Be happy, you’ve got all the ‘be’s in your bonnet

Romance languages

Romance languages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The purpose of this blog is to enable you/me/us to chat up – oops, sorry, chat with, watch your prepositions, Bernardo! – the 1030 million people who speak the major Romance languages (see the statistics in the ‘Five is a plucky number’ page). The orange and yellow bits on the accompanying map will give you some idea where most of them are. There should be a tiny, tiny dot in eastern Australia, near Sydney, to indicate me – Wikipedia has left me off the map!

Mastering the verb “to be”, needless to say, is an important step along the way because once you have done that you can then go on to say things like “I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am horny” etc etc. In some Romance languages, though, they say “I have hunger” and “I have thirst”, which is why we will study the verb “to have” soon after this. (Whether they also say “I have horniness” at this stage I have no idea, but I guess sooner or later we will find out.)

In the meantime, here is a recap of the verb “to be” in the five featured Romance languages. As noted in previous posts on each, some of these languages have two verbs meaning “to be”, and some have more than one way of saying “you” depending on whether it is a formal or informal relationship. We won’t repeat the explanations here.

French (être):

singular:  je suis;                      tu es;                  il, elle est;

plural:  nous sommes;          vous êtes;            ils, elles sont

Portuguese (ser)

singular: eu sou               tu és;                ele, ela, você é

plural:  nós somos                                  eles, elas, vocês são

Portuguese (estar)

singular: eu estou;               tu estás;               ele, ela, você está

plural: nós estamos;                                      eles, elas, vocês estão

Spanish (ser)

singular: yo soy;                   eres;                él, ella, usted es;

plural: nosotros -as  somos;      vosotros -as sois;    ellos, ellas, ustedes son

Spanish (estar)

yo estoy;                          estás;                   él, ella, usted está;

nosotros -as estamos;     vosotros -as estáis;      ellos, ellas, ustedes están

Italian (essere)

singular: io sono;                         tu sei;                    Lei, lui, lei è 

plural:  noi siamo;                      voi siete;                       loro sono 

Italian (stare, which can also mean “to stay”)

singular: io sto;                   tu stai;                 Lei, lui, lei sta; 

plural:  noi  stiamo            voi state;              loro  stanno

Romanian (a fi)

singular: eu sunt;                 tu eşti;                      el, ea este

plural: noi suntem             voi sunteţi                  ei, ele sunt

Till next time….



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