https://www.duolingo.com/profile/russano22

Confused by "Is maith leis na buachaillí" conjunction.

In the conjunction tasks, the phrase "Is maith leis na buachaillí" translates to "He likes the boys".

The phrase "Is maith leis na buachaillí é" translates to "The boys like it".

Why isn't the second example, "Is maith leo na buachaillí é", or even "Is maith na buachaillí é"? We are talking about a group of people who like a thing, rather than a single boy. It seems strange that the presence or absence of "é" can have such a dramatic effect on the subject of the statement.

Any chance someone could give a grammatical explanation? Or even just a simple justification so I can sleep at night?

GRMA

February 7, 2019

5 Comments


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

leis is playing two slightly different roles in the two sentences:
Is maith leis na buachaillí - in this case, leis is the prepositional pronoun that is the contraction of le and , so it means "with him". If you tried to do a word-for-word translation, you'd get something like, "is good with him, the boys"
Is maith leis na buachaillí é - in this case, leis is just the word le but in the form it takes when it appears in front of a definite article. So leis an or leis na means "with the". A word-for-word translation would be something like, "is good with the boys, it" or "is good with the boys, him" (because é can mean either "it" or "him").

February 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/russano22

Thanks for the reply! That helps quite a bit. It's going to take a while to learn to distinguish properly between those.

Thanks again!

February 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1165

The noun/pronoun at the end of this type of sentence is the thing that is being liked.

In the case of is maith leis na buachaillí, the thing being liked is na buachaillí, which leaves is maith leis to express who is doing the liking - "he likes".

In the case of Is maith leis na buachaillí é, the thing that is liked is é - "it". That leave Is maith leis na buachaillí - "the boys like".

As davidcwalls points out, there are two different words leis. One is the prepositional pronoun leis, derived from le+sé, basically meaning "with him", and the other leis occurs when le comes before a definite article (an or na) so le + an -> leis an and le + na -> leis na.

Is maith (leis na buachaillí) é and Is maith (leis) na buachaillí

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/russano22

Again, this helps quite a bit!

It's useful to know that leis can be constructed in two different ways "le + sé" and "le + an/na". It makes sense when it is explained, but threw me in the examples. As I said, I think it will take a while for the brain to adjust so that I can spot these little differences.

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1165

I've edited my earlier response to clarify that le + an gives rise to leis an, not just leis. The same is true for le + na, which becomes leis na.

February 8, 2019
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