Romanian verbs. The past tense

The past tense is formed by using a modified form of a avea 'to have' followed by the past participle.

The first example is using a lucra 'to work'.

I worked Am lucrat
You worked Ai lucrat
He/she has worked A lucrat
We have worked Am lucrat
You have worked Ați lucrat
They have worked Au lucrat

Forming the past participle

The past participle is easy to form, if (the initive) ends with a or i in which case you add t.

Other common endings are ut and s, but as usual it is easier to recognize and learn participles as and when you see them, rather than worry too much about the precise mechanism for forming them.

The sentences focus on 'I' and 'you' forms as generally when you begin to learn a language these are the most usefl in basic conversations.

Example sentences using the past participle

The past participle is marked in bold.

Ce ai făcut aseară? What did you do last night?
Am fost la pub I was at the pub
A plouat toată ziua It rained all day
Am stat acasă I stayed at home
Am ieșit cu prietenii I went out with friends
A fost înnorat și rece It was cloudy and cold
Am început să învăț limba română în urmă cu 6 luni I started learning Romanian 6 months ago
Am lucrat la birou I worked in the office
Am ascultat muzică I listened to music
Prietenii mei au venit să mă viziteze acasă My friends came to visit my house
Ieri după-amiază am privit la televizor I watched television yesterday afternoon
Am vizitat Cracovia anul trecut I visited Krakow last year
Ce ai văzut acolo? What did you see there?
Ai luat masa de prânz? Have you had (taken) lunch?
Ce ai mâncat? What did you eat?

The examples were selected from throughout the sentences on Surface languages, but if you quickly want to get a feel for the past tense Romanian sentences. Unit 15 is a good place to start.

When nu 'no' precedes the various forms of 'a avea' (including in the above construction), it may be hyphenated resulting in n-am, n-ai and so on.