Personal pronouns in Romanian
In this lesson we will cover all the aspects and forms of the Romanian personal pronouns. Just as a reminder a pronoun is the word that can replace a noun in a sentence (e.g. I, you, we).
The Romanian personal pronouns have different forms for each person, number, case and gender.
If all this Romanian grammar terminology sounds complicated, just check out the examples given below.
We'll start in this lesson with all the forms of the Romanian personal pronouns in the cases:
In the next lesson we'll cover the two remaining cases:
Personal pronouns in the Nominative case
The forms of the personal pronouns in the Nominative case are the following: Eu (I), Tu (you referring to only one person), El (he), Ea (she), Noi (we), Voi (you, plural), Ei (they, men), Ele (they, women).
Here is the pronunciation of the Romanian personal pronouns.
How to pronounce the personal pronouns in the Nominative case
You are (where "you" refers to a single person)
He is (long form)
She is (long form)
You are (where "you" refers to more than one person)
They are (where "they" refers to masculine gender nouns e.g. five men)
They are (where "they" refers to feminine gender nouns e.g. five women)
It's important to know that these are rather rare exceptions, and the "normal" translations of the personal pronouns in the Nominative case is the first one mentioned above Eu (I), El (he), Ea (she)...
How to translate "it" in Romanian?
In English "it" refers mainly to inanimate nouns (including animals and in some rare cases people).
Romanian language does not make the animate/inanimate distinction when it comes to pronouns. In Romanian, all nouns (be it animate or inanimate) are either masculine or feminine (or neuter). A feminine noun e.g. masă (table) is replaced by the feminine personal pronoun ea (she). The same goes for masculine nouns that are replaced by el (he).
Please check out our lesson on Romanian nouns gender for more information on this subject.
This rule involves a change of mindset and you will need to practice it quite a few times before it becomes natural to use it.
English grammar foresees impersonal expressions(impersonal pronoun) such as It's raining or It's me.
Romanian allows for the subject to be omitted especially when the subject is a personal pronoun. This is because the subject can be inferred from the form of the verb.
Here are the translations:
How to pronounce "it" in Romanian?
It's one o'clock
Este ora unu
|/'jes.te ora 'u.nu/|
Is it urgent?
Thus Romanian does not have a direct equivalent for the English pronoun "it".
Politeness pronouns in Romanian language
The most used politeness pronoun in Romanian is : Dumneavoastră (you).
Dumneavoastră can refer to one person or to two or more persons. However, it is always followed by the second person plural verb form, exactly the same one as for "Voi" (you plural): Voi sunteți, Dumneavoastră sunteți.
All the politeness personal pronouns have the same form for all cases. For example Dumneavoastră remains unchanged:
This means that Dumnealui can be translated as "he" but also as "him/his". The same goes for Dumneaei translated as "she/her/hers"
The last form that you should be aware of is a form used in the spoken language, and in informal cases, especially with older persons: Mata. It is the shorter form of Dumneata. As an example, I used to speak to my grandmother using mata, to show a form of respect; Dumneavoastră would have been excessive in this case.