Usage of pronoun "își"

盲人瞎馬

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
I don't understand what își does. It is defined as "unstressed reflexive dative of el, ea, ei and ele", but I don't understand the dative part. I know what dative means, but I don't see any dativeness whenever își is used.

Tocmai și-a deschis cel mai mare magazin din lume.

Is the dative part that is opened the biggest store for itself? Is that what's written?

Thanks.
 
  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Looks like you’re talking about the reflexive pronoun sine, which in the dative case has the form își and the î is in certain cases, like in your example, elided.

    The correct translation/interpretation would be she/he opened the store for herself/himself, which may not sound right in English but it sounds right in Romanian where certain verbs have a (reflexive) pronoun in their structure “when the subject of these verbs and their object (direct or inidrect) are the same, i.e. the action is subject-oriented. These verbs are called reflexive verbs.” (from Romanian Grammar by Dana Conjocaru).

    One could easliy say he/she opened a store (el/ea a deschis un magazin) however the use of the refelxive pronoun reinforces/hihglights the personal character of the action (ea/el și-a deschis un magazin). It’s kind of like saying she/he opened a store of their own.
     

    盲人瞎馬

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Can you rewrite "mă spăl pe față" as "îmi spăl fața"?

    Also why does the verb a-și imagina require și? Why not just say a imagina?

    Sorry if the questions sound out of order. I'm trying to understand this pronoun.
     
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    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    "Can you rewrite "mă spăl pe față" as "îmi spăl fața"?"
    Yes, you can - mostly depends on the context and any nuances you want to bring to your sentence. The most likely way to make/write that statement is "mă spăl pe față" ( I wash my face). BTW, I'd use the same English translation for "îmi spăl fața", without additional context.

    "Also why does the verb a-și imagina require și? Why not just say a imagina?"
    In that context, a imagina is used as a reflexive verb because the action is directed towards the subject which performs it. If you were to say eu imaginez/închipui c-ai plecat it won't sound natural (eu îmi imaginez/închipui c-ai plecat).

    On the other hand, the verb a trece can't be used that way, it's wrong to say (eu) îmi trec strada (I cross the street) as opposed to eu trec strada*. When crossing the street the action is directed towards the street, when I imagine (things) I imagine for/to myself.
    (*) I cross my street is eu trec strada mea. Not to make things too complicated but this correct: Îmi trece prin minte (here is a thought//I'm thinking of this... )

    For your reference here is the dictionary link to the verb a imagina from dexonline.ro.
    There is a lot more info about pronominal and reflexive verbs here - I'm assuming you'll be able to follow the text in Romanian.
    Note: CD/CI - Complement Direct/Indirect

    Here is a list of several reflexive verbs in Romanian from the link (almost all can function, with a somewhat different meaning though, as standard verbs by removing the reflexive pronoun):
    "Verbe reflexive: a se ruga, a-și reveni, a se bucura, a se mira, a se gândi, a-și închipui (my note, a-şi imagina), a se strădui, a-și bate joc, a-și da seama, a-și aminti, a se odihni, a se dezgheța, a se apuca, a se ambiționa, a se plimba, a se trezi, a se teme, a-și uita, a se veșteji, a se numi, etc."
     
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    Caktus

    Member
    Romania - Romanian
    There are several uses for the dative case in Romanian. In my opinion, what we have here is a possessive dative and your sentence can be rewritten as:

    Tocmai și-a deschis cel mai mare magazin din lume.
    Tocmai a deschis cel mai mare magazin al său din lume.

    "îmi spăl fața" is also a case of possessive dative and in English it is translated using a possessive pronoun "I wash my face...". In Romanian you could also say "spăl fața mea", but it sounds unusual.
     
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    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    There are several uses for the dative case in Romanian. In my opinion, what we have here is a possessive dative👌.
    Hi,
    You can also think of a mirror and the way it projects your image back. The same happens with these verbs that get reflexive pronouns. I believe that it's useful to underline a second idea that the subject does the action alone, by itself, without any help implied.
     
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