zi -> ziua


Senior Member
deutsch - deutschland

It has confused me for some time now, but I'd like to know
how "ziua" in "Bună ziua!" is composed of.

What's the usage of "-ua" here?
1. Is "zi" for a certain day and "ziua" for all days?
2. Is it because it should be "zia" and due to sound becomes "ziua"?

Mulțumesc mult!
  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Interesting question, wanipa!

    We have to forms for day in Romanian, zi and ziuă, and while they mean the same
    thing, through usage they are not interchangeable.

    Good day -> Bună ziua
    Have a good day -> Să ai o zi bună

    The morning has broken -> s-a crăpat de ziuă
    Dawn -> zori de zi

    Birthday -> zi de naștere
    My Birthday -> ziua mea (de naștere)

    Both forms coexist but it's hard to use them interchangeably:

    My birthday -> (if I were to search for a literary effect, I could say "a mea zi de naștere" but it sounds very odd.

    It's likely the original/oldest is ziua from Latin dies (dziua, dzua?).

    More examples:

    Day in, day out -> toată ziua, bună ziua
    All day, all night -> zi și noapte

    In any case, when using the article only the long form can be used:
    the day -> ziua
    that day -> ziua aceea/aia (as opposed to in a/one day -> într-o zi)

    Otherwise both zi and ziuă work.


    Senior Member
    deutsch - deutschland
    Thanks so much, farscape!

    Does "ziua" mean something abstract and has got the sense of noble with no plural at all?
    (eg. bună ziua, ziua mea, toată ziua, bună ziua)

    So only "zi" has got plural and really means a normal day or the normal days (zile)?
    (eg. să ai o zi bună, zi de naștere, zi și noapte)

    "In any case, when using the article only the long form can be used:" is a good hint,
    but it's contradictory to my assumption above. ;-(

    Again, many thanks!


    mod-errare humanum est
    Not sure the answer is that simple but I'm pretty sure there are two forms for singular, zi/ziuă and one for plural, zile.

    Nouns ending in ea (fem.) make the plural by losing the a and gaining the suffix le:
    - podea, podele (floor)
    - curea, curele (belt)
    - perdea, perdele (curtain)

    Another noun with the same ending doesn't have plural: rouă (dew, fem.) :confused:

    Furthermore, for one day (o zi) I can only use the form zi.

    There are't many nouns ending in i, it's usually reserved for plural:
    - snop, snopi (bunch)
    - ciorap, ciorapi (sock)
    - dulap, dulapi (board); there is also the form dulapuri meaning cabinet
    - colac, colaci
    - crac, craci
    - trac, traci
    - ridiche, ridichi


    Senior Member

    Nothing is simple when we try to understand Time, not even the words we choose for this abstract concept.

    Of what I've read ziuă is also very old word originating from aromână/meglenoromanian. So, it looks like we possess two different words: a Latin one, and the above-mentioned 'dzuuă'/'zuuă' which gave us 'ziuă/ziua'.

    However, it's obvious as Farscape pointed out that both have one single plural, 'zile'.
    And both words take turns in a long variety list of phrases.