Pe cine? Cazul acuzativ

ka_

Member
Portuguese (Brazil)
I'm teaching myself Romanian and up until now things were fine. I can't really understand the use of the preposition ''pe''.

Caut un prieten (Persoană neconoscută)
Il Caut pe prietenul meu (Persoană conoscută)

I thought there was some logic to it, I mean, if I don't have a specific subject, I don't use pe and when I do, I should use it

but what about these other verbs?

întreb pe colege
îl intreb pe el

I don't really know when I should use the preposition and when I don't . I get that in ":confused:îl intreb pe el'' the preposition and its complement are only there
to put emphasis on things, but I can't really understand why things are a little different when using the verb ''a cauta''.
 
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  • irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I'm teaching myself Romanian and up until now things were fine. I can't really understand the use of the preposition ''pe''.

    Caut un prieten (Persoană neconoscută)
    Il Caut pe prietenul meu (Persoană cunoscută)

    I thought there was some logic to it, I mean, if I don't have a specific subject, I don't use pe and when I do, I should use it.

    [It's not about the subject! It's about doubling the Direct Object by using the pronoun short forms.]

    but what about these other verbs?

    întreb pe colege
    îl intreb pe el

    Hi,

    I suppose you haven't found your answer by looking to the subject only.

    To your question, the preposition "pe" is a distinctive mark of transitivity.

    1.Caut ceva [DO]. (I'm looking for something)
    2.Caut pe cineva [DO]. (I'm looking for someone whom I not know!).

    But we also have:
    3. O caut pe pisică / Mary / ea. Here you have 2 DOs! I know what or whom I am looking for.

    Funny, isn't it:confused:?
    You know, it is puzzling for me too, so I can perfectly understand your frustration. So please, bare with me till the end! I've never explained this before!

    But hey, pay attention to these pronoun short forms, and I may add, incomplete pronominal short forms, singular and plural: o, îl, l- (incomplete of 'pe el îl), vă, v- (incomplete form of 'pe voi ), mă, m- (incomplete of 'pe mine ), îi, le, te. These will guide you to the use of 'pe' as they double the Direct Object [+ animate] when the Subject knows it.

    4. Îl ştiu pe acest bătrân. ( I know this old man).
    5. O cunosc pe ea. (I know her.) L-am văzut pe prietenul (pe + noun + definite article) ei. (I saw her friend.) The Object here is doubled by the incomplete pronoun short form 'l-'!
    6. Am văzut-o pe Mary / ea la mall. (I saw her at the shopping-mall. L-am văzut pe el. (I saw him.)
    7* Filmul l-am văzut cu ea. (I watched the movie with her.), in which case there are two Objects: 'filmul' [-animate] and 'l-' that doubles the movie when it takes front position in a sentence.

    And now,
    7. Caut un prieten. (I'm looking for a friend - could be any friend, right?)
    It's impossible not to know the person if this is my friend. However, I don't say who he is so, he may be any friend of mine, not John in particular, otherwise I would have said 'Îl caut pe John'.
    8. Întreb colegele despre program. (I'll ask my colleagues about ...). Le întreb pe colege [-definite article]. Same translation.

    9. And of course, there are many instances when verbs are single-transitive: 'Fumez o țigară' (I'm smoking a cigarette' - inanimate object) :tick:, and not 'O fumez pe ea':thumbsdown:.

    To conclude, the Direct Object preceded by the preposition pe a) has to be known by the Subject or, at least, the Subject has to know what s/he's looking for, and b) the Object has to be animate.:tick:

    L-am văzut pe copil. I saw the kid.
    In which case the Object is doubled, animate, but unknown by the Subject.
    L-am văzut pe copilul tău. I saw your kid.
    In which case, the Subject knows whose kid is, so he knows the kid, the Object is animate and doubled by the same short form of the pronoun and, the noun has the definite article. So, you have to pay attention to the use of article, too, but this is another story.

    I hope I haven't puzzled you more, especially when you cannot find these explanations in our grammar books, and we don't teach that way.
     
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    ka_

    Member
    Portuguese (Brazil)
    I'm still a bit confused, I think I got the whole point of using the DO twice, it's used when we're talking about someone we know, someone specific.

    O caut pe ea -> I looking for her.
    I know who I'm looking for
    if I didn't know her then I'd say:

    Caut o fată (I'm looking for a girl, I don't know who she is)
    No o or pe in this sentence.

    but I don't get why (in red)

    O întreb pe Ana (I'll ask Ana, I know who I'm going to ask)
    Întreb pe o colegă (I'll ask a collegue, but I don't who exactly)
    (I guess Întreb pe colege is wrong, isn't? since it's plural, so it should be either colegele or niște colege)

    why do I need to use pe here? With the verb a cauta, if I don't know the person, I don't have to use this proposition,
    is there a rule? Maybe this preposition has nothing to do with the fact that may or not know who I'm talking about?
    I understand its use when we have already the pronoun (o in that case), but I don't get why it appears and sometimes doesn't.
    How do I know when to used it when talking about someone I don't know?
     
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