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A club to discuss languages and language learning, for all languages, learners, teachers and linguists alike.

  1. What's new in this club
  2. You don't. I mean, why would you need to, since you aren't going to use it in the plural, and since it ends in a consonent, you know it's not going to be feminine. Since masculine and neuter nouns have the same forms in the singular, it really doesn't matter - it only really matters if you want to form the plural, which for a mass noun, you're not going to do.
  3. So how do you test the gender of a mass noun then? Where this all started is with a way to test the gender of a count noun, to see which form of the word for two can go directly in front of it. Obviously the test only works for nouns that can come right after a number. So in order for nouns that never come right after a number to be any gender, there must be another test for mass nouns.
  4. Is this different from masculine nouns, whether count nouns or mass ones?
  5. The genitive of all neuter nouns, including mass nouns, is formed by adding -ului to the noun. For example, lemn - lemnului. Calitatea lemnului - quality of the wood.
  6. In that case, what about the genitive of neuter mass nouns?
  7. Well, you can say 'mult lemn', and lemn is neuter, so it must be possible. They can't, or not usually have one. So in the case of the feminine count words, it's not a plural, but the genitive form. But for words that do have a plural, that's how you form the genitive - take the plural form and add -i.
  8. But since the difference between masculine and neuter nouns is in the plural and the difference between masculine and feminine nouns is in the singular, it doesn't seem possible for nouns that don't have plurals to be neuter. A count noun is a noun that can have a number right before it. Mass nouns are nouns that can have 'much' directly in front of them. Certainly in English, 'wood' is always a mass noun, and we say 'some pieces of wood', not 'some woods' and 'a piece of wood' not just 'a wood'. I thought count nouns did not have a plural form. Certainly 'water' in English is normally a mass noun.
  9. There is no contradiction, or any reason why an uncountable noun can be neuter. For example, lemn, meaning wood (the material). Whether or not it has a plural does not affect its gender. Some nouns can be either a count noun or an uncountable noun. Take 'lemn' (wood) for example. When referring to a material, it is a count noun. But it does have a plural form, lemne. Lemne means 'pieces of wood' rather than material; it has a slightly different meaning. Feminine nouns must also have a plural form, regardless whether they are cound nouns or not. For example, apă (water). Apă is normally a count noun and doesn't have a plural form. However, it does have a genitive form: the genitive of feminine nouns is formed by taking the plural for of the noun and adding -i, so ape (plural form) + i = apei.
  10. But Romanian apparently doesn't work like that. Neuter counts nouns are the same as masculine ones in the singular, and as feminine in the plural. But the distinction between singular and plural doesn't apply to mass nouns, in any language. So that raises the question of how a mass noun could be neuter in Romanian.
  11. They can be any gender. They don't differ in any way other than that they are neuter.
  12. This raises the question of what gender mass nouns can be and if they can be neuter, how would neuter mass nouns differ from common (non-neuter) ones?
  13. Neuter count nouns behave like masculine nouns in the singular and feminine in the plural, which raises the question about neuter mass nouns.
  14. It wasn't clear what the question referred to. mass nouns, or uncountable nouns can be any gender.
  15. But my question actually was about the gender of mass nouns?
  16. It wouldn't make much sense for you to put a number in front of mass nouns as they are uncountable nouns.
  17. Okay, so the correct form is 'doi' for masculine nouns and 'două' for all other nouns. Of course, this only works for count nouns. What about mass nouns?
  18. Yes, I think that this is the vocative form of tată, meaning father. I don't think that it is much in use, I have never heard it. Yes, this is true. One can 'test' their gender(masculine or neuter) by saying two of the noun - the preceding number two, doi, must agree with the gender of the noun. if it is neuter, then the correct form is 'două' If it is masculine, the correct form is 'doi'. Nouns ending in -iune are always feminine, and -iuni in the plural.
  19. I know one masculine noun in Romanian that does end in -ie, tataie, but that means grandfather or old man, thus refering to a male being, this is a gender-specific noun, and most such nouns take their natural gender, the endings tell you the gender of nouns that do not specify natural gender And apparently, the difference between masculine and neuter is only in the plural. And what about nouns ending in -iune?
  20. I think you mean that nouns ending in -ie are feminine? Yes, that's a good, reliable rule to which I can't think of any exceptions. Nouns ending in consonents are trickier, they can be either masculine or neuter.
  21. There is one thing that you can do when learning a new noun, be it a true friend, false friend or any other. There are certain endings that, in general, tell you the gender of the noun, as noted at the start. I would guess that Romanian nouns ending in -ie are unless they refer to male beings, same with all nouns ending in -iune, and that nouns ending in -ant or -ent are always masculine, at least in the singular.
  22. It's more like a kind of pie chart, where about 30% of the words follow the -ţiune rule, about 40% follow the -ție rule, and the other 30% are miscellaneous words with Greek, Slavic or Dacian origin. There is no one rule with an overall majority, or at least, this is how it seems to me. They have a kind of feeling or colour to them, and I associate them with a colour, and that helps me to remember them, for example, a -ție word is orange. Indeed, you do have a point here. A lot of the new vocabulary I come across is slavic or old Dacian in origin.
  23. Aren't there more true friends than false friends? As long as they are, it seems to way to pick up these words is to learn the rules and only learn exceptions to the rules individually. If there are more true friends than false friends, than surely one simply needs to learn only each false friend's translation, not translations of true friends. What does it mean to tag them or 'colour' them in your mind? Also, could it be that you already know (nearly) all the true friends and so such rules become less useful? They are very useful for beginners and intermediate learners.
  24. Yes, there are many 'true friends', but because of the many false friends, adding the -ție ending isn't reliable as a rule. There are too many exceptions. It's also not the only rule to govern such words. There are also many words that end in -tion in English that end in -iune in Romanian. Example: English = option, Romanian - opţiune. So it really isn't that simple, and I still need to learn each individual word's translation. Yes, you could do that, or just tag or 'colour' them in your mind, as following the rule or not following it. Personally, I find that I can't rely on such rules, and need to learn each word individually rather than according to such rules.

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