The Definite Article: Part 2

After all of the grammar insanity of late, you might want to go ahead and run for the hills.

If however you ever want to learn this unique language, the following will be most helpful.

Romanian uses a Slavic syntax when it comes to diminutives. This can either literally mean like a “tinier” version of something or else imply cuteness, affection or fondness.

If you speak Spanish, think pequeno versus pequenito.

If you speak Italian, think torte versus tortellini.

An example in Romanian:

Ursuletul Winnie which is the Romanian name for Winnie the Pooh.

Breaking that sentence up we see “urs” (bear) + “ul” which we know means “the” in the singular. So “ursul” means “the bear.” But what about the “et” part?

That’s the diminutive form. Therefore Ursuletul Winnie means “The Teddy Bear (Named) Winnie” from the literal “the little bear Winnie“.

And in general the diminutive takes a few versions, depending on gender:

English Word (Sing) Diminutive (Sing) Gender
bear urs ursulet masculine
girl fata fetita feminine
sister sora surioara feminine
pen pix pixel neuter


Word + The (Obj) Sing Diminutive + The (Obj) Sing Word + Of The (Obj) Sing Diminutive + Of The (Subj) Sing
ursul ursuletul ursului ursuletului
fata fetita fetei fetitei
sora surioara sorei surioarei
pixul pixelul pixului pixelului


Word (Plural) Diminutive (Plural) Word + The (Obj) Plural
ursi ursuleti ursii
fete fetite fetele
surori surioarori surorii
pixuri pixeluri pixurii


Dimunitive + The (Obj) Plural Word + Of The (Subj) Plural Dimunitive + Of The (Subj) Plural
ursuletii ursilor ursuletilor.
fetitele fetelor fetitelor
surioarorii suriorilor surioarorilor
pixelurii pixurilor pixelurilor


Got it?

Good! Seriously, bust out that champagne and save me a glass :D

For extra fun, a real but silly sentence:

Am pictat suprafetele fetitelor, adica surioarorilor lor – LOL!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonim says:

    A bit more about “sora”. As you know, it means “sister” or “nurse”. When I’m in a hospital and a nurse left a book on my bed, cartea este a sorei. When I’m at home and my (or his) sister left a book on my table, cartea este a surorii mele (lui).


  2. Ovidiu says:

    Good work on the ‘urs’ and ‘fata’, but there are a lot of mistakes with the other two words.
    First, as Gigi said in romanian, ‘pixel’ is the word for the dot on a computer screen. I would also use ‘pixulet’ if I had to name a diminutive for pix. But I think it is rarely used. And that would make: pixuletul/pixuletului the articulated singulars, pixuleturi for the plural and pixuleturile/pixuleturilor for the articulated plural forms.
    But I might be wrong. Since no one force me to memorize such forms :)

    The Obj Plural of ‘sora’ and ‘pix’ are surorile and pixurile.
    Then, ‘surioara’: the Sub. Singular is surioarei; the plural is surioare. The articulated plural are surioarele/surioarelor. That “surioarorilor” would be a tongue twister even for a Romanian.

    There are a bunch of word that get an -aş (that is a ‘sh’) for their diminutive, like ‘baietas’, or ‘creionas’, or the ever funny ‘mintenas’ :)
    Actually, there are quite a lot of terminations for forming a diminutive form.
    -ic as in laptic for ‘lapte’/milk
    -ica as in scrisorica for ‘scrisoare’/letter
    -el as in barbatel for ‘barbat’/man
    -uta as in canuta for ‘cana’/mug


  3. Gigi says:

    Pixel nu e diminutiv pentru pix. Diminutivul ar fi “pixulet”, dar nu cred ca l-ar folosi careva… Pixel e doar englezismul pentru micile puncte care formeaza imaginea pe monitor/LCD.


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