Romanian has masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. Neuter nouns behave like masculine nouns in the singular, but feminine nouns in the plural. The formation of plurals in Romanian is not as simple as in the other Romance languages, there are a number of options depending on whether the noun ends in particular vowels or consonants. Spelling and phonetic changes can occur.
- un is used with masculine singular nouns (un băiat = a boy)
- un is used with neuter singular nouns (un timbru = a postage stamp)
- o is used with feminine singular nouns (o casă = a house)
- nişte is used with plurals (nişte băieţi = some friends, nişte case = some houses)
The definite article is a suffix (attached to the end of the noun), and again the suffixes can vary depending on what vowels or consonants the noun ends in. And because it is a suffix, the plural forms of nouns taking a definite article will be different to the plural forms used with the indefinite nişte above. Here are some typical examples.
Masculine nouns: in the singular the suffix is typically –l, –ul or –le, and in the plural it’s i.
- băiat (boy), băiatul (the boy), băieţii (the boys)
- membru (member), membrul (the member), membrii (the members)
- unchi (uncle), unchiul (the uncle), unchii (the uncles)
- munte (mountain), muntele (the mountain), munţii
Feminine nouns: in the singular the suffix is –a or –ua and in the plural it’s –le
- fată (girl), fata (the girl), fetele (the girls)
- blană (fur), blana (the fur), blănurile (the furs)
- cafea (coffee), cafeaua (the coffee), cafelele (the coffees)
Neuter nouns: in the singular the suffix is typically –l, –ul or –le, and in the plural it’s always –le.
- ou (egg), oul (the egg), ouăle (the eggs)
- vin (wine), vinul (the wine), vinurile (the wines)
- tricou (T-Shirt), tricoul (the T-shirt), tricourile (the T-shirts)