “tuxedo” in English! 

3. Just How Free is Romanian Word Order?

The Romanian Carpathians

Romanian is said to have pretty free word order, but there are a couple of things you ought to pay attention to.

First off, in Romanian, the adjective tends to go after the noun, except in certain cases for emphasis. This is something that really has to be learned slowly through lots of exposure—it won’t be a mistake if you switch the order all the time, but it will certainly sound strange to Romanian ears.

Second, Romanian questions don’t usually invert the word order like questions in English or French do. Questions are made like they are in Spanish, with just a change in intonation signifying the difference between a question and a statement.

Another interesting thing about Romanian words is specifically related to talking about your age. For numbers above nineteen, you have to include de when saying the number:

  • Am 23 de ani.
    “I am 23 years old.”

However, for ages under twenty, you omit the de.

  • Ai 15 ani.
    “You are fifteen.”

You might think that you don’t have to pay attention to this if you’re over twenty, but watch out for it when talking about other people—or indeed, when you’re describing things that happened in the past! 

4. Hit the Grammar Books

A Pile of Books

As fun as it may be to speak Romanian, there are a lot of different grammar complexities to get stuck in.

Chief among these is probably the verb system, the source of many a mistake in Romanian. Romanian has one of the most complicated verb paradigms of all the Indo-European languages!

Most learners are able to handle the basics of conjugation reliably enough, but then they start looking like a deer in the headlights when asked to handle the rarer tenses.

For instance, ar face is the conjugation for “he/she would do,” while o face is for “he/she might do.” How easily can you keep them straight?

A super-effective way to practice these is with cloze tests, where you take a paragraph of text and blank out the verb endings and try to figure out what they should be. Native speakers can usually do extremely well on these (barring some arbitrary cases) because they have a whole lifetime of language context to draw from.

5. Miscellaneous Errors

There are two final things to cover in this article that don’t really fit anywhere else. These mistakes in Romanian can make a big difference in how you, as a learner, are perceived when you speak or write Romanian.

First is the politeness aspect. Other European languages have formal and informal pronouns as well, but English doesn’t. For that reason, it’s always a little bit tough to get used to.

Another thing that’s pretty unique about Romanian is how it’s written online—people leave out the accents all the time. If you look at writing in German or Swedish online, people always spell the words correctly with the umlauts and accent marks.

For some cultural reason, a sizable portion of the text you see on Romanian websites and Internet comments comes completely without accents!

It kind of makes sense if you think about it. Everyone’s expected to understand, because native Romanian-speakers know the language perfectly in their heads and so they won’t ever get confused. Learners, though, have to deal with an extra step.

Either avoid online writing completely until you’re quite comfortable with Romanian and know exactly where the words should go, or check with a native speaker or dictionary to make sure you don’t learn the wrong form of each word!

6. The Biggest Mistake in Romanian Learning

Man with Tape Over His Mouth

It might give you pause when you first arrive in Cluj or Bucharest and hear the locals speaking to you in what sounds like absolutely flawless English. Romanian-speakers grow up watching American TV and listening to American pop music, and they tend to speak English quite confidently.

That can be really demotivating as a learner who’s just ready to start having conversations! You might feel like you shouldn’t even try your Romanian.

But that’s actually a pretty bad idea.

You’ll not only have a stressful time in Romania holding yourself to a really high standard, but you’ll also associate Romanian itself with that stress and keep worrying too much to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

7. Conclusion

Remember how the locals learned really good English? They kept at it for years and years growing up, naturally gravitating toward English-language media for their own entertainment. As an English-speaker, you’re actually a bit spoiled in a way, since the hottest TV and music is in English anyway!

But you can do the same with Romanian. You just have to put in the time.

Fortunately, RomanianPod101 offers a wonderful selection of podcasts in Romanian, from beginner to advanced levels. And that’s not even mentioning the vocabulary lists, pronunciation guides, video lessons, and flashcards!

Now that you’re aware of some of the pitfalls that can trip you up in Romanian, you just need to keep an eye out as you fill your hours with Romanian media. Before long, you’ll look back and wonder what you were ever worrying about!

What common Romanian mistakes do you struggle with the most? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Your Guide to Basic Romanian Questions and Answers

Thumbnail

There’s a shortcut to Romanian fluency.

Well, not really. But there’s a great framework that can get you having comfortable conversations very quickly.

You see, people tend to have the same conversations with language-learners over and over. You introduce yourself, say where you’re from, and then probably ask why they’re learning that particular language.

And questions, naturally, are a big part of that. The whole conversation is a big back-and-forth of questions and answers.

If you want to get yourself speaking automatically in conversations, then you should take a look at the most common Romanian questions and answers. You’ll impress your conversation partner, and with that comes great motivation to keep pushing yourself to learn more.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Start with Yourself
  2. The Place You Call Home
  3. Linguistic Difficulties
  4. Following Up About Romanian
  5. The Burning Question for Romanian-Learners
  6. A Question for the Future Traveler
  7. A Taste of Romania
  8. Do This, Not That
  9. Life Back Home
  10. The Price is Right
  11. Conclusion

1. Start with Yourself

First Encounter

When you start introducing yourself in Romanian, you’ll want to know your interlocutor’s name! 

  • Care este numele tău?
    “What’s your name?”
  • Cum te cheamă?
    “What’s your name?”

Right off the bat, we have two separate yet equivalent ways to ask someone for their name in Romanian. The first is pretty literal, translating nearly word-for-word into English. The only difference is that the word order for numele tău is switched, as is typical with Romanian possessive pronouns. 

The second is similar to French, Spanish, and Italian: “What do you call yourself?”

To round it off, we can actually respond in a different way entirely.

  • numesc Rosa.
    “My name is Rosa.”

2. The Place You Call Home

A Couple and Their Child Sitting in Front of Their Home

Although it’s a beautiful place, Romania isn’t nearly as much of a tourist destination as some of its neighboring countries, and Moldova is even less so. Therefore, people will definitely want to know where you’re from. This is one of those typical questions in Romanian that a foreigner can expect to hear a lot. 

  • De unde ești?
    “Where are you from?”

This is a classic Romance language construction. Unde means “where,” and so de unde means “from where?” Look what happens to the preposition here:

  • Sunt din Albania.
    “I’m from Albania.”

In addition, you can give your nationality instead of saying where you’re from. In that case, remember that if you’re writing in Romanian, you shouldn’t capitalize nationality names.

  • Sunt indian.
    “I’m an Indian.”

3. Linguistic Difficulties

When visiting a Romanian-speaking country, you probably won’t need this question, but stop for a moment and think about when you might hear or be able to use this:

  • Știi să vorbești românește?
    “Do you know how to speak Romanian?”

Of course, you can swap out românește for any other language.

The answer depends on your comfort level with that particular language. Here are answers you might get if you flip the script and start asking people about their English ability:

  • Nu pot vorbi bine engleză.
    “I can’t speak English well.”
  • Da, desigur.
    “Yes, of course.”

4. Following Up About Romanian

Someone about to Write in Their Journal

Whether you’re tripping over your words or speaking elegant prose, the idea that a foreigner would invest a serious amount of time into studying the Romanian language is rather baffling to most people, to put it frankly.

As soon as you mention that you’re a learner, you’re bound to get this follow-up:

  • De cât timp studiați limba română?
    “How long have you been studying Romanian?”

You’ll note that the preposition de, meaning “since” or “from,” was also used in an earlier question to refer to physical space. Now, we’re literally saying “from which time?”

Interestingly enough, we don’t need to say “since” or “for” in our answers to this question. Just the amount of time is enough.

  • Am studiat limba română doi ani.
    “I’ve studied Romanian for two years.”
  • Am început să studiez anul acesta.
    “I started studying this year.”
Introducing Yourself

5. The Burning Question for Romanian-Learners

We’ve established the fact that you’re learning and how long you’ve been learning, but the question that most people are holding back the entire time is “Why?” Statistically speaking, you probably don’t have to be learning Romanian.

And so not many people do—which makes you special.

  • De ce înveți limba română?
    “Why are you learning Romanian?”

Now, this is a question that can get you started on all kinds of tangents. Here are a couple of sentences to get you started:

  • Pentru că țara este frumoasă.
    “Because the country is beautiful.”
  • Pentru că limba română sună frumos.
    “Because the Romanian language sounds beautiful.”
  • Soțul meu este român.
    “My husband is Romanian.”

This particular question is practically guaranteed to come up, so one excellent study strategy would be to map out different responses that you could possibly have. When you do get asked, you can easily toss out a phrase and make a grand impression.

6. A Question for the Future Traveler

Kiss Gate Monument in Romania

So, we’ve gone over questions that you’re likely to be asked in Romania or Moldova. How about outside of those places?

Interestingly enough, if you start up a conversation with a Romanian speaker outside of their home country, they’ll probably be significantly more talkative and curious about you. After all, they’re certainly not expecting you to speak their language! You should be prepared for Romanian questions like this one:

  • Ai fost în România?
    “Have you been to Romania?”

Note that we don’t say “to Romania,” but instead “in Romania.” This is the same structure you would use in German.

  • Nu încă!
    “Not yet!”
  • Vreau să merg anul viitor.
    “I want to go next year.”

7. A Taste of Romania

Romanian cuisine is unfairly overlooked across Europe and the rest of the world. Most people couldn’t name a single dish! 

It’s likely that you’ll stay in a small bed-and-breakfast if you end up outside one of the main cities. In that case, your host will almost certainly interrogate you about your opinions on Romanian cooking.

  • Îți place mâncarea românească?
    “Do you like Romanian food?”

If the answer is yes, it’s wise, of course, to name something typically Romanian.

  • Da, îmi place mămăliga.
    “Yes, I love polenta.”

But if you’re panicking and nothing comes to mind:

  • Totul este delicios!
    “Everything is delicious!”

8. Do This, Not That

A Little Boy Reading a Book in the Grass

People learning Romanian by themselves are, no doubt, used to the effort required in finding good things to watch online.

One of the benefits of watching Romanian TV or videos online is that you’ll get exposed to the most common questions and answers over and over and over. Plus, you’ll get to see the body language and hear the responses that go along with it. It just so happens that a lot of these are questions that you can use with Romanian friends!

  • Ce faci?
    “What are you doing?”
  • Nu fac nimic.
    “I’m not doing anything.”

In this example, you can see the classic double negation that’s present in Romanian. Literally, you’re saying “I’m not doing nothing.” There’s no sense of it “canceling out” like it would in English; instead, it’s just a regular old negative.

  • Ești ocupat?
    “Are you busy?”
  • Nu, doar citesc.
    “No, I’m just reading.”

9. Life Back Home

As you get to know Romanians more and more, your small talk will become a little more personal.

In Romanian culture, family and familial ties tend to take on a little bit more importance than they do in  American or English culture. Therefore, it’s pretty commonplace to ask about how someone’s family is doing.

  • Ce mai face familia ta?
    “How is your family?”

That ce mai face part can’t really be translated literally, but you can interpret it as a set phrase meaning “how is someone.” Note too, of course, that “your family” has a reversed word order in Romanian, becoming familia ta.

Here are a couple of examples of responses you might offer:

  • Sora mea se căsătorește. 
    “My sister is getting married.”
  • Toată lumea este sănătoasă!
    “Everyone is healthy!”

10. The Price is Right

Five-hundred Lei

Although Romania isn’t really a place where you bargain for prices, knowing how to ask for the price is a valuable skill wherever you go. If you’re into hitchhiking (like many Romanians are), then that would be a perfect time to ask about money.

  • Cât costă aceasta?
    “How much is it?”

The word cât simply means “how many,” and costă is an easy cognate for “to cost” in English. You can expect the answer to be given in one of two ways. One way is with a full sentence using the verb a fi, meaning “to be,” or a costa. The other way is for the person to just give the number itself.

  • Este două sute de lei.
    “It’s two hundred lei.”

Remember that for numbers over twenty, the rules change ever so slightly: you have to add de! But to get around that, just say the number without saying what it is.

  • Șaptezeci.
    “Seventy.”

11. Conclusion

Now that you’re familiar with a solid handful of Romanian questions and answers, why not look for more on your own?

Go to the most popular YouTube channels in Romania or the Instagrams of Romanian influencers, and see what people are asking and answering.

Those little mini-conversations can be the perfect framework to help you get comfortable with Romanian interactions, and you’ll soon be following the native-speaker content like it’s nothing.

Or better yet, why comb through YouTube comments at all? By signing up for RomanianPod101, you can get access to podcasts with transcripts (itself a rarity in Romanian learning), vocabulary lists, and grammar resources all in one place, carefully selected and graded for your convenience.

These questions are really just the tip of the iceberg for your Romanian conversation preparation. Sign up with RomanianPod101 today and unleash your potential!

Before you go, practice right away by trying to answer one or more of the questions from this article in Romanian! We look forward to hearing from you.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Why Study Romanian Sentence Structure and Patterns?

Thumbnail

Human beings are excellent at noticing patterns.

Have you ever seen shapes in the clouds, or noticed “faces” in electrical sockets? That’s your subconscious pattern-matching system working around the clock.

That said, if you went and looked at some text in, say, Waray-Waray (a language of the Philippines), you’d probably give up trying to understand it after a short while. In Romanian, though, you start noticing patterns. For example, you may see words that look an awful lot like words in English (or other European languages you might be familiar with).

That effect becomes ten times more powerful when you can compare each Romanian sentence structure and pattern to an English translation. You start to quickly see where the languages match up, and also where they differ. Just fifty sentences in Romanian with English translations are enough to teach you the basics of Romanian syntax patterns.

And then all you’ve got to do is learn a little more vocab. Then you come back to these patterns, or any other, and start using your new vocabulary in these familiar molds to create beautiful, correct, and idiomatic Romanian every time. Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Simple “To Be” Sentences in Romanian
  2. Adding an Adjective
  3. I Want it All
  4. Everything You Need
  5. Lightning Round: Questions
  6. Polite Requests
  7. Skip Forgiveness, Ask for Permission
  8. Find Out About the World
  9. Telling Time in Romanian
  10. Locations and Positions
  11. Conclusion

1. Simple “To Be” Sentences in Romanian

A Doctor Smiling and Holding a Clipboard

Romanian is unique among Romance languages when it comes to the humble verb a fi (“to be”).

While in Spanish, people wrestle with two verbs meaning “to be a thing” and “to be a state,” Romanian learners don’t have to deal with that at all. But there are still two verbs (kind of)!

The word este is the third person singular of a fi (equivalent to “he/she/it is”), but you can also shorten it to e if you wish. This is relatively informal and used quite often in ordinary spoken Romanian. 

Let’s see how it works in these Romanian sentence examples! 

  • Sunt profesor.
    “I am a teacher.”
  • David e doctorul meu.
    “David is my doctor.”
  • Aceasta este noua mea cameră.
    “This is my new camera.”
  •  Fericirea este relativă.
    “Happiness is relative.”
  • Noul nostru președinte  a fost cântăreț.
    “Our new president was a singer.”

Like German, the commonly used Romanian past tense form is a compound that maps closer to “has been” than “was,” at least in form. In function, though, it’s definitely still the preterite!

2. Adding an Adjective

Sentence Patterns

In Romanian, we can use the same este and e to describe things in terms of what adjectives they are or aren’t. Romanian adjectives agree with nouns in number and gender, so when you have a plural noun, your adjective becomes plural as well. Don’t worry about that now—you’ll pick it up fast, and today you should just be looking at the word order of these basic Romanian sentences.

  • Mașina dumneavoastră este roșie.
    “Your car is red.”
  • Puloverele mele sunt mici.
    “My sweaters are tiny.”

Also note in this section that the pronoun goes after the noun to show possession.

  • Ceasul acesta e defect.
    “This clock is broken.”
  • Ultimul său album a fost cu adevărat uimitor.
    “Her last album was really amazing.”
  • Exercițiul zilnic este un obicei bun.
    “Daily exercise is a good habit.”

Note in that last sentence that obicei bun is using the typical Romanian adjective order of noun+adjective. Although it’s a masculine noun and you can’t tell, the adjective is agreeing in number and gender here as well.

3. I Want it All

A Woman Drinking a Bottle of Water

You’re definitely going to need this sentence pattern when you travel to Romania. The verb a vrea is the same as a dori, and they both mean “want.” Let’s see some examples of how each one is used in a Romanian sentence.

  • Vreau apă.
    “I want water.”
  • Ei vor taxe mai mari.
    “They want higher taxes.”

Generally, you might use a dori in more formal situations or when you want to speak more politely.

  • Dorim o masă lângă fereastră.
    “We want a table near the window.”
  • Aș dori să plec chiar acum.
    “I would like to leave right now.”
  • Vreau tot ce nu pot avea.
    “I want everything that I can’t have.”

4. Everything You Need

Mother Stressed Out with Her Child

Again, there are two identical forms of the same basic verb in Romanian, both commonly used. Can you figure out which one is literally the equivalent of “I have need of” and which one is “I need?”

  • Trebuie să beau ceva.
    “I need a drink.”
  • Trebuie să te calmezi.
    “You need to calm down.”
  • Chiar trebuie să merg la culcare devreme.
    “I really need to go to sleep early.”
  • Nu avem nevoie de banii tăi.
    “We don’t need your money.”
  • Această țară are nevoie de cineva care să ne poată conduce.
    “This country needs someone who can lead us.”

5. Lightning Round: Questions

Sentence Components

Let’s do a real quick review of the vocabulary we’ve seen in these sentences so far, and at the same time practice making questions in Romanian. In essence, you just swap the subject and verb—but you can also keep them in the same order and use a question intonation, similar to what you would do in English.

  • Aveți nevoie de bani?
    “Do you need money?”

By the way, this one is the “have need of” form. Did you get it right?

  • Ce vrei?
    “What do you want?”
  • Mașina ta este roșie?
    “Is your car red?”
  • Ești scriitor?
    “Are you a writer?”
  • Ce culoare are mașina ta?
    “What color is your car?”

6. Polite Requests

“Please” in Romanian is vă rog or te rog (formal and informal respectively), but just like in English, we can use different forms of verbs to show politeness. After all, that’s exactly what we always do with “can” and “could.”

  • Vă rugăm să vă îndepărtați de mașină.
    “Please step away from the car.”
  • Vrei să-mi răspunzi?
    “Would you please answer me?”
  • Ai putea -mi mai dai o șansă?
    “Could you give me another chance?”
  • Poți să-mi aduci telefonul?
    “Could you bring me my phone?”
  • Vrei să mă duci la aeroport mâine?
    “Would you drive me to the airport tomorrow?”

7. Skip Forgiveness, Ask for Permission

You’re about to see the little wordpop up all over the place. Here, it’s part of the set phrase pot să? (“may I?”). It’s very useful, and definitely the kind of thing you can apply to all sorts of casual and formal situations! Let’s see how it looks in a few Romanian language sentences:

  • Pot să intru?
    “May I come in?”
  • Pot să iau asta?
    “May I have this?”
  • Pot să te sărut?
    “May I kiss you?”
  • Pot să vin mâine târziu la serviciu?
    “Can I come late to work tomorrow?”
  • Pot să preiau contul?
    “Can I take over the account?”

8. Find Out About the World

When you’re traveling in Romania, you’ll gain a lot of favor if you can manage to be open and genuinely curious about the world. Whether they speak good English or not, people are likely to appreciate your efforts to speak Romanian, so why not do it all the time with questions like these?

  • Ce este asta?
    “What is this?”
  • Care este numele dumneavoastră?
    “What is your name?”
  • La ce restaurant am fost săptămâna trecută?
    “Which restaurant did we go to last week?”
  • Ce film este acesta?
    “What film is this?”
  • Ce carte citești?
    “What book are you reading?”

9. Telling Time in Romanian

A Wall Clock

Saying the hour in Romanian is super-easy, since all you have to do is use the cardinal number after the word ora (“hour”). The verb “it’s” for telling time works exactly like it does in English!

  • E ora două.
    “It’s two o’clock.”
  • E aproape ora trei.
    “It’s almost three o’clock.”
  • Vom ajunge la ora șapte.
    “We’ll arrive at seven o’clock.”
  • Trebuia să plec la ora patru.
    “I was supposed to leave at four o’clock.”
  • Te rog să mă trezești la ora opt.
    “Please wake me up at eight o’clock.”

10. Locations and Positions

Stars in the Night Sky

Like other European languages, Romanian has a complete array of prepositions. You can clearly see here the cognate în, perhaps the easiest of all to remember. Here are some Romanian phrases and sentences:

  • Mașina mea se află în fața casei mele.
    “My car is in front of my house.”
  • Cheile tale sunt în poșetă.
    “Your keys are in your purse.”
  • Casele noastre se află pe același drum.
    “Our houses are on the same road.”

Did you notice how the phrase se află showed up in this sentence (and the first one in the section)? Using that, you can make a guess that the meaning is something like “to stand” or “to be located,” much like how we’d use those words in English to describe big things like buildings or cars.

  • El nu a reușit să treacă peste râu.
    “He couldn’t get over the river.”
  • Câte stele sunt deasupra noastră?
    “How many stars are above us?”

11. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve seen several dozen sentences and quite a few general sentence patterns.

But go back and look more carefully (perhaps after a couple of days to get the memories to sink in faster), and you’ll probably be able to notice some patterns that we didn’t even mention specifically.

Building that kind of focus and curious mindset is a huge advantage when it comes to learning Romanian or any other language.

And say, what’s the best place online to see tons of Romanian words, sentences, and phrases right next to their English counterparts for easy translation? You already know—it’s RomanianPod101.com!

Each vocabulary lesson has an example sentence with its English translation; this way, you can not only see the Romanian word in context, but also start picking up on more and more Romanian sentence patterns.

That’s not even mentioning the goldmine of audio and video resources, all in one place! Try it out today and see how fast you can pick up the beautiful Romanian language!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how many of these sentence patterns are new to you. Did we answer all of your Romanian sentence pattern questions? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Astound Your Romanian Friends With 100 Romanian Adverbs

Thumbnail

Are you the type to show off?

Maybe you met someone who went to Europe for a trip and you casually ask them, “Did you learn much of the local language?”

This is really just an excuse for you to show off your Romanian skills. That’s fine. We get it.

There’s always a danger, though, that that person happens to have Romanian grandparents or experience living in a Romanian-speaking environment through an internship or similar. If you want to impress, you need to bring your A-game. And that means using the correct and accurate adverb in Romanian for whatever you need to describe, providing flavor in just the right place.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Adverbs In Degrees
  2. Telling The Truth and Making Predictions
  3. Adverbs of Location
  4. Adverbs and Languages
  5. Time and Romanian Adverbs
  6. Manner Is Important
  7. Showing Cause and Effect
  8. Adverbs Made From Adjectives
  9. Emotional Adverbs
  10. Conclusion

1. Adverbs In Degrees

Woman Making a Speech

Some of the most common adverbs in any language are those that answer the question “how much” or “to what degree?” These should be the first adverbs you set out to learn.

1- foarte – very

Voi fi foarte bun.

I’ll be very good.

2- destul – quite

Desertul arată destul de bine.

The desert looks quite good.

3- extrem – extremely

Ea a vorbit extrem de repede.

She spoke extremely quickly.

4- prea – too

Nimic nu este prea complicat.

Nothing is too complicated.

5- un pic – a bit

Mă simt un pic pierdut.

I’m feeling a bit lost.

6- puțin – a little

Prima probă a fost puțin rapidă.

The first try was a little faster.

7- suficient de – enough

Ea a fost suficient de inteligentă pentru a înțelege asta.

She was smart enough to know that.

8- prea – too

Sunt prea impulsiv.

I’m too impulsive.

9- evident – obviously

Este evident că ea este necăsătorită.

She’s obviously not married.

10- încă – more

Ei au nevoie de încă un milion de dolari.

They need another million dollars.

11- mai puțin- Less

Trebuie să îi plătești mai puțin.

You must pay them less.

12- abia – barely

Abia îmi amintesc.

I barely remember.

13- exact – exactly

Știu exact ce anume am cerut.

I know exactly what I was asking.

14- aproximativ – approximately

Vei avea nevoie de aproximativ 100 de ore ca să finalizezi acest proiect.

It will take you approximately 100 hours to finish this project.

2. Telling The Truth and Making Predictions

Top Verbs

These five “truth” adverbs are quite necessary for when you want to qualify a certain statement. They’re also commonly seen as filler words when speaking casually or distractedly.

1- realmente – actually

El a fost realmente o persoană foarte cumsecade.

He was really a decent person.

2- poate – maybe

Poate mâine sau poate săptămâna viitoare el va tunde iarba.

He will be mowing the lawn maybe tomorrow or maybe next week.

3- posibil – possibly

Este posibil să mă ajuți?

Can you possibly help me?

4- probabil – likely

Probabil mașina lui a fost lovită din spate.

His car was likely struck from behind.

5- cu siguranță – definitely

El este cu siguranță confuz și supărat din cauza glumei tale.

He’s definitely confused and upset because of your joke.

6- oare – perhaps

Este posibil oare, să vin cu propriul meu laptop?

Could I perhaps bring my own laptop?

3. Adverbs of Location

Silhouetted Figure Holding Globe

It doesn’t matter where your Romanian class is – with RomanianPod101, you can learn anywhere you like! Describing where you study is an excellent test of your Romanian adverb skills.

1- aici – here

Trusa de prim ajutor se află aici.

The first aid kit is located here.

2- acolo – there

Când merg acolo am impresia că este o povară.

When I go there I feel like a burden.

3- pretutindeni – everywhere

Bacteriile se găsesc pretutindeni.

Bacteria are everywhere.

4- aproape – nearby

Ea stă aproape.

She lives nearby.

5- departe – away

Trebuie să stai departe de noi doi.

You need to stay away from both of us.

6- lângă – next to, close by

Locuiesc lângă stația de metrou.

I live near the metro station.

7- oriunde – anywhere

Ești calificat oriunde în lume.

You are qualified anywhere in the world.

8- nicăieri – nowhere

Nu plec nicăieri.

I’m not going nowhere.

9- direct – straight

Te rog să mergi direct la tine acasă.

Please go straight to your house.

10- înapoi – back

Toate cadourile au fost trimise înapoi.

All the gifts were sent back.

11- exact – right

Poți să parchezi exact  aici.

You can park right here.

4. Adverbs and Languages

Different Language Books

In Romanian, the suffix -ește is a clear marker of language names, as you can see here. This is because when we say “speak a language,” the underlying meaning is “speak in a certain way.” That’s what adverbs are for!

1- grecește – Greek

Învăț grecește de la bunicul meu. 

I am learning Greek from my grandfather.

2- englezește – English

La job vorbim numai englezește.

At work we speak only English.

3- românește – Romanian

Încearcă să vorbească românește cu vecinii săi.

He’s trying to speak Romanian with his neighbors.

4- arabește – Arabic

Ei nu știu că eu vorbesc arăbește.

They do not know I speak Arabic.

5- nemțește – German

Doi dintre ei au început să vorbească în nemțește.

Two of them started talking in German.

6- franțuzește – French

Tot cursul a fost în franțuzește.

All the class was in French.

7- chinezește – Chinese

Este ciudat să te aud vorbind în chinezește.

It’s weird hearing you speak Chinese.

5. Time and Romanian Adverbs

More Essential Verbs

Second only perhaps to adverbs of degree, adverbs of time are quite necessary for sounding natural in casual speech. You can think of several of these as nouns, but as they modify verbs, they’re properly called adverbs.

1- aseară – last night

Aseară a fost foarte frig.

It was very cold last night.

2- ieri – yesterday

Ieri ți-ai spălat mașina.

You washed your car yesterday.

3- mâine – tomorrow

Plec acasă mâine.

I am going home tomorrow.

4- duminica – every Sunday

Duminica merg cu familia la biserică.

I go with my family at the church every Sunday.

5- niciodată – never

Tatăl dumneavoastră nu ar face niciodată asta.

Your father would never have done this.

6- din când în când – from time to time

El îți menționează numele din când în când.

He mentions your name from time to time.

7- totdeauna – always

El a promis că îi va fi totdeauna aproape.

He promised to be always near her.

8- acum – now

Am intrat acum în ultimele secunde ale jocului.

We’re now into the final seconds of the game.

9- de obicei – usually

De obicei, ea se ocupă de asta.

She usually handles that.

10- mai târziu – later

Vorbim mai târziu despre această problemă.

We’ll talk later about this issue.

11- în seara aceasta – tonight

Dacă nu sunt ocupată, pot să fac un tort în seara asta.

If I’m not busy, I can make a cake tonight.

12- uneori – sometimes

Uneori chiar ești amuzant.

Sometimes you’re really funny.

13- vreodată – never

Nu am crezut că voi mai fi vreodată în stare să joc tenis.

I thought I would never be able to play tennis.

14- rareori – rarely

El rareori părăsește calculatorul lui.

He rarely leaves his computer.

15- mereu – always

Sunt mereu ultimul care își termină tema pentru acasă.

I’m always the last one who finishes the homework.

16- actualmente – at present

Actualmente nu existã nici un remediu pentru cancer.

At present there is no cure for cancer.

17- anual – annually

Această sumă este indexată anual.

This amount is annually indexed.

18- lunar – monthly

Ea a fost plătită lunar pentru că a avut grijă de câinele meu.

She was paid monthly for taking care of my dog.

19- săptămânal – weekly

Duminica seara ea întocmește meniurile săptămânale.

On Sunday evening she is planning her weekly menus.

20- zilnic – daily

Care este suma zilnică pe care ea o cere ca bonă?

What is her daily rate for babysitting? 

21- pe oră – hourly

Această companie te va plăti pe oră.

This company will pay you hourly.

22- odată – once

Hai să rezolvăm asta odată pentru totdeauna.

Let’s fix this once and for all.

23- de două ori – twice

Ea a citit fiecare capitol de două ori.

She read every chapter twice.

6. Manner Is Important

Here we’ll include several adverbs that are two-word phrases, literally translating to “in a particular manner.”

1- la fix– perfectly

Comentariul tău se potrivește la fix.

Your comment fits perfectly.

2- în mod egal – equally

Vă consider  pe toți răspunzători, în mod egal. 

I hold you all equally responsible.

3- astfel – like this

O astfel de situație poate deveni foarte periculoasăi.

A situation like this could get quite dangerous.

4- în felul acela – like that

Mă enervez când mă tratezi în felul acela.

I get angry when you treat me like that.

5- mai bine – better

Acest serviciu e mai bine decât am crezut.

This job is better than I thought.

6- mai rău – worse

Au fost tratați mai rău decât niște animale.

They were treated worse than animals.

7- la fel de – as well as

Nu cred că îi cunoaște cineva la fel de bine ca tine.

I don’t think anyone knows them as well as you.

8- nu – not   

Asta nu este bine deloc.

That’s not good at all.

9- cu ușurință – easily

Înțeleg cu ușurință toate visele tale.

I can easily understand all your dreams .

7. Showing Cause and Effect

Baby Holding Adult Finger

As another stepping stone to fluent and correct Romanian, adverbs of conjunction like these will show your listener that you understand how to organize your ideas well.

1- așadar – therefore

Așadar, ei se simt intimidați de către tine.

Therefore, they feel intimidated by you.

2- totodată – however

Totodată, rezultatul acesta nu este ceea ce ne așteptam.

This result, however, is not what we expected.  

3- în caz de – in case of

Nu folosiți liftul în caz de cutremur.

Don’t use the elevator in case of an earthquake.

4- pentru că – because

Lui îi place de ea pentru că este amuzantă.

He likes her because she is funny.

5- așa că – so that

Mi-am anulat călătoria, așa că pot sta cu bunica mea bolnavă.

I cancelled my trip so that I could stay with my sick grandmother.

6- astfel încât să – in order to

El și-a mutat biroul, astfel încât să aibă o panoramă mai bună.

He moved his desk in order to get a better view.

8. Adverbs Made From Adjectives

Now we’re coming to the words that commonly fit the way we think of adverbs in English: a special, modified form of an adjective. You’ll note that a lot of these adverbs in Romanian don’t actually take a special form, though. That makes things easier for you!

1- afectuous – affectionately

Ea a vorbit mereu afectuos despre el.

She always talked about him so warmly.

2- rece – coldly

Aleksei le-a vorbit rece.

Aleksei spoke to them coldly.

3- Cu interes – With interest

Voi urmări cu interes progresul tău.

I shall watch your progress with interest.

4- plăcut – pleasantly

Uneori realitatea de poate surprinde într-un mod plăcut.

Sometimes reality can pleasantly surprise you.

5- Tare – strongly

Putem auzi muzica joaca tare jos.

We can hear the music playing loudly downstairs.

6- rar – slowly

Respiră adânc și rar.

Breathe deeply and slowly.

7- incet – sluggishly

Autobuzul s-a miscat incet.

The bus moved sluggishly.

8- frumos – beautifully

Maria scrie frumos.

Maria writes beautifully.

9- repede – quickly

Vă rugăm să scrie la această adresă repede.

Please write to this address quickly.

10- oribil – horribly

Sunt sigur că totul se va termina oribil.

I’m sure everything will go horribly wrong.

11- Groaznic – terribly

E groaznic de trist.

It’s so horribly sad.

12- prietenește – jovially

S-a purtat prietenește cu tine?

He was friendly to you?

13- cu precizie – accurately

Acești parametri trebuie să fie înregistrați cu precizie.

These parameters should be recorded accurately. 

9. Emotional Adverbs

Joyful Mother and Child

Describing your emotions with adjectives is a great beginner exercise. Not many people would think to describe actions caused by those emotions!

1- inteligent – cleverly

Ai făcut-o foarte inteligent.

You did it very cleverly.

2- eficient – Efficiently

Îi omori cât poți de eficient.

Kill them as efficiently as possible.

3- Nervos – Nervously

Dominic s-a ridicat, nervos.

Domenic stood up, nervously.

4- cu lăcomie – Hungrily

Mă privești cu lăcomie.

You are gazing hungrily at me.

5- Furios – Angrily

El se uită furios.

He’s staring angrily.

6- Politicos – Politely

Ea asculta foarte politicos.

She’s listening very politely.

7- Sincer – Honestly

Spune-mi, sincer, ce ai pe suflet.

Tell me honestly what’s bothering you.

8- Taraneste – Rudely

I comportat foarte taraneste în acea zi.

I behaved very rudely that day.

9- Slab – weakly

Interacționează foarte slab.

They interact very weakly.

10- zgomotos  – loudly

Poți să nu mergi așa de zgomotos?

Could you not walk so loudly?

11- încet – quietly

El a început sa fredoneze încet.

He began to hum quietly.

10. Conclusion

Excellent work on learning one hundred adverbs! If you read that last sentence and your palms started sweating because you’re not quite ready to show off your Romanian yet, don’t worry.

Take all the time you need for review.

RomanianPod101 helps you ease yourself into the language without stress or bad vibes. We’ve got lessons, articles like this one, and free YouTube videos for any part of the language you’d like. Join us now and see how far Romanian can take you!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about Romanian adverbs, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments. We’re always glad to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian

A Quick and Easy Guide to Romanian Verb Conjugation

Thumbnail

Romanian verb conjugations are way, way easier than they might appear to be.

That’s good, too—because they look pretty bad!

If you want to learn to speak good Romanian, you definitely can’t ignore the conjugations. English doesn’t have a lot of conjugations, but you still notice the mistake if someone says “He go to the library.”

Multiply that by the numerous Romanian conjugations, and it can seem, at first glance, like the language is a minefield just waiting to trip you up.In reality, though, you just need to learn a couple of key patterns. Quite a few of the conjugations are rarely used these days, and in casual conversations, you’ll hear the same conjugations over and over again.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. What Do You Need to Care About?
  2. Verb Groups in Romanian
  3. Things That Happened in the Past
  4. Things That are Happening Now
  5. Things That are Going to Happen
  6. Conclusion

1. What Do You Need to Care About?

Top Verbs

If you look at a sprawling list of every single Romanian conjugation, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed. Truth be told, that’s a pretty dishonest way of presenting information to students. You don’t need to care about everything at once, not at all.

There are three terms that we’ll be discussing in this article, and it’s important that you know what they mean in English before learning them in Romanian. These terms are directly associated with Romanian verb conjugation patterns, so pay attention.

First is “person,” which refers to the individual and the identity of who’s using the verb. That could be:

  • First person: Equivalent to “I” in English. 
  • Second person: Equivalent to “you” and “you all.” 
  • Third person: Anybody else being referred to, such as “he,” “she,” ” it,” or “them.”

Next is “mood,” or how you feel about what you’re saying. For example, if it’s a statement of fact, you’d use one mood; if it’s a wish, you’d use another. English has just four moods, but Romanian has nine! There’s plenty of resources out there for clarification, and most of these moods are used infrequently anyway.

Then we have “tense,” which you’re likely already familiar with as well. It’s about what time something happened, or when it happened related to other events. English and Romanian both have lots of tenses, so it’s not too difficult to find conjugations that are equivalent in meaning.

2. Verb Groups in Romanian

Man Swimming in Pool

There are four Romanian verb groups, much like French, Italian, and Spanish. These are words that have the same type of ending in the infinitive, and therefore follow the same patterns.

Well, kind of. Some of them have extra endings! Let’s see what the Romanian verb endings look like by conjugating into the first person present (the equivalent of “I do”).

  • Type 1: Verbs ending in -a, like a înota, meaning “to swim.” The first person present is eu înot. Simple enough. However, some verbs conjugate with the ending –ez.
  • Type 2: Verbs ending in -ea. No subtypes here! Once you know how to conjugate one -ea verb, you know them all.
  • Type 3: Verbs ending in -e. Again, no exceptions to this rule.
  • Type 4: Verbs ending in -i or . Sometimes these verbs will end in -esc, and sometimes in -ăsc.

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see that Romanian verbs have a lot of things for you to think about. A lot of this just has to be memorized, and it would be a great idea for you to work on memorizing a verb chart early. The earlier you memorize the chart, the faster everything will become automatic for you.

3. Things That Happened in the Past

More Essential Verbs

In order to present things in a chronological manner, we’ll start with a quick overview of the past tenses in Romanian. These are the most common ones you’ll see when reading books or news articles anyway, so they’re very important to know.

Romanian has four different past tenses, but we’ll first focus on the two most common: the simple perfect and the compound perfect.

Those are the equivalents of “I did” and “I have done.” The difference is that in English, those have two separate meanings. In Romanian, they mean the same thing, but the simple perfect is used more for writing, while the compound is used more for speaking. The six conjugation forms for the simple perfect are as follows. Romanian usually drops the pronoun, so we’ll show it with only the verb form. We’re using the example a face (“to do”), which as you’ll recall, is a Type 2 verb.

“I did”“You did”“He/she/it did”“We did”“You (plural) did”“They did”
făcuifăcușifăcufăcuramfăcurățifăcură

The compound perfect is way easier! You just have to memorize one single conjugation—for the helping verb a avea (“to have”)—and then add the past participle of the actual verb. Just like in English, really.

“I have done”“You have done”“He/she/it has done”“We have done”“You (plural) have done”“They have done”
am făcutai făcuta făcutam făcutați făcutau făcut

One more important distinction is a tense called the imperfect. It also exists in Spanish and Italian, so it’s nothing unique—but we don’t have it in English. It’s used for talking about ongoing actions in the past. The perfect is for completed actions only—the difference between “I was reading a book” and “I read a book.”

“I was doing”“You were doing”“He/she/it was doing”“We were doing”“You (plural) were doing”“They were doing”
făceamfăceaifăceafăceamfăceațifăceau
  • În timp ce dormeam, mi-a umblat prin lucruri.
    “While I was sleeping, he went through my things.”

In the sentence above, dormeam is imperfect, while umblat is perfect because it marks a completed action.

4. Things That are Happening Now

Businessman Pointing to Watch

Moving on from what has happened, let’s now talk about things that are happening or that do happen. If you’re a native speaker or advanced learner of English, that last sentence should show you quite clearly the difference between the present progressive tense and the present simple tense.

We use the simple present tense to talk about habitual actions in English, and the present progressive to describe what actions are happening during the moment of speech. The same is not true in Romanian, where the simple present works for both situations.

Now, let’s look at Romanian present tense conjugations:

“I do”“You do”“He/she/it does”“We do”“You (plural) do”“They do”
facfacifacefacemfacețifac
  • Ea se învârte în cerc.
    “She’s running in circles.”
  • Fac yoga în fiecare dimineață.
    “I do yoga every morning.”

We need to use the subjunctive mood now, in a place that might seem a little odd.

The subjunctive isn’t terribly hard to produce. It’s the same as the present indicative, but for the “he/she/it” and “they” parts, we change the ending to -ască.

So what’s odd about the subjunctive? Usually, it’s used to express hopes or wishes or, as mentioned before, unreal statements. In Romanian, it’s not only that. It’s also used any time we use the connecting word .

  • Aș vrea să pot.
    “I wish I could.”
  • Aș fi vrut ca el să vorbească cu noi.
    “I wish he would talk to us.”

5. Things That are Going to Happen

Silhouette of Woman Looking to Future

Could you have guessed that the Romanian future tense would be the easiest of them all?

There’s no real future tense in Romanian; instead, we use a helping verb. The reasons why this might be the case, as compared to the complexities of other Romance languages, are shrouded in mystery. All you have to know is that you simply conjugate the verb a vrea (“to want”) and then connect it to the infinitive. Yes, in Romanian, you’re literally saying “I want to” but it really means “I will.”

“I will do”“You will do”“He/she/it will do”“We will do”“You (plural) will do”“They will do”
voi facevei faceva facevom faceveți facevor face
  • Ne vom întâlni din nou.
    “We will meet again.”

How, then, do you distinguish the sentence above from saying “We want to meet again?” Grammatically, you can’t. But the context is likely to clear up the meaning. And really, how different are the two, anyway?

6. Conclusion

The main thing you have to keep in mind as you gaze over this long and wide set of conjugation tables is this: Romanian babies know this too.

Well, toddlers at least.

And that comes from tens of thousands of hours living and breathing the Romanian language, 24/7.

You don’t need to put in quite that kind of time, but you do need to actually expose yourself to the language as it’s spoken and written. Only that kind of slowly accumulating experience is going to give you the feeling for things like using the subjunctive or the imperfect.

At the same time, don’t ignore the benefits of actually sitting down and studying. That, combined with good Romanian content, is going to make the process a whole lot shorter.

RomanianPod101.com is the best place on the web for getting both grammar lessons and excellent audio and text resources in real, authentic Romanian.

As you read and listen, pay attention to the conjugations instead of just directly translating them in your mind. Think about which tenses are being used, and which pronouns are present or omitted.

That kind of language consciousness is going to pay off big time as you jump leaps and bounds ahead of your Romanian-learning peers!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section with any questions you have about Romanian verb conjugations. We’ll do our best to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian

The Top 100 Romanian Verbs You Need to Know

Thumbnail

A sentence without a verb is like a bird without a nest.

It wants to fly around and express itself, but without a foundation to rely upon, it’s limited.

How’s your knowledge of Romanian verbs? We understand—the grammar is no joke. You don’t really want to learn verbs when you could be enjoying Romanian TV shows and music.

But if you never end up paying attention to Romanian verbs, you’ll find yourself lost for words all the time.

Advanced learners need to learn the grammatical nuances, as well as just the plain old nuances of the lexicon itself. Beginner learners need to nail down a foundation of basic words for everyday use.Enough chit-chat. In this article, you’re going to learn 100 Romanian verbs, every one of them shown conjugated in an example for better learning efficiency.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Verbs About Going Places
  2. Verbs About Interacting with Others
  3. Verbs About Daily Activities
  4. Abstract Verbs for Abstract Concepts
  5. Moving Things Around
  6. Work and Study
  7. Thoughts and Feelings
  8. Move Your Body
  9. Conclusion

1. Verbs About Going Places

Woman Taking Photograph

You’re probably learning Romanian for travel, is that right? That’s why we’ve put the verbs of motion and traveling—the most common Romanian verbs—right here at the top, so that you learn them when you’re fresh.

1. arrive – a ajunge

Credel va ajunge în curând.

I believe he’ll arrive soon.

2. come – a veni

Prietenul meu a venit azi pe la mine.

My friend came over today.

3. enter – a intra

Era cât pe ce să intre în cameră.

He was just about to enter the room.

4. go – a merge

Se pare că trebuie să mergem.

It looks like we need to go.

5. leave – a pleca

Trebuie să plec neîntârziat.

I have to leave immediately.

6. return – a se întoarce

Amy nu s-a întors acasă în acea noapte.

Amy didn’t return home that night.

7. ride a bike – a merge cu bicicleta

Nu știam că poți să mergi pe bicicletă.

I didn’t know you could ride a bike.

8. sightsee – a vizita

Nu am venit aici să vizitez.

I didn’t come here for sightseeing.

9. stay – a rămână

Nimeni nu știe dacă să rămână sau să plece.

Nobody knows whether to stay or go.

10. travel – a călători

Am călătorit 10,000 de mile pentru a fi aici.

I traveled 10,000 miles to be here.

11. walk – a plimba

El s-a dus în parc ca să se plimbe.

He went for a walk in the park.

2. Verbs About Interacting with Others

Two Couples Greeting Each Other

Language at its core is all about interaction. In this list of Romanian verbs, you’ll learn about speaking with and listening to Romanians, other learners, or people who have no idea how to speak Romanian at all!

12. ask – a întreba

Niciodată să nu întrebi o femeie despre vârsta ei.

Never ask a woman about her age.

13. believe – a crede

Am crezut în tine.

I believed in you.

14. call – a suna

Pe cine ai sunat?

Who did you call?

15. explain – a explica

Lasă-mă să explic ce s-a întamplat.

Let me explain what happened.

16. listen – a asculta

Ar trebui să o asculți.

You should listen to her.

17. apologize – a cere scuze

De ce ți-ai cere scuze pentru așa ceva?

Why would you apologize for that?

18. repeat – a repeta

Te rog repetă ce ai spus.

Please repeat what you just said.

19. say – a spune

Este timpul să spui la revedere.

It is time for you to say goodbye.

20. sing – a cânta

Cântam cântece folk.

We sang folk songs.

21. speak – a discuta

Am discutat cu mama ta.

I spoke with your mother.

22. talk – a vorbi

E grozav să vorbesc cu tine.

It’s great talking with you.

23. understand – a înțelege

Noi punem întrebări pentru a înțelege lucrurile mai bine.

We ask questions to understand things better.

3. Verbs About Daily Activities

Top Verbs

Daily activities are some of the easiest things to describe in Romanian, if only because you’ll be reminded of those words as you do them every day. Here’s a Romanian verbs list of things you probably do often.

24. bathe – a face baie

Ea îi face baie bebelușului în fiecare seară.

She is bathing the baby every evening.

25. buy – a cumpăra

Am cumpărat un bilet greșit.

I bought the wrong ticket.

26. clean – a curăța

Sper că el mă va ajuta să curăț bucătăria.

I hope he will help me clean the kitchen. 

27. cook – a găti

Bunica lui adoră să gătească.

His grandmother loves to cook.

28. dance – a dansa

Nu pot dansez cu el.

I can’t dance with him.

29. draw – a desena

O să desenez o față tristă.

I’ll draw a sad face.

30. eat – a mânca

Nu mănânc carne sau fructe de mare.

I don’t eat meat or seafood.

31. drink – a bea

Dimineața îmi place să beau cafea.

I like to drink coffee in the morning.

32. exercise – a exersa

Exersez timp de 10 minute în fiecare zi.

I exercise for 10 minutes every day.

33. get up – a se scula

Scoală-te, e timpul să mergem!

Get up, it’s time to go!

34. look for – a căuta

Îmi voi căuta o altă slujbă.

I’m going to look for another job.

35. read – a citi

Am citit multe despre tine.

I’ve read a lot about you.

36. rent – a închiria

Noi am închiriat o casă în Palm Springs.

We rented a house in Palm Springs.

37. rest – a se odihni

Acum, tu ar trebui să te odihnești.

You should rest now.

38. see – a vedea

Poți vedea diferența?

Can you see the difference?

39. sleep – a dormi

Tu ar trebui să mergi acasă și să dormi.

You should go home and sleep. 

40. text – a trimite un mesaj

Tatăl tău mi-a trimis un mesaj.

Your father texted me.

41. wake up – a se trezi

El se va trezi în 5 minute.

He’ll wake up in 5 minutes.

42. write – a scrie

El a scris raportul.

He wrote the report.

4. Abstract Verbs for Abstract Concepts

Abstract Universe

Some verbs just don’t fit into boxes. This category is for verbs that are more abstract in meaning, that is, verbs that are hard to describe with other words. Imagine trying to describe “become” in your native language! That’s why vocabulary is so important. Take a look at some of the most important Romanian verbs to describe difficult concepts.

43. become – a deveni

Puteam să devin președinte dacă doream.

I could become President if I wanted.

44. begin – a începe

Atacul a început la ora 02:35.

The attack began at 02:35.

45. to be able to – a putea

Mă bucur că am putut fi de ajutor.

I’m glad I was able to help.

46. do – a face

Vreau să îmi fac tema.

I want to do my homework.

47. exist – a exista

Persoana aceea nu mai exista.

That person doesn’t exist anymore.

48. finish – a termina

N-am terminat programul de instrucție.

I didn’t finish the training program.

49. pay – a plăti

Aveam de gând să plătesc pentru cină.

I had planned to pay for the dinner.

50. look for – a căuta

Îmi voi căuta o altă slujbă.

I’m going to look for another job.

51. resemble – a semăna cu

Fetița seamănă cu mama ei.

The little girl resembles her mother.

52. thank – a mulțumi

I-am mulțumit cu o cafea.

I thanked him with a coffee.

53. think – a considera

Cum consideri tu că e mai bine.

Whatever you think is best.

54. use – a folosi

Ei se folosesc de tine.

They’re using you.

55. want – a vrea

El vrea o mașină nouă.

He wants a new car.

5. Moving Things Around

More Essential Verbs

Interact with objects in the environment—that sounds like a video game description, but if you want to speak correctly and accurately about everyday things in Romanian (not just about people), then you’ll need these Romanian language verbs as well.

56. break – a sparge

Nu se va sparge.

It’s not going to break.

57. brush – a peria

Nu am timp să-mi perii părul.

I don’t have time to brush my hair.

58. cut – a tăia

M-am tăiat la deget.

I cut my finger.

59. freeze – a îngheța

Mi-au înghețat mâinile.

My hands are freezing.

60. help – a ajuta

Profesorul meu m-a ajutat să îmi termin eseul.

My teacher helped me finish my essay.

61. hold – a ține

Te rog ține-mi ușa.

Please hold the door for me.

62. open – a deschide

Vreau să deschid fereastra aceea.

I want to open that window.

63. pick up – a lua

Poți să iei copiii de la școală?

Can you pick up the kids from school? 

64. pull – a trage

Trage maneta în jos.

Pull the lever down.

65. push – a împinge

Te rog, nu mă împinge.

Please don’t push me.

66. rain – a ploua

Sigur va ploua mai târziu.

It’s definitely going to rain later.

67. take – a lua

Te rog să iei acest medicament.

Please take this medicine.

68. turn off – a opri 

Nu opri aparatele încă.

Don’t turn off the machines yet.

69. turn on – a porni

Acest televizor pornește foarte greu.

This TV takes forever to turn on.

6. Work and Study

Man Studying Late

Are you headed to Romania for a job or for a degree? These are some of the most-used verbs in Romanian when discussing those concepts!

70. close – a închide

La ce oră închizi magazinul?

What time do you close the shop?

71. correct – a corecta

Te rog să mă corectezi.

Please correct me.

72. erase – a șterge

Pentru a șterge mesajul, apăsați tasta patru.

To erase the message, press four.

73. learn – a învăța

Unde ai învățat germana?

Where did you learn German?

74. memorize – a memora

Îmi ia ceva timp ca să memorez un nume.

It takes me a while to memorize a name.

75. prepare – a pregăti

Mai bine te-ai pregăti pentru mâine.

You’d better prepare for tomorrow.

76. sell – a vinde

Ea vinde legume și fructe.

She sells vegetables and fruits.

77. send – a trimite

Profesorul îți va trimite o evaluare.

The teacher will send you an evaluation.

78. serve – a servi

Am servit țara mea cu mândrie.

I served my country proudly.

79. shop – a cumpăra

Toți vecinii cumpără de la acest magazin.

All the neighbors shop at this store.

80. study – a studia

Ce o să studiezi?

What are you going to study?

81. teach – a preda

Acolo voi preda franceza.

I’m going to teach French there.

82. wipe – a șterge

Șterge tot machiajul ăla!

Wipe off all that makeup!

83. work – să lucreze

Primul nostru programator a plecat să lucreze pentru Google.

Our first programmer went to work at Google.

7. Thoughts and Feelings

Negative Verbs

Romanians are open about their thoughts and feelings, more so than residents of other countries. Here, it’s all right for you to cry if you’re feeling overwhelmed with things.

In this section are some very useful verbs about expressing your emotions through actions, as well as verbs about thinking.

84. cry – a plânge

Te rog nu plânge.

Please don’t cry.

85. dream – a visa

Sunt sigur că nu am visat.

I’m sure I wasn’t dreaming.

86. feel – a simți

El se simte bolnav și obosit.

He feels sick and tired. 

87. forget – a uita

Mi-am uitat cheia.

I forgot my key.

88. hear – a auzi

Ai auzit asta?

Did you hear that?

89. laugh – a râde

Ea a râs în fața mea.

She laughed in my face.

90. like – a place

Nu-mi place deloc.

I don’t like it at all.

91. love – a iubi

Mă mai iubești?

Do you still love me?

92. miss – a-ți lipsi 

În pofida tuturor lucrurilor, îmi lipsește sora mea. 

Despite everything, I miss my sister.

93. need – a avea nevoie

Am venit aici pentru că am nevoie de o prietenă.

I came here because I needed a friend.

94. remember – a își aminti

Tot nu-mi amintesc unde am pus banii.

I still don’t remember where I put the money.

95. respect – a respecta

Ei îmi respectă părerea.

They respect my opinion.

8. Move Your Body

Dancing Against Black Background

Last, a couple of verbs that relate to physically moving your body, even if you aren’t actually going anywhere with those movements. These might not be your daily activities—instead, they’re more like tiny verbs that you usually do but rarely say.

96. live – a trăi

Cât de mult trăiesc broaștele țestoase?

How long do turtles live?

97. stand – a sta

Te rog nu-mi sta în drum!

Please, don’t stand in my way!

98. sweat – a transpira

De obicei nu transpir atât de mult!

I don’t usually sweat so much!

99. hug – a îmbrățișa

S-au îmbrățișat și s-au sărutat.

They hugged and kissed.

100. wait – a aștepta

Te rog să aștepți în zona de primire.

Please wait in the reception area.

101. watch – a privi

Privește cu atenție și apoi repetă. 

Watch carefully and then repeat.

9. Conclusion

Congratulations! 100+ Romanian verbs under your belt. You’ve truly hit a great milestone here, and you should be proud.

This is very much an effective way to learn Romanian, by the way. 

Romanian grammar is nothing to be trifled with, and by seeing a hundred examples of verbs in different conjugations, you’ve got a great practical background to go with your theoretical knowledge gained from courses or grammar books. If you do want more information on Romanian conjugation, though, keep an eye out for our upcoming article! 

Are there any Romanian verbs we didn’t cover that you want to know? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian

Ultimate Guide to Cracking the Cipher of Romanian Pronouns

Thumbnail

Romanian has a lot of personal pronouns.

Significantly more, in fact, than other related languages in Europe.

Nobody knows who came up with this system, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Are you ready to rise to the challenge?

You should be, because although the Romanian pronoun system is complex, native speakers use it without thinking. If it was too unwieldy, it would have been pared down and simplified over time.

We’ll be here to guide you as well. We’ll provide a couple of tricks and links that you might not find in other resources.And besides, it’s not like you can just ignore this. You already know quite a bit of it from just a few simple introductory phrases! Pronouns are so integral to the Romanian language that you’ll soon integrate them perfectly into your own speech and writing without breaking a sweat.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. How to Talk About Pronouns in Romanian
  2. Romanian Personal Pronouns: Case by Case
  3. Romanian Possessive Pronouns
  4. Pronouns in Questions
  5. Conclusion

1. How to Talk About Pronouns in Romanian

Team Working Together on Something

First, you should know about cases. Did you ever take Latin, German, or Russian?

If so, don’t panic! Romanian cases are significantly simpler than cases in those three languages. But they’re still there, and we’ll be describing its cases here in this article. Yes, Romanian has three cases (which are an inheritance from Latin), but truly, there are a lot of words that don’t change.

Romanian has a bit of terminology here that’s pretty unique among European languages, namely the terms “stressed” and “unstressed.” These refer to two different forms of the pronoun in each case.

“Unstressed” is a simpler way to say “clitic,” which is a technical term that pretty much nobody needs to know (but if you’re interested, you can look it up).

All it means is that the pronoun accompanies a verb. In most cases, it’s actually folded into the verb. In English, we contract “I am” into “I’m.” That same process happens quite a bit more in Romanian, and you’ll learn all about it!

In contrast, “stressed” pronouns appear by themselves, always with a preposition. One of the most common prepositions is pe, which is used when talking about people. You’ll see this a lot in emphatic sentences.

  • Te iubesc pe tine.

I love you (and nobody else).

Here, te is an unstressed form (matching with the verb iubesc), and pe tine is the stressed form to add emphasis.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves!

Let’s start from the beginning and learn each form of Romanian pronouns.

2. Romanian Personal Pronouns: Case by Case

Introducing Yourself

Learning the pronouns all at once is going to be pretty confusing. We’ll definitely have a good selection of example sentences for you to look at, but count on re-reading this as a reference page in the future.

1. The Nominative 

Cute Owls

The nominative case is the “basic” case for all nouns and pronouns. This is what you use for the subject of a sentence, and what you’ll see in a dictionary.We’ll start with the informal Romanian nominative pronouns. This is what you’re likely to hear the most in songs and on TV, though when you actually go to Romania, you’ll want to crank up the politeness factor a little bit.

EnglishRomanian
Itu
youtu
heel
sheea
wenoi
you (plural)voi
they (men; men and women)ei
they (only women)ele

Here you can note that Romanian distinguishes between men and women when referring to a group of people, and indeed between masculine and feminine when referring to a group of nouns.

  • Fără ele ești pierdut.

Without them (women) you would be lost.

  • Eu sunt la magazin.

I’m at the store.

  • Ea este cea mai bună.

She’s the best there is.

Also, in English we say “It’s him!” but in Romanian the literal equivalent would be “It is he!”

  • El este!

It’s him!

And now for some formal pronouns. Romanian has formal versions of everything except the first-person “I’ and “we” pronouns.

What’s more, there are actually several levels of politeness for all this. We’ll go with the most commonly used variants in speech first.

EnglishRomanian (polite)Romanian (polite and formal)
youdumneatadumneavoastră
hedânsul   dumnealui
shedânsadumneaei
you (plural)dumneavoastrădumneavoastră
they (men; men and women)dânşiidumnealor
they (women)dânseledânsele

The “polite” category is slowly falling out of use, as many people feel that it’s actually just about the same as the “informal” category anyway. However, among people who still use it, the difference is subtle yet apparent.

“Polite” pronouns are for people you know but aren’t very well-acquainted with, like coworkers or people you meet up with for classes. “Polite and formal” indicates not only an absence of friendship, but also a difference in societal ranking, for example a professor and students.

Note that the formal “you” is conjugated the same way in singular and plural form—in fact, it’s always the plural form, following the pattern in German, Spanish, and other languages with this distinction.

  • Dumneavoastră aveți timp?

Do you have time?

That’s a long word! And that’s why you’ll much more commonly see it dropped entirely, using only the verb to connote politeness.

  • Aveți timp?

Do you have time?

So for the subject of a sentence, as you can see, Romanian usually drops the pronoun entirely.

But that doesn’t mean pronouns in Romanian are useless. Far from it.

2. The Accusative

Woman Holding Kittens in Box

The accusative case refers to the direct object of a verb. Now we’ll start breaking things up into stressed and unstressed variants. Here’s a table of the Romanian accusative pronouns.

EnglishRomanian accusative (stressed)Romanian accusative (unstressed)
Imine
heelte
heelîl
sheeao
wenoine
you (plural)voi
they (men; men and women)eiîi
they (women)elele

Oh man.

Remember, though, that only mine and tine actually changed in the stressed form. And yes, you do have to learn new unstressed forms, but it’s not so bad because the consonant remains the same for all the words that have consonants.

There’s more logic, too: The vowel î is a relatively hard sound to make, and so you’ll see in a moment how it disappears when our unstressed (connected) forms start getting slapped onto verbs.

The hard part is that the unstressed forms combine in different ways. Since this is already a lot to swallow, we won’t go into detail about the rules for the unstressed forms. Many learners pick it up from lots of examples, and if you end up reading and listening to a lot of Romanian, you will too!

  • I-ai anunţat?

Did you tell them?

Here we’ve combined îi with the helping verb ai. We’ll use the easier vowel, so the î drops away and leaves us with a combining i-. Romanian is nice enough to keep the hyphens for our reference!

Now some more examples of combined pronouns.

  • Daniela mi-a telefonat.

Daniela telephoned me.

  • Îi voi da cartea mâine.

I will give him the book tomorrow.

  • Ni s-a spus că putem pleca acasă.

We were told that we could go home.

3. The Dative

We’re on the home stretch now with the last of the three cases in Romanian. The dative case usually translates pretty well with the pronoun “to” in English. For example: “I sent a letter to her.” It’s also called the indirect object. Here are the Romanian dative pronouns:

EnglishRomanian dative (stressed)Romanian dative (unstressed)
Imieîmi
youțieîți
heluiîi
sheeiîi
wenouăne
you (plural)vouă
they (men; men and women)lorle
they (women)lorle

Oh jeez.

Again, it’s not as bad as you might think. These dative pronouns are so common in the words and phrases that beginners learn most, that you probably already recognize one very important one.

  • Îmi pare rău.

I’m sorry.

In this example, one of the first phrases that everybody learns in Romanian is a dative pronoun. Specifically “to me,” because what you’re literally saying with this expression is “It is bad to me.”

3. Romanian Possessive Pronouns

Basic Questions

In continuing the theme of Romanian grammar being at once alike and different from other European languages, there’s a subtle yet tricky difference in the matter of possessive pronouns.

First, the pronoun comes after the noun. That’s relatively normal, though, occurring also in Spanish and Italian.

  • Pisica mea.

My cat.

What’s unusual is that the word for “my” changes depending on gender and number of the object.

  • Pisicile mele.

My cats.

Let’s have a look at another Romanian pronouns table:

Singular masc./ntr.Singular fem.Plural masc.Plural fem./ntr.
mymeumeameimele
ournostrunoastrănoștrinoastre
your (singular)tăutatăitale
your (plural)vostruvoastrăvoștrivoastre
his/hersăusasăisale

Wow.

But wait! There’s still a pattern. Look carefully and you can see that the same consonant roots hold true from the Romanian nominative pronoun chart. Furthermore, the plural first-person (our) and second-person (your) share the same pattern, as do singular second-person (your) and singular third-person (his/her).

It’s a lot to take in, no doubt about it.

Remember to pay special attention to how, in the singular, masculine and neuter nouns are grouped together. In the plural, it’s feminine and neuter.

We’re definitely going to need some examples here.

  • Fraţii noştri sunt studenţi.

Our brothers are students.

  • Pe masă sunt cărţile mele.

My books are on the table.

In fact, this chart could be significantly more complicated if we added all of the formal forms. 

We will, however, include the most common: dumneavoastră. As the formal “you,” this gets used very often in Romanian, and it’s also dead simple to understand.

It doesn’t change at all!

  • Prietenii dumneavoastră.

Your friends.

  • Prietenul dumneavoastră.

Your friend.

Ironically, if you happen to study in a way that makes you used to applying rules for meu, mea, mei, and so on, you might look at an example sentence with dumneavoastră and think that something’s missing. Nope, it’s just the Romanian language cutting you a break.

4. Pronouns in Questions

Woman Thinking about Something

The last major thing we need to cover here is when we ask questions with pronouns. This is an incredibly common situation, as you probably know.

Right now, we’re only going to cover the nominative case. They do change for case, but questions outside the nominative are relatively rare and we all know that you’ve seen a lot of charts today.

1. Who? – Cine?

  • Cine este acolo?

Who’s there?

  • Cine este responsabil?

Who is in charge?

2. What? – Ce?

  • Ce i-ai spus?

What did you say?

  • Ce este asta?

What is that?

3. Which? – Care?

  • Pe care o vrei?

Which do you want?

  • Care e al vostru?

Which one is yours?

4. Whose? – A cui?

  • A cui pantofi sunt aia?

Whose shoes are these?

  • A cui idee a fost?

Whose idea was it?

As you can see, learning only the nominative case for these question pronouns is definitely enough to get you going on your road to Romanian fluency!

5. Conclusion

Improve Listening

So throughout this article, we’ve mentioned that there’s more.

More pronouns to learn, more cases in which pronouns might or might not change, and so on.

How can you get a handle on it? How can you ever commit all of this to memory?

One of the best ways is seriously to copy down these charts. Even better is if you copy down our charts, and then go find another one, then copy down that one too. By copying information down in your notes from two different sources, you’ll get to actually see the relationships between these words and their functions, and through that you’ll boost your memory.

The other way is to rely on immersion.

Mix a little bit of grammar study (such as reading these articles) with immersive, interesting content in Romanian. That’s going to make a lot of these pronoun tricks fall into place.

And what better place for interesting and immersive content than RomanianPod101? You’ll get access to all of our lessons on vocabulary, grammar, conversations, and more, in an easy format for you to take wherever you need to!

There’s no reason to delay. Get your free access to RomanianPod101 today and start taking charge of Romanian pronouns!

In the meantime, let us know in the comments how you feel about Romanian pronouns after going through this Romanian pronoun list. Are there any questions you still have? We’ll do our best to help you out.

Happy Romanian learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Ultimate Guide to Romanian Word Order

Thumbnail

You can think of language as being composed of LEGO blocks.

Imagine you’re building a skyscraper, for instance. Since you have the advantage of working with toys instead of real steel, one strategy would be to build each floor individually and then stick them all together.

It turns out you can do the same thing in language learning. 

Before you ever get into a situation in which you have to speak Romanian “in the wild,” you can piece together a lot of different patterns and chunks and learn them individually. Here enters Romanian word order and a host of other crucial Romanian grammar elements

When it’s time to speak or write, you can then draw on these stored memories to quickly and efficiently speak correct Romanian without a second thought.

Word order in Romanian can sometimes appear more flexible than English word order, but don’t be fooled. It has its own rules that lead to very odd-sounding Romanian if broken. Do you know them?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Word Order in Basic Sentences
  2. Adjectives and Nouns
  3. Making Questions in Romanian
  4. Dealing with Prepositions
  5. Giving Commands
  6. Conclusion

1. Word Order in Basic Sentences

A Woman Writing in a Notebook Late at Night

Ordinary declarative sentences in Romanian function just as they do in English, syntactically speaking.

We start with the subject, or the thing in the sentence that actually does something. Let’s use a name,

Elena.

Then we add the verb, or what the subject actually does. If Elena writes, then we simply say that.

  • Elena scrie.

“Elena writes.”

Suppose Elena isn’t just writing, but she’s writing a book. That’s an object, and we’d place that after the verb. Linguistically, this makes Romanian a Subject-Verb-Object language. Other languages from around the world order these three elements differently, but most European languages fit this SVO mold.

  • Elena scrie o carte.

“Elena is writing a book.”

Here’s where the word order can seem a little flexible compared to English. It’s perfectly reasonable for us to say scrie Elena and even O carte scrie Elena.

The meaning is clear from the context, instead of gibberish like it might be in English (“a book is writing Elena?”).

Let’s have a look at some other very basic sentences in Romanian.

  • Vremea este frumoasă.

“The weather is nice.”

  • Eu am două pisici.

“I have two cats.”

Remember that when we’re dealing with pronouns instead of people’s names, standard Romanian practice is to completely drop the pronoun and just use the conjugated verb instead. Keeping the pronoun intact is a mark of slightly more formal Romanian, but it can often feel unnecessary. 

Sometimes there’s an exception for the third person singular (he/she). To be more clear and to be sure that everyone knows who you’re talking about, you’ll keep the pronoun. This way, everyone can identify the gender of the person as well. 

  • Scrie o carte.

“(She) is writing a book.”

  • Ei vorbesc engleza.

“They speak English.”

  • Sunt din Londra.

“I am from London.”

That inverted word order from before comes up a lot in songs. However, since in real Romanian you won’t really come across simple two-word sentences very much, you don’t need to worry about the differences between one word order and the other.

One last thing to note is that Romanian makes heavy use of contractions. Glance at a Romanian text and you’ll see words with dashes all over the place.

This is just the standard way to show that a pronoun has combined with a certain verb partway, meaning it’s still there and hasn’t been dropped.

By far, the most common contraction is n-am, shortened from nu am and meaning “I don’t have” or “I haven’t.” There are many more, though, so check out a handy chart like this one!

2. Adjectives and Nouns 

Two Dogs Carrying a Stick together

The big difference in Romanian word order with adjectives compared to English is simply that adjectives come after the nouns they modify, instead of before them as in English.

This doesn’t happen when a verb is between the adjective and noun, as you can see in the example sentences above. It only applies to noun-adjective phrases.

  • Ești un om inteligent.

“You are a smart man.”

  • Ești un câine bun.

“You’re a good dog.”

One major difference to note in Romanian is how the article works with nouns. In most other European languages (the Scandinavian languages are an exception), the article comes before the noun.

In Romanian, it fixes onto the end of the noun.

There are various rules that you have to follow to know exactly which nouns take what kind of connected article, but it’s all consistent and just takes a bit of time to memorize.

  • Nu văd câinele.

“I can’t see the dog.”

  • Văd un câine.

“I see a dog.”

In these examples, you can contrast the word câinele with câine to see how “the dog” is different from “a dog.” If this is your first time seeing this happen, then definitely go through an article or two to learn the different ways this can show up in your reading. It’s very easy to overlook a grammatical article that’s barely there!

3. Making Questions in Romanian

a Question Mark on a Chalkboard

English is relatively unusual among European languages in that it uses the auxiliary verb “do” to act as a “dummy verb” at the beginning of question sentences.

Romanian has no such thing, and so there are two main additional ways to make questions in Romanian.

The first is to simply invert the order of the subject and the verb.

  • Scrie Elena o carte?

“Is Elena writing a book?”

  • Scrie Elena?

“Does Elena write?”

The second is to keep everything normal and simply change the intonation. A lot of people might describe Romanian question intonation as “rising,” but in reality, it’s only rising in the middle and at the end. It’s pretty much the same as English question intonation, so just go with your instincts at first and you’ll be most of the way there.

  • Ei vorbesc engleza?

“They speak English?”

  • El doarme?

“Is he sleeping?”

There is a third way, grammatically speaking. Instead of changing the word order, you can just add the word nu to the end of a sentence to act as a tag question. In this case, you’ll speak with the same question intonation discussed above.

Naturally, Romanian has the same question words as English does. Just as in English, these question words go at the beginning of the sentence.

  • Ce oră este?

“What time is it?”

  • Unde trăiţi?

“Where do you live?”

If you’re using a helping or auxiliary verb (like “can,” “should,” “may,” and so on) then it appears at the beginning as well (most of the time).

  • Poți vorbi engleza?

“Can you speak English?”

What’s the exception? When you’re not talking about the noun “English,” but instead a pronoun. When the object of the question is a pronoun, then you’ll move the pronoun to the front and shift everything over one place. The verb ends up last.

  • Îl poți ajuta?

“Can you help him?”

The answers to the questions will start with the answer word first, and then continue with the regular subject-predicate word order.

  • Nu, nu pot.

“No, no I can’t.”

4. Dealing with Prepositions

View of an Airplane Taking Off

Prepositions in Romanian look and feel like they do in English and other European languages.

  • Lucrez în oraș.

“I work in the city.”

In this example, oraș is the noun “city” and în is the preposition.

Anybody that’s learned even a little bit of another Romance language is likely to get tripped up by the preposition la. It’s not the feminine definite article like it is in French or Spanish. It means “to.”

  • mergem la hotel.

“Let’s go to the hotel.”

How about turning a sentence with a prepositional phrase into a question? There’s really nothing to it. Simply invert the word order as shown before.

  • Merge acest drum la aeroport?

“Does this road go to the airport?”

  • Nu, acest drum merge la oraș.

“No, this road goes to the city.”

5. Giving Commands

An Older Man Giving Someone an Order

Why include commands here? Simple: They’re the most common “difficult grammar” that you might encounter in Romanian. It’s actually much easier than you’d think.

First, the super-easy stuff is literally just a different verb form. That’s called the “imperative” and it’s made with the second person plural verb form. To negate it, add nu.

  • Cântați!

“Sing!”

  • Nu cântați!

“Don’t sing!”

What we’re talking about is something a little more in-depth, namely “I want you to…” It requires a compound verb.

  • Vreau să cânți.

“I want you to sing.”

  • Vreau să pleci.

“I want you to go.”

The pattern is immediately obvious. All you have to do is swap in the verb that you want somebody to do, and you’re all good to go!

6. Conclusion

Improve Pronunciation

It’s entirely possible for you to get so used to Romanian word order that you can spot grammatical errors a mile away. Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t learn a language that well.

Of course, it’s also possible for you to end up stuck in a rut and never know why exactly you keep making the same kinds of mistakes.

As long as you keep paying attention to word order and training with real, authentic Romanian (not just isolated words or example sentences from the dictionary), you’ll be able to notice the word order differences quite naturally and accurately.

That can happen with ease when you sign up for RomanianPod101, the best place to learn Romanian online. Follow along with transcripts in English and Romanian for dozens of episodes, and enjoy your journey to Romanian success!

Before you go, be sure to let us know if you learned anything new today. Also feel free to reach out with any questions you still have about Romanian word order. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Romanian learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Don’t be Late to Learn about Telling Time in Romanian

Thumbnail

The number-one piece of advice most people have for those considering a trip to Romania is to learn some of the language.

Check that one off the list.

You’re already interested in Romanian, we know that. But here’s our number-one piece of advice for learning Romanian for travel:

Learn about the time in Romanian.

Learning some numbers in Romanian, and the dates, is a great accomplishment, but they only get you so far. Time covers all kinds of situations at once: bus schedules, airport departures, check-in times…everything you’re likely to do as a tourist!

This article won’t stop there, either. This is your one-stop solution to learning everything you need to know about time in Romanian, from stopping someone on the street to discussing international time zones.

Get ready—it’s time to learn.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. General Times Throughout the Day
  2. Inquiring about the Time
  3. How to Talk about Hours
  4. Dividing Hours into Minutes and Seconds
  5. The Finer Points of “When” and “What Time”
  6. These Things Take Time
  7. Times in Different Places
  8. Phrases and Idioms about Time
  9. Conclusion

1. General Times Throughout the Day

Building in Romania During Day

Since Romanian belongs to the European cultural tradition, they divide time up just as we do in English—into key sections of the day that we can use as markers.

Dimineaţă means “morning.” This is the time from just before the sun appears to around twelve o’clock noon.

Ziua is “day,” in the same way that you could have “one day,” “two days,” and so on. “Good day” sounds a little old-fashioned in English, but not in Romanian. It’s usually from about noon to six o’clock p.m.

Seară is “evening,” the time period from about six o’clock p.m. to when the sun actually sets.

And when the stars are bright in the sky, it’s definitely noaptea, or “nighttime.”

Like  in English, these are integral parts of the standard “time of day greetings,” which you can see here:

  • Bună dimineaţa!

Good morning!

  • Bună ziua!

Good afternoon! 

  • Bună seara!

Good evening!

We don’t usually wish others “good night” in either Romanian or English.

Just two more words before we get into the real business of telling time in Romanian: miezul nopții is literally “the middle of the night” and refers to midnight, while amiază is the opposite, namely “noon.”

2. Inquiring about the Time

Time

Sure, knowing the words for the different times of day is great. But you’re probably not going to ask “Is it morning?” unless you were pretty out of it the night before.

Just as English has several ways to rephrase the question, there are a couple of different ways you can ask for the time in Romanian.

This is a polite version that’s appropriate for asking strangers on the street:

  • Mă scuzați, cât este ceasul?

Excuse me, what time is it?

If the only stranger nearby is an older gentleman, try this more formal version:

  • Mă scuzați, cât este ora, domnule?

Excuse me, what time is it, sir?

Note that it was only formal because we added vă rog and domnule. The two phrases cât este ceasul and cât este ora are interchangeable.

Here are some more phrases you can use to vary your speech:

  • Cât este ceasul acum?

What’s the time now?

  • Știți cât este ceasul?

Do you know what time it is now? 

There’s not really a right or wrong variant of these. In fact, on rare occasions you might see yet another version: ce oră este. In any case, let’s get to the answers.

3. How to Talk about Hours

Hourglass

Okay, let’s answer those questions as best as we can.

We’ll start by talking about the hours. In Romanian, an hour is oră. Be very careful, because this is where pronunciation could trip you up. When you use it for actually telling the time in Romanian, though, you change ă into a!

You probably won’t run into any trouble if you confuse the two, but if you want to speak clearly and always be understood, this is a great pair of words to practice.

In any case, the format for saying the hour is: (It is) (hour) (number). Let’s have a look.

  • Este ora două.

It’s two o’clock.

  • Este ora unsprezece.

It’s eleven o’clock.

Romanians are generally familiar with both the twenty-four-hour and the twelve-hour clocks. You could hear the same time in the evening expressed two ways:

  • Este ora optsprezece.

It’s eighteen o’clock.

  • Este ora șase P.M.

It’s six P.M.

Simply read the letters “P.M.” out as if you were saying the Romanian alphabet.

Most people, if you ask them the time and they don’t have a watch or a phone at the ready, will round things to the nearest hour or section of an hour. You may hear a phrase like aproximativ, which sounds very formal in English but means “about” in Romanian. Or perhaps you’ll hear aproape, which means “almost.” Have a look:

  • Este aproximativ ora cinci.

It’s around five o’clock.

  • Este aproape ora cinci.

It’s almost five o’clock.

For saying the exact hour, we say “sharp” in English, but fix or “exact” in Romanian. We’ll use the same example sentence to show that, in casual speech, you don’t absolutely need to say ora every time.

  • Este cinci fix.

It’s five sharp.

Okay, enough beating around the bush. Let’s learn how to tell time in Romanian as accurately as possible.

4. Dividing Hours into Minutes and Seconds

Improve Listening

It turns out, it’s extremely easy.

Using the same sentence pattern above, we simply add the equivalent of “… and (number).”

  • Este ora cincisprezece și opt.

It’s fifteen oh eight (3:08 P.M.).

  • Este ora patru și douăzeci și trei.

It’s four twenty-three.

Yes, it can get a little strange to an English-speaking ear that there are two uses of și in the same phrase. But Romanians simply parse the last și as being an inseparable part of the number, so it doesn’t sound weird.

Can we be more exact?

Of course we can, and again the pattern follows English perfectly.

Este ora două și nouă minute și douăzeci și unu secunde.

It’s two oh nine minutes and twenty-one seconds.

We can also get less exact. In Romanian, the hour is divided into halves and quarters. A “half” as in “half past” is jumătate, and a “quarter” is un sfert. The only difference is that you’ve got to use the article un with sfert to specify that it’s exactly one—no reason for you to talk about two quarters when you’ve got a word for “half!”

  • Este unu și un sfert.

It’s a quarter past one. (It’s one and a quarter.)

5. The Finer Points of “When” and “What Time”

Person Pointing to Watch

One of the next steps you can take to raise your language level just a little bit is to start asking what time things happen. Learning this serves several purposes: It gets you to try out new sentence structures, it impresses others, and it usually gives you very valuable information.

In Romanian, just as in English, there’s a difference between “at what time” and “when.” The former is translated as la ce oră. Again, look out for the pronunciation. We ask with the word oră, but always answer with ora.

  • La ce oră e acel film?

What time is that movie?

  • La ce oră se închide barul?

What time does the bar close?

  • Când va fi asta?

When will that happen?

Some answers for you now. Remember that, like in English, sometimes the answer is vague, and sometimes you’ll hear the exact time in Romanian.

  • Între ora patru și cinci.

Between four and five.

  • Apusul e la ora cinci și patruzeci și șapte.

Sunrise is at five forty-seven.

You should be aware that a Romanian being vague about the time isn’t an unusual thing. It’s not considered rude to be a few minutes late in Romania, except for the most formal situations.

6. These Things Take Time

First you asked about the time in Romanian, then you asked when things happen, and now your next task is to ask about how long certain things might take.

As Romanian is a Latin language, some of these phrases will be pretty transparent to you. You can see roots related to “duration” and “time” if you look carefully.

The first two phrases are pretty standard and interchangeable.

  • Cât va dura?

How long will it take?

  • Cât timp va dura?

How much time will it take?

But there’s an informal variant that’s more idiomatic—it’s hard to translate exactly what each word here is doing.

  • Știi cât îți ia?

Do you know how long it takes?

Now here are some examples of more complicated questions you could ask:

  • Cât durează să ajungi acolo?

How long does it take to get there?

  • În cât timp se face de obicei?

How long does it generally take?

Literally, you’re asking “In how much time is it done?” That phrase de obicei can be used in a lot of different places. Here’s just one example:

  • Eu de obicei nu fac asta.

Normally I don’t do that.

7. Times in Different Places

Airplane Flying & Luggage

Romania has just one time zone (fus orar), and there aren’t any well-known overseas Romanian communities that would call for different Romanian time zones to be established. That means you won’t have to worry about different time zones when traveling in Romania—one less thing, right?

Romania does have a Daylight Savings Time, which is called ora de vară and generally lasts from the end of March to the end of October.

Când începe ora de vară?

When does Daylight Savings Time start?

Even though Romania has just one time zone to worry about, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to be cognizant of time zones elsewhere. Imagine you’re a Romanian executive in high power and you want to know about another branch of your company. 

  • Cât e ceasul în New York?

What’s the time in New York?

Of course you could add acum to express the meaning of “now” as well. Some more phrases to fill in the gaps:

  • Există o diferență de timp?

Is there a time difference?

  • Este în un alt fus orar.

It’s in a different time zone.

8. Phrases and Idioms about Time

Man Arriving Late for Date

You may not have noticed before, but English has a hefty number of idioms and turns of phrase to describe time. You can’t get through a single book chapter or news article without stumbling across things like: “in time,” “out of time,” “over time,” and so on.

Here’s what those sound like in Romanian.

in a little while (în scurt timp)

  • Va ajunge aici în scurt timp.

He’ll arrive here in a little while.

in just a moment (într-o clipă)

  • Profesorul va vorbi cu voi într-o clipă.

The professor will speak to you in just a moment.

right on time (chiar la timp)

  • Ai ajuns chiar la timp.

You’re right on time.

the perfect/ideal time for… (momentul ideal pentru…)

  • E momentul ideal pentru cineva să se furișeze înăuntru.

It’s the perfect time for someone to sneak inside.

as time goes by (pe măsură ce trece timpul)

  • Pe măsură ce trece timpul o să devină o amintire.

As time goes by, it will become a memory.

spend time (petrece timp)

  • Mi-ar plăcea să petrec timp cu tine.

I’d like to spend time with you.

And to end with another of those evocative Romanian expressions, here’s an idiom about what some might call “making the wrong choices.”

waste time (a freca menta)

  • Voi sta aici și voi freca menta.

I’m sitting here and I’m going to while away my time.

Literally, you’re saying “rub mint.” Have you ever rubbed mint? It has a nice texture and a pleasant smell. But hopefully you didn’t have anything pressing to do with your time at that point!

9. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now you’re equipped to do quite a bit in Romanian!

Not only can you tell the time, but you can also use your knowledge of Romanian sentence patterns and idioms to speak quite freely about it—saying when things happen, how long they’ll take, and more.

Pay attention to some TV shows or the dialogue in some Romanian books next time you get a chance. You’ll quickly find out just how valuable that skill is.

But of course, you’re not finished yet.

Your next step is to review this article and become familiar once more with all of the new vocabulary and structures that you learned in it.

After that, the best thing for you to do is check out the other lessons here at RomanianPod101. If you liked this article, you’ll love our helpful, in-depth podcasts about all aspects of Romanian learning and usage.

So don’t wait—now is the time. 

Before you go, are there any points we covered that you need clarity on? Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Romanian