This article on Romanian verbs is related to the Romanian grammar and belongs to a series of articles on the Romanian language. Unlike English but similar to other Indo-European languages, verbs in Romanian are highly inflective. They conjugate according to mood, tense, voice, person and number. Aspect is not an independent feature in Romanian verbs. Also, gender is only distinct in adjective-like forms of the verb.
There are nine moods a verb can be put into, with five of them being personal — having a different form for each person — and four non-personal. As an example, the tables below show the verb a face (to do) at all moods, tenses, persons and numbers. Only positive forms in the active voice are given. The corresponding personal pronouns are not included; unlike English verbs, Romanian verbs generally have different forms for each person and number, so that pronouns are most often dropped or only used for emphasis. The English equivalents in the tables (one for each mood and tense) are only an approximative indication of the meaning.
|Mood||Tense||Number and person||English
(only sg. 1st)
|Indicative||Pluperfect||făcusem||făcuseşi||făcuse||făcuserăm||făcuserăţi||făcuseră||I had done|
|Imperfect||făceam||făceai||făcea||făceam||făceaţi||făceau||I was doing|
|Compound perfect||am făcut||ai făcut||a făcut||am făcut||aţi făcut||au făcut||I have done|
|Simple perfect||făcui||făcuşi||făcu||făcurăm||făcurăţi||făcură||I did|
|Future in the past (popular)||aveam să fac||aveai să faci||avea să facă||aveam să facem||aveaţi să faceţi||aveau să facă||I was going to do|
|Present||fac||faci||face||facem||faceţi||fac||I do, I am doing|
|Future||voi face||vei face||va face||vom face||veţi face||vor face||I will do|
|Future (popular, 1)||am să fac||ai să faci||are să facă||avem să facem||aveţi să faceţi||au să facă||I'll do|
|Future (popular, 2)||o să fac||o să faci||o să facă||o să facem||o să faceţi||o să facă||I'll do|
|Future perfect||voi fi făcut||vei fi făcut||va fi făcut||vom fi făcut||veţi fi făcut||vor fi făcut||I will have done|
|Subjunctive||Past||să fi făcut||să fi făcut||să fi făcut||să fi făcut||să fi făcut||să fi făcut||that I did, to have done|
|Present||să fac||să faci||să facă||să facem||să faceţi||să facă||that I do, to do|
|Past||aş fi făcut||ai fi făcut||ar fi făcut||am fi făcut||aţi fi făcut||ar fi făcut||I would have done|
|Present||aş face||ai face||ar face||am face||aţi face||ar face||I would do|
|Presumptive||Past||oi fi făcut||oi fi făcut||o fi făcut||om fi făcut||oţi fi făcut||or fi făcut||I might have done|
|Present||oi face||oi face||o face||om face||oţi face||or face||I might do|
|Present progressive||oi fi făcând||oi fi făcând||o fi făcând||om fi făcând||oţi fi făcând||or fi făcând||I might be doing|
|Imperative||Present||–||fă!||–||–||faceţi!||–||do! (2nd person only)|
|Mood||Tense||Verb forms||English equivalent|
|Infinitive||Past||a fi făcut||to have done|
|Present||a face||to do|
|Participle||Past||făcut (sg., masc.)
făcută (sg., fem.)
făcuţi (pl., masc.)
făcute (pl., fem.)
|Supine||–||de făcut||(something) to do|
The simple perfect has been replaced by the compound perfect in most of the Romanian varieties; it is commonly used in the Oltenian vernacular (graiul oltenesc) to denote recent actions that still have an impact on the present situation: Mâncai (I have eaten). The simple perfect is the single most easily recognizable particularity of this vernacular.
In the literary standard, the simple perfect is used almost exclusively in writing, in places where the author refers to the characters' actions as they take place. For this reason, the second person is practically never used, while the first person appears only when the writer includes himself among the characters.
Verbs in the past participle are used invariably in their singular masculine form when they are part of compound tenses (compound perfect, future perfect, past subjunctive, etc.) in the active voice. As part of a verb in the passive voice, the past participle behaves like adjectives, and thus must agree in number and gender with the subject. Examples:
- Active voice: Am făcut curat în casă. (I cleaned the house.)
- Passive voice: Echipa adversǎ a fost fǎcutǎ praf. (The opposing team was laid to waste.)
From an etymologycal point of view, Romanian verbs are categorized into four large conjugation groups depending on the ending in the infinitive mood. This categorization is currently taught in schools.
|I||–a||a da (to give)
a crea (to create)
a veghea (to ward)
|Verbs ending in hiatus ea are included here, as well as verbs ending in -chea and -ghea, due to their first conjugation-like behavior|
|II||–ea||a putea (to be able to, to can do)
a cădea (to fall)
a vedea (to see)
|only when ea is a diphthong (also see above)|
|III||–e||a vinde (to sell)
a crede (to believe)
a alege (to choose)
|IV||–i or –î||a şti (to know)
a veni (to come)
a hotărî (to decide)
Most verbs fall in the first conjugation group with another large number ending in –i (fourth group).
This classification only partially helps in identifying the correct conjugation pattern; each group is further split into smaller classes depending on the actual morphological processes that occur. For example, verbs a cânta (to sing) and a lucra (to work) both belong to the first conjugation group, but their indicative first person singular forms are eu cânt (I sing) and eu lucrez (I work), showing different conjugation mechanisms.
A more appropriate classification, which provides useful information on the actual conjugation pattern, groups all regular verbs into 11 conjugation classes, as shown below.
|Class||Identification||Examples (one from each sound change type)|
|V1||infinitive ending in -a, present indicative without infix||a ajuta, a arăta, a aştepta, a ierta, a toca, a apăra, a îmbrăca, a prezenta, a apăsa, a măsura, a căpăta, a semăna, a pieptăna, a amâna, a intra, a lătra, a apropia, a mângâia, a tăia, a despuia, deochea|
|V2||infinitive ending in -a, present indicative with infix -ez-||a lucra, a studia, împerechea|
|V3||infinitive ending in -i, present indicative singular 3rd person ending in -e||a fugi, a despărţi, a ieşi, a repezi, a dormi, a muri, a veni, a sui, a îndoi, a jupui|
|V4||infinitive ending in -i, present indicative singular 3rd person ending in -ă||a oferi, a suferi|
|V5||infinitive ending in -i, present indicative singular 3rd person ending in -eşte||a povesti, a trăi|
|V6||infinitive ending in -î, present indicative singular 3rd person ending in -ă||a vârî, a coborî|
|V7||infinitive ending in -î, present indicative singular 3rd person ending in -ăşte||a hotărî|
|V8||infinitive ending in diphthong -ea||a apărea, a cădea, a şedea, a vedea, a putea|
|V9||infinitive ending in -e, past participle ending in -ut||a pierde, a cere, a crede, a bate, a cunoaşte, a coase, a vinde, a ţine, a umple|
|V10||infinitive ending in -e, past participle ending in -s||a prinde, a rade, a roade, a plânge, a trage, a merge, a zice, a întoarce, a permite, a scoate, a pune, a rămâne, a purcede, a scrie|
|V11||infinitive ending in -e, past participle ending in -t or -pt||a rupe, a fierbe, a înfrânge, a sparge, a frige, a coace|
Nevertheless, even such a classification does not consider all possible sound alternances. A full classification, considering all combinations of sound changes and ending patterns, contains about seventy types, not including irregular verbs.
There are various kinds of irregularity, such as multiple radicals whose choice is conditioned phonetically or etymologically, and exceptional endings. The following is a list of the most frequent irregular verbs: a avea (to have), a fi (to be), a vrea (to want), a sta (to sit, stand, remain), a da (to give), a azvârli (to throw), a lua (to take), a bea (to drink), a şti (to know), a usca (to dry), a continua (to continue), a mânca (to eat), a face (to do), a zice (to say), a duce (to carry).
- (Romanian) Maria Iliescu et al., Vocabularul minimal al limbii române, Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică, 1981
- (Romanian) Valeria Guţu Romalo et al., Gramatica limbii române, Editura Academiei Române, 2005
- In contemporary Romanian there is a tendency towards replacing o să with or să for the plural third person. See Gramatica limbii române, vol. I, p. 441.
- Detailed Romanian grammar with a good section on verbs (PDF, 183 pages, 4.6 MB)
- Verbix.com: Romanian verbs conjugation (Attention: Generally good output, but a few verbs are not conjugated correctly.)
- Castingsnet.com: Romanian ↔ English online dictionary also providing a Romanian verb conjugator (few mistakes)
- DEX online: allows you to look up words in a series of prestigious dictionaries of Romanian; contains a conjugator.