Vreau să învăț?

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by adamste81, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. adamste81

    adamste81 Member

    Atlanta, Ga
    American English

    I am VERY new to the Romanian language. I am almost fluent in Spanish and can hold my own in a Portuguese conversation but I don't know much Romanian and I am very interested in it. Anyhow, I wrote to a Romanian friend of mine "vreau a învăţa română" and he told me it should be "vreau s
    ă învăţ română".

    Can someone explain why it is "s
    ă învăţ" and not the infinitive of "a învăţa". I am used to Spanish "Quiero aprender" or Portuguese "Quero aprender" but after the word want is the verb not in it's regular un-conjugated form?

  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Welcome to the Word Reference Romanian Forum, adamste81 :)

    I hope you'll find the time to read the rules of the forum in the sticky on the first page and thus you'll enjoy your visit here. There's also a comprehensive list of on-line resources ready for you to peruse.

    Feel free to ask questions, making sure there's only one topic per thread and the context of the question is specific and well defined. We strongly encourage you to use the diacritical marks (you seem to know how :) )- see the details in the sticky.

    As for your first question, perhaps we can help you to rephrase it - it may be hard to explain why one language doesn't have the same grammar as another language ;).

    Take a look at chapter 4, The Verb, in Dana Cojocaru's "Romanian Grammar" listed in the References: it should give you a good understanding of the subjunctive (conjunctiv, in Romanian), although it may not explain why it's not like in Spanish or English or French. (Honestly I'm not sure why it should be... ).

    Good luck and have fun, and don't forget to be specific in your questions :)

  3. ectuohy Member

    NJ, USA
    North Jersey English (rhotic)
    The most convincing explanation I've heard for why Romanian is different than the other major Romance languages in this respect is that the use of the subjunctive (!) here is an "areal feature", i.e., one that it developed in common with other Balkan languages (Bulgarian has the same construction, even though other related languages like Russian don't.)

    Anyway, think of it like this in Spanish, the equivalent construction does exist, if used more rarely:
    Quiere que hable conmigo=Vrea să vorbească cu mine
  4. kloie Senior Member

    So basically the sa=that? like serbian has I want that I learn french for example.
  5. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Not quite: I started to read her letter -> Am început să citesc scrisoarea ei.

    Here to read -> să citesc

    I could use Am început a citi scrisoarea ei but that is not standard Romanian nor how we speak.

  6. ectuohy Member

    NJ, USA
    North Jersey English (rhotic)
    It is the same construction as Serbian (Volim da govorim/Vreau să vorbesc), and works the same way at least in this case, sure.

    Unfortunately, there are many other ways that să + subjunctive is used, and not all of them map to patterns in other languages, whether Balkan or Romance (like, say, like the imperative 1st-person plural, hai să vorbim despre X, let's talk about X), so the only way to really grasp it is to go through a good grammar, like the one mentioned above.

    Good luck!

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