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  5. "Itheann na páistí seacláid r…

"Itheann na páistí seacláid roimh an dinnéar."

Translation:The children eat chocolate before the dinner.

October 30, 2015



Comments about the necessity of ‘the’ before ‘dinner’? In English, you usually wouldn't use this, unless the dinner was a special event. How about in Irish? (Currently, a translation without ‘the’ is not accepted.)


Was wondering the same. Typed "before dinner" and it wasn't accepted.


I too would really like to know why it is not possible to say "The children eat chocolate before dinner". That sounds much more idiomatic and natural to me. Unless Irish also omits the definite article to mean just any old dinner. Is the idea in fact that they are eating chocolate before one specific dinner, as opposed to more of a habitual act that could occur at any dinner they have? If the intended meaning DOES refer more to a habitual action, then I contend that "The children eat chocolate before dinner" should be accepted.

Some clarification by a mod would be immensely appreciated, le do thoil.


Moderators don't have any access to the answer database, or contact with the course maintainers, we only have some limited powers to moderate the sentence discussions, removing misleading, inappropriate or contentious comments.

That said, English is pretty inconsistent about whether or not to include the definite article before "dinner" - "Dinner's ready" vs "The dinner's ready" or "the dinner was really tasty yesterday" vs "dinner was really tasty yesterday". You would use an dinnéar in Irish for those statements.

Here are some more examples from focloir.ie:
"dinner's ready" - tá an dinnéar réidh
"he cooked dinner" - rinne sé an dinnéar
"we went for a walk after dinner" - chuamar ar siúlóid i ndiaidh an dinnéir
"she was in the middle of making dinner" - bhí sí díreach i mbun an dinnéar a réiteach
"I'll just have a brush up before dinner" - nífidh mé mé féin go tapa roimh an dinnéar

The problem in this case is each of those examples that don't use "the" in English are still all talking about a specific dinner - the dinner that we just ate, or the dinner that is being prepared, or the dinner that we are about to eat. But this exercise is using a habitual present tense verb, and if you were talking about habitually eating chocolate before dinner, then you wouldn't need an in Irish, so the fact that an is included suggests that "the dinner" is intended.


Many thanks for that very interesting and detailed reply. So it seems that some Irish sentences using "an dinnéar" can be translated into English with just "dinner", but in this case there is a strong enough sense of a specific dinner being referred to, so using "the dinner" is in fact more correct here? It's definitely wrong to just say "dinner" with this particular sentence?

Just trying to get this straight in my mind. But thank you most kindly once again for your help with this.


Why is it not 'ndinnéar'?


From the Tips & Notes for the Eclipsis skill:

.3. Preposition + Definite Article
Eclipsis occurs after certain prepositions where they are joined by the singular definite article an
An exception to this rule is that the word should not be eclipsed if it begins with d or t.


My question as well


I'm picking up on the same thing, and why doesn't anyone else see that?


Previous questions long before this one, have accepted ''kids'' in the answer. Why is it not accepted here


I just ran into this, so it is still not accepted. Given that it is accepted elsewhere, it seems sensible to report it as an answer that 'should be accepted'.


Hiberno-English would often, if not even mostly say 'the dinner', probably coming from the fact that English was a learned language and so was translated from Irish where an dinnéar is 'the dinner'.


audio for this le do thoil, 3 new words: seaclaid, roimh, dinnear


thank you very much that's nice.


why is eats not correct


"eats" is only used for the 3rd person singular in English. This is the 3rd person plural.

"the child eats chocolate"
"the children eat chocolate"

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