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Demonstrative Pronouns: Position Relative to the Noun

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by 123xyz, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I would like to know if there is any difference between nominal phrases where the demonstrative pronouns are placed in front of the nouns in an indefinite form and where they are placed after the nouns in a definite form, having received the suffix '-a'.

    For example, is there any difference between the following phrases:

    1. acest om/omul acesta
    2. aceste cărţi/cărţile acestea

    I am assuming that adding adjectives wouldn't affect anything, but if it would, I would like to know how.

    Thank you in advance
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada

    Let's make sure we are on the same page :) Are we talking about:

    1/ acest om & omul acesta
    2/ aceste cărți & cărțile acestea (or această carte & cartea această or cărții acesteia).

    Please take a look in the Romanian grammar by Liana Cojocaru listed in the references; it may help you with defining your question.

  3. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I was talking about what you suggest indeed - I'm sorry that I accidentally omitted the "a" in "acesta" in the phrase "omul acesta" and that I didn't know the correct definite form of "cărți". I have taken a look in the book you suggested; at least I think it's that book - it says that it's written by Dana Cojocaru and not Liana Cojocaru, but I can't find any other one. Out of the three links, one doesn't work and the other one opens up a website, so I suppose it has to be this one. Anyway, I didn't find an answer to my question, since it basically says that both options are possible, but doesn't explain if there is any difference between them. From what I researched so far, I generally found explanations saying both forms are correct but not explaining what differences in meaning if any there are between the two forms. I intend to go through the book anyway to learn about Romanian grammar in general (and I will also do more researche), so I may find an answer I have now overlooked, but it seems that this is all that is said in the book:

    There are some examples and then explanations on how to decline the demonstrative pronouns, but that doesn't answer my initial question.
  4. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Glad we sorted that one out and thanks for the feedback; it is indeed Dana Cojocaru, I was typing from my mobile and I can open only some many windows in the web browser :(

    Now back to your question: as a native speaker I can't say there's a marked difference between the two forms, other than that one, at times, may sound different and can be used for a bit of dramatic flair. Here are some examples:

    1/ Omul acesta e binevenit (This man is welcome, standard form, usually sounding hospitable ;) ); Acest om e binevenit (This man is welcome, this time I see it more like an enunciation, an afirmation, a bit out of ordinary
    2/ Această carte este a mea (This book is mine); cartea aceasta este a mea or even better, aceasta este cartea mea (This is my book) - in this case, hopefully, the difference between the two ways of placing the demonstrative pronouns is better highlighted

    I sure hope this helps a bit :)

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  5. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for your reply, it is indeed helpful :)

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