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  5. "Tugann sé an bia don phortán…

"Tugann an bia don phortán."

Translation:He gives the food to the crab.

March 15, 2016



Fattening it up? Or best friends?


This will be a lesson to me next time I thoughtlessly eat before the crab.


I have a question on the Irish-to-English translation. I'm studying Irish in South Korea, and therefore English is not my first language. Why not "He gives the food for the crab", but "He gives the food to the crab"? Is there any reason that the preposition 'to' is right and 'for' is wrong in that case?

  • 1991

"to the crab" means in English that he is giving the food specifically/directly to the crab (as in, feeding the animal). "For the crab" suggests that he is not giving it directly to the crab; he may be giving the crab's food to someone else. For example: "Paul gives the food for the crab to his sister, so she can feed the crab while Paul is away."


So, it is that; if I say "for the crab" in English, the "beneficiary" is NOT THE CRAB but someone/something else; if I say "to the crab", the "recipient" is THE CRAB; and then if I say "don phortán" in Irish, it means that the "receiver" is THE CRAB. Thanks!

  • 1991

Essentially, yes. Although there might not always be an intermediary/"beneficiary" when using "for the crab". Example: "I must remember to buy food for the crab, when I go to the store". It's more of a possessive phrasing, in that food "for the crab" is "the crab's food"....but you are not feeding the crab with it directly at the moment. With FOR, the crab may be the ultimate intended receiver, but he is not currently receiving it....until you give it TO him.


there is something wrong. I don't hear any sound at all.


"He gives the crab the food" should also be accepted. Reported.


How would you say in irish " i give the food to a crab" ( a crab, not the crab)


Tugaim an bia do phortán

don is just a combined form of do + an. If you don't have an, you're just left with do.


I thought don means to your as in Cailín is ainm dom Colleen is the name to myself or Colleen is my name. I'm confused. Also when I use A for her possessive, that comes back as correct but when I use A for their plural possessive, the program tells me I'm wrong. H u h?


Colleen is ainm dom - "Colleen is my name"
Colleen is ainm duit - "Colleen is your name"
Colm is ainm dó - "Colm is his name"
Colleen is ainm di - "Colleen is her name"

You can translate it as "Colleen is a name to/for me" if you like, but it'll sound like a bad translation, because that not what you say in English.

don is do+an


To tell the difference between a meaning "his", "her", or "their" you modify the noun, as outlined in the Tips & Notes for the Possessive skill

a phortán - "his crab"
a portán - "her crab"
a bportán - "their crab"

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