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  5. "The man and the woman."

"The man and the woman."

Translation:An fear agus an bhean.

September 25, 2017

137 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shtefanie

Why is "the woman" spelled 'bhean' instead of 'bean' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

bean is a feminine noun, and feminine nouns are lenited after the singular definite article an.

bean - an bhean
cluas - an chluas
foireann - an fhoireann
gallúnach - an ghallúnach
muc - an mhuc
pictiúrlann - an phictiúrlann


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shtefanie

Only feminine nouns? Also,Thank you for your response


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

In that specific case (nouns in the nominative case after the singular definite article), then only feminine nouns are lenited. In the genitive, only masculine nouns are lenited after an. In other other grammatical circumstances, such as after the possessive pronouns, masculine and feminine nouns are treated the same way.

(I don't want to make it sound scarier than it is - lenition has a lot of different functions, and this is just one of the most basic ways, once you get used to it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/little_sharr

Thank you, this is helpful. Though I fear the lenitive rules get even more crazy and complex than this (and I thought the German dative was bad -- actually, I still think that). Truly, I'm terrified... but it's such a beautiful language, so it'll be worth it in the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanieRoss

OK, what's the nominative case and what's the genitive case? Where do they list what nouns are feminine or masculine (besides fear and bean)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

The nominative case is the standard form of the noun - "man" - fear, "woman" - bean.

The genitive in English is usually indicated with apostrophe s, or "of" - "a man's hat" - hata fir, and the film title "Scent of a Woman" would be Cumhrán Mná, where fir and mná are the genitive forms of fear and bean.

Any good dictionary will list the gender of an Irish noun:
http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/fear
https://www.focloir.ie/ga/dictionary/ei/woman


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlene191745

Ikr, grammatical terms are like talking to someone from outer space. Any scientific or mathematical term makes more sense than grammatical ones.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skrats

Does it change how the word is pronounced?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelandSun

Thank you, SatharnPHL, for the link to another exercise for its audio.

I hope members of the course staff are working to fill-in the missing audios in some of these exercises. This one, for instance, is the students' first exposure to "bhean", in which English speakers could not have guessed "bh" sounded like "v", so it is kind of critical to hear it pronounced properly.

I am restarting the Irish course today. I gave up the first time around exactly because too many exercises had no audio, and the pronunciation rules are rather complicated for students to be left on their own. I hope I will stick to the course longer this time around.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Yes, it does. You can hear bhean pronounced in other exercises, like https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6470395


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shtefanie

Thank you so much. This helped me a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kingbluetrucker

How does one determine when the nominative and the genitive should or is being used? Ive never been good at grammar or punctuation in school so this is probably more difficult for me to grasp then most people on their own


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

The nominative is the "default" case - "I have a book", "the cow is brown", etc.

In English, the genitive is usually indicated by "apostrophe s" or in some cases "of".

"The President of Ireland"/"Ireland's President" - Uachtarán na hÉireann (Éireann is the genitive of Éire).
"A man's hat" - hata fir - (fir is the genitive of fear).
"A can of beer" - canna beorach (beorach is the genitive of beoir).

There are a number of other constructions that trigger the genitive in Irish, that don't seem to involved "apostrophe s" or "of" at first blush, such as after the present progressive - "drinking beer" - ag ól beorach, but you will begin to recognize these situations with practice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

I'll keep the explanation entirely in English to avoid getting too complicated. Although English does not decline its nouns (anymore) as richly as other languages do. We have vestiges of this in our personal pronouns.

The nominative is for the subject or subject complement. It's usually unmarked in most languages. The English pronouns I/he/she/we/they are all strictly nominative. When you answer the phone and someone asks for Kingbluetrucker, you reply "This is he". "To be" is a stative verb (verb of state rather than verb of action) and thus takes a subject complement (not an object), which is in the nominative.

The genitive is largely what we call the possessive in English (although there is more to the genitive than just the possessive): my book; the head of the bed; the dawn of a new day; his lessons; etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

No - nouns don't have "first person" and "second person" formulations. Verbs have "first person", "second person" and "third person" forms.

The form of the genitive in Irish varies - for some nouns it the same as the nominative singular for that noun. For other nouns it's the same as the nominative plural for that noun. And for some nouns it's not like either the nominative singular or plural.

That's "form" - what the genitive looks like. You asked about "function" - when the genitive is or should be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kingbluetrucker

Okay I think I understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kingbluetrucker

So in a sense the nominative would be the first person singular formulation and the genetive form would be second or third person and sometimes plural formation? Would that be a fair assumption


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eamaloiv

Thank you!! Would help if this was explained in the course, I was really confused why the spelling/pronunciation varied


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris989235

While this is great to know. It should not be giving sentences like this until that is actually taught.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

This is how it's taught!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kimberly95272

OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! All caps because I'm just that thankful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyraboothe

But isn't bean feminine anyway?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

A noun representing a female is not necessarily a feminine noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hufur

But what about "cailin"? Isn't it a feminine noun too?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

No, cailín is a masculine noun.

Words ending in the diminutive -ín are masculine.

(there are some feminine words that end in -ín, but those words aren't derived by using -in as a diminutive).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hufur

Thank you :) I think it will help in the future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babumiek7

That's quite funny how in some languages "a girl" is not a feminine noun. Like here and in German. Wonder why tho?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Grammatical gender has very little if anything to do with biological sex. It's just a category label for noun classes. There are even languages out there that use categories other than "masculine/feminine(/neuter)". Proto-Indo-European started out with "animate/inanimate", which eventually (but generally speaking not inevitably) morphed into "masculine/feminine/neuter" in most of its daughter languages.

In the case of German, it's because "Mädchen" ends with the diminutive "-chen" which makes the grammatical gender "neuter" regardless of the grammatical gender of the base word. According to SatharnPHL, something similar is going on here in Irish, where "cailín" has a diminutive suffix giving it a grammatically masculine gender.

Dutch used to have "masculine/feminine/neuter", but "masculine" and "feminine" got collapsed into "common". Grammatical gender in Dutch is usually discussed as "het" words and "de" words. In Dutch, all plurals are "de" regardless of whether they're "de" or "het" in the singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Josh84678

So if all feminine nouns has an h then why does "bean" even exists


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

All feminine nouns don't "have an h". That "h" is called a séimhiú, and it's a mutation that only occurs in certain circumstances, and when those circumstances don't apply, there is no séimhiú.

Feminine nouns are lenited after the singular article definite "an". If you want to say "the woman" it is an bhean, if you want to say "a woman", it is just bean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TysonL.Tay

You can read the grammar points on this application, or at least the web version


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GigiArtyGa

Wth is bhean they didnt even teach us this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

This is how they are teaching it to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeastlyFrank03

woman needs a "h" because "an" is present before the word "bean"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetCassi1

How am I supposed to know there should be an H in it when I never saw that before??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

There has to be a first time for everything. Duolingo has now shown you that there should be a séimhiú there. With more practice, and further exercises, you'll encounter other grammatical circumstances that require a séimhiú.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CampNowhere

No one has yet explained how the 'h' changes the pronunciation. I don't think I've run across the audio of this yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

You can hear bhean pronounced in a number of other exercises:
Cloisim an bhean - "I hear the woman"
Freagraím an bhean - "I answer the woman"
An bhean liath - "The gray woman"
Tá an bhean bródúil astu - "The woman is proud of them"

You can get a general introduction to the basic sounds in Irish, and the way they change, in Karen Reshkin's video on YouTube - Sounds and Spelling of Irish / Fuaimniú & Litriú na Gaeilge


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

h written after a consonant indicates that the consonant has undergone lenition, which is the softening of a sound. If you look at the IPA chart http://www.ipachart.com/ you'll notice that it's organized on the Y-axis according to manner of articulation from "harder" to "softer" -- that is, from most amount of air blocked to least (at which point, vowels, which involve no air blockage at all, get their own listing). It's the opposite of fortition, which is the strengthening of a sound.

With Irish lenition sometimes the place of articulation also changes.

  • /b/ becomes /v/
  • /p/ becomes /f/
  • /m/ becomes /w/
  • /k/ becomes /x/ (similar to German Bach or Scottish loch)

but

  • /t/ and /s/ become /h/
  • /d/ becomes /ɣ/ (similar to the French r or Arabic g)
  • /f/ goes away altogether

I've seen it described as aspiration, but that's not the same thing at all. Aspiration is simply pronouncing a sound more breathily, like the different way we say p in "pit" and "spit".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stevenson39344

How do you know when to use...bean or bhean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

The Irish for "woman" is bean. You lenite bean when the circumstances call for lenition (such as after the singular definite article in the nominative case Tá an bhean ag teacht), and you eclipse bean when the circumstances call for eclipsis (such as after certain simple preposition plus the singular definite article - Tá hata ag an mbean).

The most common circumstances that cause lenition are outlined in the Tips & Notes for the Lenition skill. The most common circumstances that cause eclipsis are outlined in the Tips & Notes for the Eclipsis skill.

The key point here is that "when do I use bean and when do I use bhean?" is the wrong question. The question that you need to work on is "Is there anything happening in this sentence that will cause me to lenite or eclipse bean?". It is just a slight change of focus, but it will pay off in the long run.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanieRoss

Thank you SatharnPHL. There was no reply button under your reply so I was unable to reply to your answer directly. I've kept the dictionary link. I can't wait until I understand what you are saying. I'm one month in but determined to know something before we land in Dublin this September. Thank you again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

You're unlikely to get much of an opportunity to speak Irish in Dublin, unless you go out of your way to find such an opportunity (keep an eye on the twitter feed for Pop Up Gaeltachts, for example), though you will find plenty of bi-lingual signage and displays like this:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanieRoss

Thanks for the info. We'll also be taking the train for a week south from Dublin and around and then up for a few days in Galway. I'll run into some Irish somewhere. It doesn't matter though, I'm just having fun with this language. Go raibh maith agat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColletteWh

This ^^^ Unless you're way out west or south west Irish Gaelic is almost completely unspoken. They keep the signs bi though, they don't want you to think the Irish Culture has been completely eradicated under the EU.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Completely eradicated under the EU? The main impact the EU has had on the state of the language has been to provide a significant number of well paid jobs for Irish speakers working as translators! Irish is one of the official languages of the EU.

The pattern of ongoing decline of the language in the Gaeltachts was established long before the EU existed. Unless you are arguing that the Irish language would be stronger if Ireland had remained one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, then the EU isn't the problem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/martha112759

a 30mn bus ride from dublin to navan in co.meath then a quick cab to rathcairn which is just outside the town -its a gaeltacht area so they only speak irish ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

"only speak Irish" is not just optimistic, it's a bit unrealistic.

You can speak Irish in Dublin (there are more fluent Irish speakers in Dublin than in any of the Gaeltachts) but you have to seek it out. Most of the public libraries have a ciorcal comhrá at least once a week, but you need to check in advance, and there's a pop-up Gaeltacht on the last Thursday of every month, and you can drop into CnaG on Harcourt St any day of the week.

Edit:
Here are the population details for the Rathcairn Gaeltacht from the 2011 Census. Only about a third of the population speak Irish daily outside of school.
Meath Gaeltacht Areas
Both sexes
All ages
All Irish speakers 1,054
Speaks Irish daily within the education system only 275
Speaks Irish daily within and outside the education system 100
Speaks Irish daily outside the education system 221
Speaks Irish weekly outside the education system 90
Speaks Irish less often outside the education system 258
Never speaks Irish outside the education system 102


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roserific

Since they never introduced the difference between 'bhean' and 'bean', (I know the difference now), they should've either introduced it or let this slide with an explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/savagecheetah

Why I cannot say the same in the other way around? an bhean agus an fear, etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

You can say an eilifint agus an banana if you like. But, just like an bhean agus and fear, that isn't a translation of sentence that you were asked to translate - "the man and the woman".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MightyMebster

why does bean get a 'h'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Please read the previous comments, where this question has been asked and answered a number of times already.

Like many other European languages, nouns in Irish are gendered. Feminine nouns are lenited after the singular definite article an.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peggy155298

I am confused when to use bean or blean


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Please read the comments before posting. Your question is answered right at the top of the page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arh0diana

This one keeps tripping me up! Doesn't seem helpful to expect us to pick up on lentition before introducing us to lentition to begin with


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryhorgan

So why does THIS one have an h in bhean vut usually its just been bean up until now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

It's explained at the top of this page: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24594075


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philpitt

Are we saying that 'woman' is spelt 'bhean' in the accusative or just pronounced that way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

There is no "accusative" in this exercise, but even if there was, Irish doesn't have a distinct accusative form - for the most part, the accusative is the same as the nominative.

Feminine nouns like bean are lenited after the singular definite article an in the nominative case.

Differences in spelling and differences in pronunciation always go hand in hand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandalOulton

"feminine nouns are lenited after the singular definite article an."

I feel like I missed the memo on what the heck "lenited" means.... lol. Is there a post on this that maybe I missed while I was doing this on the app?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmeraldPhoenix1

Neither of those tips can be seen until a person has gone far enough into the course to do the exercises associated with them. Those still on "Intro" can't see those.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saturnaaaaaa

what's the difference between an and na?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

"an" is singular and "na" is plural.

There's more to it than that, but that's all you need to be concerned with right now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessicaToo18

Why is women spelled like this bhean instead of bean


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Please read the existing comments where this question has been repeatedly asked, and answered.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hormahis

Shouldn't the definite article be placed only before the second noun? Grammar book says you don't have to double article in a sequence of nouns...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

When you have two nouns where one is an attribute of the other, like Tír na nÓg or muintir na hÉireann or lár na cathrach, the definite article between the nouns governs the whole phrase- you don't put a definite article before this type of construction.

But here you have two definite nouns separated by a conjunction, so each noun needs its own definite article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cailean_Jolley

Are "bh", "mh", and "dh" pronounced the same as in Scottish Gaelic? (f, v, g)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

No. Apart from differences between the dialects, the sound of these consonant clusters can also change depending on the vowels around them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryPeterM3

What's the difference between bean and pbean or whatever the first consonant is. Does it mean wife?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

bean is the Irish for "woman". It's a feminine noun, so it is lenited after the singular definite article - an bhean - "the woman". When the grammar requires eclipsis, it will be mbean.

bean chéile is the Irish for "wife", but it is often shortened to just bean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jade771484

Can't you also use mná for woman


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

mná is the plural of bean.

An fear agus an bhean - "the man and the woman"
Na fir agus na mná - "the men and the women"

(mná is also the genitive of bean, but that would make it "woman's" in some cases, and "woman" as an adjective in others - hata mná - "a woman's hat", tiomânaí mná - "a woman driver", baintreach mná - "a widow").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i.smell.pennies

Bhean? I'm sorry I know I wasn't taught this but i got this answer wrong when I typed it. I guess I am just going to have to use the word bank from now on...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Please read the comments before posting a question. This has been asked and answered many times already on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

It has been explained many times already in this discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Georgia658509

just to clarify, bean becomes bhean after 'an'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Yes.

As the course progresses, you will learn more nuance than that, but for now, yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naila670701

how is 'bhean' pronounced?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JadeMacfar

bhean without the séimhiú so bean is pronounced like ban and then with the séimhiú is like van


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bernaren1

Ní gá go mbeadh fadhb leis an focallil is a úsáid in áut agus ach ni ghlacdh leis


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dominic672698

When do i use "bhean" vs when i use "bean"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Please read the other comments on this page. Your question has been asked and answered a few times already.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bradlee99670

I just put the right thing but it said i got it wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Unless you have a screenshot showing otherwise, the most likely explanation is that you didn't put the right thing - you had a typo somewhere in your answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caitlin206119

does anyone have a good way to understand lenition, like when and how it occurs and what it means?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargaretMc368925

why is it bhean not bean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Just read the other comments, where that question has already been asked and answered.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dani423321

When woman is bean and when is bhean? (It would be easier if they'd have this course in spanish too)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Your question has been asked and answered on this page a few times already. Please read the comments before posting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalarAsdourian0

Im so confused over the two spellings of the word bean. If i spell it bhean, it says im wrong, but then in this one it said to use the h. Are they interchangeably spellings?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

They're not interchangeable any more than "a" and "an" in English are interchangeable. Please read the top comment and response on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EithneOMah2

when is the bh uses for bhean


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

Seriously? I know that there are a lot of comments on this thread, but that's because people keep asking the same question, and not reading the existing posts that answer that question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViceRH

Why is "an" included this time ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

Because that's the word for "the".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrashid18

how do you tell the difference between masculine and feminine nouns?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

When starting out, just rote memorization. There are rules, but it's complicated and as with any natural language, there will be exceptions and irregularities.

https://www.bitesize.irish/blog/irish-gender/

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Irish/Nouns

http://www.bbc.co.uk/irish/video_audio/transcript/581/english/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RosiefromPeru

haha i said an bhean agus an fear and they marked it wrong. still same meaning tho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

No. Please read the other comments that explain the difference between "bean" and "bhean".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RosiefromPeru

haha u misunderstood i just mixed up the order haha like what im saying is 'an fear agus an bhean' is the same 'as an bhean agus an fear'. hopefully id know after doing HL irish in Junior Cert. baininscneach agus firinscneach and all that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

"Just" mixed up the order, leading Duolingo to the conclusion that you think "bean" means "man" and "fear" means "woman".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aine191787

go raibh maith agat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueFace164514

I keep forgetting to woman bhean at the end of the sentence instead of bean in the middle or the front.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

That's not how it works. It has nothing to do with where it is in the sentence and everything to do with the article. Please read the top comments on this page for the explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustusRobi3

I wrote, "an fear agus an bean". That should be forgiven as a 'typo'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2224

No, because "bean" vs "bhean" is an important grammar point you need to learn in this section.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/total_fanboy

BUT WOMAN IS BEAN!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1381

"(a) woman" is bean, but "the woman" is an bhean.

Irish, like many other languages, is gendered. Nouns are either masculine or feminine, and feminine nouns (like bean) are lenited ("h" is added to the initial letter) after the singular definite article.

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