"Are you wanting an orange?"
Translation:A bheil thu ag iarraidh orainsear?
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.