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  5. "Dé hAoine agus Dé Sathairn."

" hAoine agus Sathairn."

Translation:Friday and Saturday.

April 19, 2016



Is there a way to say the days of the week without the word "on" in front of them?


doesn’t mean “on”, but since a form like Dé hAoine is only used adverbially, it could be translated as either “on Friday” or “Friday” in an English adverbial situation, e.g. Rachaidh mé Dé hAoine (“I‘ll go (on) Friday”). If a weekday name is used in a non-adverbial way, then isn’t necessary (but an article could be), e.g. Inniu an Aoine agus amárach an Satharn (“Today is Friday and tomorrow is Saturday”).


If you wanted to say "I'll go on a Friday" could you say "Rachaidh me Aoine"


All of the EID, the FGB, and the NEID use the definite article in translating “on a Friday”:

Christmas falls on a Friday this year, ar an Aoine a bheas lá Nollag i mbliana.

Thit sé ar an Aoine, it fell on a Friday.

everyone slacks off on a Friday tógann gach aon duine breá bog ar an Aoine é, ligimid uile na maidí le sruth ar an Aoine


There is a subtle different between "I'll go on a Friday" and "Christmas falls on a Friday" - Christmas only falls on a single, specific Friday, so there is some logic to using the definite article. Similarly, "everyone slacks off on a Friday" usually means "everyone slacks off on Fridays", which is expressed by ar an Aoine.

This all reminds me of the light-hearted response to the question "What did he die of?" - "He died of a Tuesday", which I always assumed was an odd quirk of Hiberno-English, but apparently not.


Irish uses an article with certain abstract nouns more often than English does — days of the week comprise one set of those abstract nouns. Do you see a significant difference between “I’ll go on a Friday” and the “it fell on a Friday” example above from the FGB ? Since “on a Friday” is an adverbial phrase, it shouldn’t be surprising that ar an Aoine is used to express that meaning.

My understanding is that the “of a «weekday»” / “of an evening” phrase is still part of UK English also — it might be a surviving form of the Old English genitive of time. It’s most commonly heard over here in pre-WWII films, in the heyday of the “transatlantic” accent.


Do you see a significant difference between “I’ll go on a Friday” and the “it fell on a Friday” example above

I initially interpreted "I'll go on a Friday" as "I'll go one of these Fridays", meaning some random Friday, whereas on a second reading it could mean I'll go on Friday rather than Tuesday. The use of a definite article makes more sense in that context.

There are a couple of interesting examples on potafocal showing the use of Satharn without a definite article in Irish:

agus ar chorr-Shatharn chomh maith - "and on the occasional Saturday as well"
Samhlaígí drochoíche Shathairn - "Imagine a bad Saturday night"
tráthnóna Sathairn ghruama le brádán báistí ag titim - "a dreary Saturday evening with showers of rain falling"


I am confused, is Sathairn a plural or singular form? I thought it should be Satharn, isn't it? If Sathairn is singular, then how about Aoine and Aointe?


is a "substantive", functioning as a noun, so Sathairn is the genitive form of Satharn.

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