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"Are you wanting an orange?"

Translation:A bheil thu ag iarraidh orainsear?

January 23, 2020

8 Comments


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

why not an t- before orainsear as it says an in english?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesley335616

I think that an t- would make it the orange.


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

Yes. An means 'the'. Nothing to do with English an.

It changes to an t- before a vowel but only when lenition would not be even considered.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gizmos69

How do you know when lenition shouldn't be considered? Thank you for explaining an-t, I asked this on another thread and your answer is much easier to understand!


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

Yes, it is a strange term I use. I am trying to find a way to clarify something that causes a lot of mistakes and confusion. Most books give complicated rules about masculine nouns and feminine nouns and different cases, but it is quite simple. Consider the Gaelic for 'the church'. Is it

an t-eaglais, or
an eaglais ?

The problem is you can't go by the mutation because words beginning with e don't show mutations at all.

But eaglais is a feminine noun. So the article would lenite if it could. So there there is no t-.

Consider, on the other hand, 'the orange'. Is it

an t-orainsear, or
an orainsear ?

Again, we cannot go by the muatation as o does not show mutation, but as it is a masculine noun, we know the article would not lenite even if it could. So we insert the t-.

I personally think this is the easiest and most reliable rule on the subject. In particular, there are some versions of the rule that seem OK to begin with, but then fail when you start learning different cases later on. My rule never fails, and gives much less 'extra learning' than other versions.

There is a historical reason for this as the thing that caused the lenition in the first place is the thing that blocked the t-, but there is no need to go into the history.

I hope you find this helpful as I am sure some people will not like it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jruhl01

What is the difference between "orains" and "orainsear"? I was marked incorrect for using "orains"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tj4234

One's a colour, the other a fruit

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