In Romanian there are several ways to indicate the possessive. One of them follows some rather lengthy but logical rules and we’ll get into that one at a later time.
Today we’re going to talk about people’s possessions when you USE THEIR NAME. What follows is only for when using a person’s actual name.
In English it’s quite simple – if it is a car and it is John’s “possession” then we say “John’s car”. Spanish/Italian are also quite simple, just “coche/maquina/carro de Juan”.
Romanian is a little more complicated (gee, who’d a thunk it? :P).
If the person is a male, you just add “lui” in front of the guy’s name.
Masina lui Bogdan – Bogdan’s car.
Casa lui John – John’s house
For women, it’s a little trickier. Many Romanian female names end in the letter “a”. In this case, the name switches to the dative or the “of the” form used in declining nouns.
Maria are o casa – Maria has a house
Este casa Mariei – It is Maria’s house.
This includes foreign names as well! So if your name is Lisa, it would be “este casa Lisei” to indicate possession.
However some Romanian names end in “ca”, including the extremely popular one “Anca”. This one is a little different.
Anca are o casa – Anca has a house.
Este casa Ancăi – It is Anca’s house.
However if you have a female name that doesn’t end in the letter “a”, whether it’s Romanian or not, you just use the same form as the masculine:
Carmen are o casa – Carmen has a house.
Este casa lui Carmen – It is Carmen’s house
It’s also important to understand what to do if you want to say it belongs to someone when you’re using their last (or family) name.
Ionescu are o casa – Ionescu has a house
E casa lui Ionescu – It’s Ionescu’s house.
However if you want to say “Mister/Miss” before the last name, that has to be declined normally.
Domnul Ionescu are o casa – Mr. Ionescu has a house
Este casa domnului Ionescu – It’s Mr. Ionescu’s house.
Doamna Ionescu are o casa – Mrs. Ionescu has a house.
Este casa doamnei Ionescu – It’s Mrs. Ionescu’s house.
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Death of Mr. Lazarescu you might remember it is called in Romanian Moartea domnului Lazarescu. Now you know why!
Likewise if the person has any kind of “title” before their name (first OR last), the title gets declined while the name does not.
Elevul Bogdan are o casa – The student Bogdan has a house
Este casa elevului Bogdan – It is Bogdan the student’s house
Eleva Elena are o casa – The student Elena has a house
Este casa elevei Elena – It is Elena the student’s house
Wow! See? That wasn’t so hard.
AND NOW YOU KNOW!