Romanian language lesson: The Present Indicative of the verbs in -a (1st conjugation)

The dictionary form of the verb is the infinitive form. The particle “a” is the mark for infinitive and represent the translation of “to”. All the verbs have the particle “a” at the beginning.

Examples: a cânta (to sing), a dansa (to dance), a mânca (to eat) etc.

[audio:http://www.romania-insider.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/present_indicative_of_the_verbs_in_a.mp3|titles=present_indicative_of_the_verbs_in_a]

The ending of the infinitive (a vowel or a vowel group) shows the conjugation of the verb. The endings and the verb conjugations are:

a: 1st conjugation: a cânta (to sing)

ea: 2nd conjugation: a avea (to have)

e: 3rd conjugation: a merge (to go)

i and –î: 4th conjugation: a iubi (to love), a hotărî (to decide)

 

Let’s learn the Present Indicative of the verbs in –a (1st conjugation).

A cânta (engl. to sing), a pleca (engl. to leave)

A cânta A pleca
Eu cânt Eu plec
Tu cânți Tu pleci
El / ea cântă El / ea pleacă
Noi cântăm Noi plecăm
Voi cântați Voi plecați
Ei / ele cântă Ei / ele pleacă

 

The root verb is obtaining eliminating the infinitive suffix. For instance, is the infinitive form is „a cânta”, the root is „cânt”. In order to obtain the Present Tense, we have to add some endings at the root verb. These endings are: Ø, –i, –ă, –ăm, –ați, –ă.

 

Sometimes the root verb is changing as in the example below:

eu cânt (I sing) – the root iscânt

tu cânți (you sing) – the root iscânț

Due to phonetic rules, „t” becomes „ț” before „i”.

 

In some other situations, the vowel „e” from the root verb becomes the diphthong „ea” as follows:

tu pleci (you leave)

el pleacă (he leaves)

 

Some of the verbs in –a receive the suffix „ez” in the first and the second person singular. In the third person singular, the suffix „ez” becomes „eaz”. After this suffix, the Present endings are added (Ø, –i, –ă, –ăm, –ați, –ă).

 

A dansa (engl. to dance), a lucra (engl. to work)

A dansa A lucra
Eu dansez Eu lucrez
Tu dansezi Tu lucrezi
El / ea dansează El / ea lucrează
Noi dansăm Noi lucrăm
Voi dansați Voi lucrați
Ei / ele dansează Ei / ele lucrează

For most verbs, the 3rd person in the singular is homonym with the 3rd person in the plural:

el cântă (he sings) = ei cântă (they sing)

el lucrează (he works) = ei lucrează (they work)

 

Exceptions

A sta (engl. to stay), a lua (engl. to take)

A sta A lua
Eu stau Eu iau
Tu stai Tu iei
El / ea stă El / ea ia
Noi stăm Noi luăm
Voi stați Voi luați
Ei / ele stau Ei / ele iau

 

The negative form

In order to obtain the negative form, we have to add the particle “nu” in front of the verbs.

Examples:

A cânta A pleca
Eu nu cânt (I don’t sing) Eu nu plec (I don’t leave)
Tu nu cânți (you don’t sing) Tu nu pleci (you don’t leave)
El / ea nu cântă (he / she doesn’t sing) El / ea nu pleacă (he / she doesn’t leave)
Noi nu cântăm (we don’t sing) Noi nu plecăm (we don’t leave)
Voi nu cântați (you don’t sing) Voi nu plecați (you don’t leave)
Ei / ele nu cântă (they don’t sing) Ei / ele nu pleacă (they don’t leave)

 

Mona Pologea,

PhD Linguist

Romania Insider
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