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  5. "An bhean mhaith."

"An bhean mhaith."

Translation:The good woman.

August 26, 2014



Is there supposed to be an "h" here in bean?


Yes, I believe so. "bean" gets a séimhiú when the definite article "an" is used, such that "bean -> an bhean".


Go raibh maith agat! That answers my question perfectly. :)

[deactivated user]

    yes, it is an aspiration, an aspiration is when there is a h after the second or third letter in certain words that makes it have a softer sound.


    Would be nice to have audio with this sentence. Even clicking the audio button next to the phrase in the Discussion window doesn't trigger it.


    I believe it's pronounced something like, "[ahn vahn mah]" but I'm not a hundred percent on that. Still a beginner, you know :)


    This pronunciation works just fine. In my own dialect I'd say "[un]" for an. Northern dialects might say "[my]" (as in "my book") for maith.


    I'm hoping we'll get that sooner or later but in the meantime .. I've just learned that a broad mh is pronounced w and the th is pronounced h and the slender bh is v ..

    so phonetically it might sound like

    an van whah

    I'm a rank beginner so don't quote me on that.


    My mix of Dublin/Donegal dialect has always led me to pronounce maith as "my" and the added h just softens the m a little


    "Mhaith" sounds like "why"


    Thanks everyone, I learned much from this discussion


    Is there a specialized meaning to this? I mean to say, 'the good woman' and 'how is that woman? Oh, she's doing well' are two very different things in English and I'm not sure how much the distinction is felt in Irish or if there's another distinction.


    "Good" here is used as a qualitative adjective specifying which woman (the good one). "The woman is good/well," on the other hand, is specifying the condition of the woman (good-quality/well-condition) in predicative adjective/copula. I'd want to say (in probably awful beginner's grammar) "Tá an bean go maith" ("the woman is good") or something along those lines would convey that the woman is doing well. (Note though that I'm still new at Irish and could be totally wrong; Irish is fairly different from Latin and Japanese grammar...)


    Exactly as you said: This is saying she's a good woman -> it's an attributive adjective. To say "The woman is good", as in she is doing well, you would use Tá an bhean go maith (You were close - gotta have that feminine noun lenition)


    Can maith not mean nice as well? The nice woman?


    There are better words for nice, like deas. I think here it really means good, as in morally good.

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