Romanian articles

Romanian has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter. The article (definite and indefinite) depends on the noun gender.

This is a nuisance because unlike the other romance languages, Romanian has retained the neuter gender from Latin. It is not immediately obvious to which gender a noun belongs.

Romanian gender. A couple of rules

Words ending in a consonant are in general masculine or neuter.

Nouns ending in ă or a are feminine, as are most nouns ending in e.

Feminine nouns end in a vowel.

There are many varied and detailed rules which can be found elsewhere.

Indefinite articles. Singular

These are straightforward (provided you know the gender of a noun) with un 'a' being used with masculine and neuter nouns, and a with feminine nouns.

a dog (masculine) un câine
a cat (feminine) o pisică
a hotel (neuter) un hotel

The Romanian sentences (61 to 70) have some simple examples. E.g. Eu am o pisică 'I have a cat' or Eu am un câine 'I have a dog'.

Definite articles. Singular

Romanian is different from any other romance language (or English) in the way it forms the definite article 'the'. Instead of appearing before the noun, the definite article is added to the end.

There are more accurate rules, but simplifying drammatically, it breaks down like this.

If the noun ends in a consanant, add ul.

Filmul a fost lung și interesant The film was long and interesting

If the noun is masculine and ending in a vowel, add le.

Feminine nouns ending in e, add an a. E.g. vreme 'weather' becomes vreamea 'the weather'.

Of course, this is a massive simplification, but will give a general idea until you become more familiar with the language. It is easy to become swamped in details, and miss the bigger picture when starting with a language.

Romanian articles. Plural

In general in the plural, masculine nouns end in i, feminine nouns in e, or i and neuter in e, or uri.

dog (masculine) câine dogs câini
cat (feminine) pisică catspisici
beer (feminine) bere beers beri

The above rule, is very, very general and there are various possible changes in the plural.

Masculine nouns may change the final consonant.

child (masculine) copil children copii

Feminine nouns ending in an ă, change the ă to an e.

house (feminine) casă houses case
table (feminine) masă tables mese

Definite articles. Plural

To form definite article in Romanian, the endings below are added to the plural of the Romanian noun depending on its gender :

masculine nouns plural + i
feminine nouns plural + le
neuter nouns plural + le