Learn Romanian: Understanding Numerals in Romanian Language

Romanian language, like any other language, has its own unique set of numerals. In this article, we will study numerals and how they are used in everyday language. This is an essential part of our Romanian lessons who are interested in learning Romanian as a foreign language.

What are Numerals?

Numerals are a flexible part of speech that express a number (one, two, three), the number of objects (three children, ten pages, both books), and the order of objects (second, third). In most cases, numerals determine a noun and stand before the determined noun.

Classification of Numerals

Numerals can be divided into two categories:

Cardinal Numerals

These numerals express either an abstract number or the number of mentioned elements in a sentence or phrase. Cardinal numerals can be:

  • Proper cardinal numerals: “doi, trei, cinci, nouă” (two, three, five, nine).
  • Collective numerals: “amândoi, toți trei” (both, all three). These numerals are used to express the idea of grouping elements.
  • Multiplicative numerals: “dublu, triplu” (doubled, tripled). Multiplicative numerals are used to express the proportional and precise increase in the quantity of an object or action.
  • Distributive numerals: “câte doi, câte patru” (two each, four each). These numerals express the grouping and numerical distribution of the mentioned elements within a sentence or phrase.
  • Fractional numerals: “treime, sfert, jumătate” (third, quarter, half).

Ordinal Numerals

Ordinal numerals express the numerical order of objects in a sequence. For example, “primul, al doilea, al treilea” (the first, the second, the third).

Structure of Numerals

Numerals can be simple (“doi, zece, cinci, sută, milion”, etc.) or compound (“douăsprezece, treizeci și unu, șaptezeci”, etc.).

Values of Numerals

Numerals can have substantive, adjectival, or adverbial values. For example, numerals from “douăzeci” upwards have a substantive value even when followed by a noun, and the respective noun is linked to the numeral through the preposition “de”, with the syntactic function of prepositional attribute.

Syntactic Functions of Numerals

Numerals can perform the same syntactic functions as a noun. So they can be a subject, a predicative noun, a nominal attribute, a prepositional attribute, an adjectival attribute, a direct complement, an indirect complement, an agent complement, a circumstantial complement of time, a circumstantial complement of manner, or a circumstantial complement of place.

Examples of Numerals in Use

Here are some examples of numerals in use:

  • Cardinal numeral: “Trei copii se joacă în parc.” (Three children are playing in the park.)
  • Ordinal numeral: “El este a doua persoană care ajunge la întâlnire.” (He is the second person to arrive at the meeting.)
  • Collective numeral: “Amândoi au ajuns târziu la cursuri.” (Both of them arrived late for the courses.)
  • Multiplicative numeral: “Efortul dublu a fost răsplătit.” (The doubled effort was rewarded.)
  • Distributive numeral: “Au plecat în excursie, câte cinci.” (They went on a trip, five each.)

In conclusion, understanding numerals is a crucial part of learning Romanian. It not only helps in counting and arranging things in order but also plays a significant role in everyday communication. So, keep practicing and make your Romanian lessons more effective and fun!

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