1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "There are twenty one horses …

"There are twenty one horses on the farm."

Translation:Tá capall is fiche ar an bhfeirm.

August 26, 2015



I thought 'fiche' was 20. Where is the 'one' in 'is fiche'?


Read it literally and it should make sense:

There is a horse and twenty on the farm.


So 'is' is like 'agus' in this instance?


Yes. is is often seen as an abbreviated for of agus


Thank you. That's very helpful


I'm trying to figure out why it's not 'aon chapall is fiche'. I could easily accept this as an alternative, but it didn't allow 'aon chapall' and I can't see why.


I was wondering the same thing... isn't 'aon chapall is fiche' an equivalent way of saying '21 horses'? That is what I learned elsewhere.


It would help if they would mention this little exception in the tips, especially since Duolingo defaults to this form.


Okay, so I came here with the same question others had before and I think I understand now. In the past on this course I've seen sentences about a double digit number of something and it's goes like "[single digit] [object] [double digit]" or in English "5 horse 20", but in this case it's just "horse 20". Am I right?


wouldn't 'aon chapall is fiche' be acceptable here?


I have the same question, given that in the tips for this lesson, "21 cats" is translated as "aon chat is fiche."


I agree; Duolingo appears to contradict itself here? Can someone explain?

  • 1517

There are a couple of different things going one.

First, in both English and Irish, "one" is a bit special, as "a horse" implies "one horse", so "a horse and twenty" means "21 horses" - or, if you think that's a bit artificial, "a woman and two dogs", "a man and three children", "a butcher, a baker and four candlestick makers". You can replace "a" with "one" in any of these phrases.

So capall is fiche is "21 horses" with no need for an explicit "one".

In Irish there is a further oddity in that the numeral aon (a haon, a dó, a trí, etc) isn't always used to specify a quantity - instead you use amháin: Tá cat sa seomra - "There's a cat in the room"
Tá cat amháin sa seomra - "There's one cat in the room"

aon actually means "any" in this context:
An bhfuil cat sa seomra? - "Is there a cat in the room?"
An bhfuil aon chait sa seomra? - "Are there any cats in the room?"

aon can be used to emphasise the amháin, so aon chat amháin would be understood as "A single cat" or "just one cat".

So the notes are at fault here. aon chat amháin is fiche is possible, but unlikely - it would be a mistake to learn it as the normal way to say "21 cats".


Does any one actually speak like this any more. I've never heard this usage. It's the equivalent of four score and seven years ago


If you speak Irish that is what you say- this is normal.
Someone who is 21 years old is " bliain is fiche" & 21 people "duine is fiche" and the pattern repeats for thirty, forty, a hundred etc. Just be thankful they don't still count in scores aondeag ar fichid meant 31 ; even now forty daichead comes from da fhichid.


Yup. We still do that in Gàidhlig, though I notice that courses (and younger people?) are moving over to the "simpler" way of doing things. For me sixty is trì fichead, but nowadays it seems to be seasgad.


Isn't fiche twenty?


Nope I don't see it. How do you say there are 20 horses on the farm? And I thought the number came first.... You know, I hesitate to move on to each section but I moved on to numbers thinking, 'How bad could it be, they're just numbers". Leave it to the Irish to make all sorts of different forms and ways of spelling the same number and lets change the words around them too...just for fun!


Look here I am again! Just curious, would you really say 21 horses this way and people really do know you are saying 21 or would you actually say it as "a haon is fiche"? And does this same thing work for 31, 41, 51 etc.? capall is triocha etc.?


Yes, the same thing works for thirty (etc) horses.


Why is fiche capaill is naonur not accepted?


because that means twenty horses and nine people.


I still don't understand, given that the tips say 21 cats is aon chat is fiche, why you can't say aon capall is fiche. Is there something magic about either cats or horses? I'm feeling irritable at the moment as Duolingo is constantly not accepting my idiomatic English and so I have to remember what unnatural English phrase they do accept!


one cat is just a cat - " cat " or if you are being emphatic cat amháin. 21 cats is a cat and twenty - cat is fiche, aon chait actuary means any cat. a useful expression from focloir -any time you like aon uair is mian leat


My math brain just translated that to how we don't put the one in front of variables


Where is the word for one in the Irish

  • 1517

In numbers, is means "and". "a horse and 20" is 21 horses.


Fiche is 20, how is the 21st horse shown?

  • 1517

capall is fiche - "a horse and twenty (horses)" = "twenty one horses"

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.