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  5. "Cabhraíonn na cailíní leis a…

"Cabhraíonn na cailíní leis an leabhar."

Translation:The girls help with the book.

August 27, 2014



Why is "Cabhraímid leis na buachaillí" "We help the boys", but "Cahbraíonn na cailíní leis an leabhar" "The girls help with the book?" One commenter said not to translate le (and derived forms, I assume) as "with" in this context.


See my reply to biauwaz elsewhere in this discussion.


*your reply to aadambialas (?)


What is the function of 'le' in collocation with 'cabraigh'? On breis.focloir.com they say it introduces the indirect object, for instance Chabhraíonn sibh leim You helped me. And suddenly here we use leis in the same way as in english. How could we say then The girls are helping the man with the book? ''Cabhraíonn na cailíní leis an bhfear leis an leabhar and we have to figure out which object is direct and which one is indirect out of context?


The context is that cabhraigh le is a phrasal verb; one doesn’t “help somebody” in Irish, one “helps with somebody”. Thus, with Cabhraíonn na cailíní leis an bhfear leis an leabhar, the fear is a somebody and the leabhar isn’t, so that’s how the English translation “The girls help the man with the book” can be unambiguously determined; there’s no chance of translating it as “The girls help the book with the man” because cabhraigh le is only used in reference to living creatures (or, I suppose, with undead creatures in certain contexts).


I think it is "cabhraíonn tú le (somebody)" and not (something). "Le (something)" may introduce an adverbial locution.


why is this "leis" and not "le"? If its because "leabhar" is masc. then when would one use "le" instead of "leis" or "léi"?


"le" becomes "leis" before the definite article "an", this is unrelated to the noun's gender.


Tuigim. Go raibh maith agat!


Ahh that's helpful. So Rithim le mo chat would be correct, given that le is not followed by an there?


Just out of curiosity, I frequently hear the phrase, "I was out with the girls the other day" or something similar, and they are referring to a group of women that are in their 70's. Does the Irish understand a particular age range for cailin/cailini, are there 70 year old cailini?


I also had these two sentences in succession and I am not sure why "leis" is translated directly in one, but not at all in the other.


Would you say "The girls help the book"?


See my reply to biauwaz above.


*your reply to aadambialas(?)


I got this wrong because I mistranslated it as "help the girls with the book". Speaking of that grossly mistranslated sentence, do imperative sentences exist in Irish?


The root of the verb is the same as singular, imperative form. As far as I understand, it's the form used in most dictionaries. "Help the girls with the book" would be "Cabhraigh lena gcailíní leis an leabhar", unless you're talking to more than one person, when it would be cabhraígí....

Edited for accuracy (below)


To be exact - "Help the girls with the book" would be "Cabhraigh lena gcailini leis an leabhar", because both objects require 'le' in this sentence - check out the explanation scilling did few months ago to my post ;)

  • 1446

Shouldn't that be "leis na cailíní"? "lena gcailíní" means "with their girls"

(edit - no eclipsis after "na")

"le" becomes "leis" before the singular and the plural definite articles.


My bad :P Cabraigh leis na cailíní leis an leabhar is corect I think (however I'm a bit rusty when it comes to Irish now :P)


And... edited. grma


Who are the girls helping? Why isn't it important to mention that?


I heard "Cabhraím na cailíni leis an leabhar."

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