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  5. "Troideann sé leis an bhfear …

"Troideann leis an bhfear ach cén fáth?"

Translation:He fights with the man but why?

August 27, 2014



because the man is Pól


Could someone tell me why it is somethings "le ..." and sometimes "leis ..." pelase?

Here "with the man = leis an bhfear", but a few sentences ago we had "with my father = le m'athair", and I'm not sure why.

"leis an bhfear" certainly sounds more correct than simple "le", but neither of "le m'athair" or "leis m'athair" sound any more correct than the other.


"Le + an" turns into "leis an", because the former wasn't irregular enough.


Possibly because most languages avoid consecutive vowel sounds "le an" is akward to vocalise distinctly.


Ah, I see. Thank you!


This doesn't happen if you have na (with a plural) then, right?


It's true for both singular and plural: leis na fir = with the men.

Don't be fooled by "lena" which replaces "le a (with her/his)"!


Yes! Very simply, it's because two vowels are meeting here. "Le an bhfear" is a little awkward to say. "Leis an bhfear" rolls off the tongue a lot easier, right?


Softer on the tongue, harder on the brain. :(


Just like good whiskey.


So it doesn't actually change the grammar -- just pronunciation, right?

  • 1440

The leis in leis an bhfear is not a prepositional pronoun, it's just a preposition (meaning "with").

The leis in troideann sé leis. (with no following definite noun) is a prepositional pronoun (meaning "with him").

Compare "he fights with her" - troideann sé léi, "he fights with the girl" - troideann sé leis an gcailín.

Just to show that English isn't immune to this kind of confusion, compare
"he fights with him" - "he fights with his brother"
"he fights with her" - "he fights with her brother"

note how English uses "him" for the pronoun and "his" for the possessive adjective, but uses the same word "her" for both the pronoun and the possessive adjective.


But that does not explain why "le na" goes to "leis an", does it.


Am i the only one that finds it hilarious that this conversation took place in a sentence about fighting? XD


Could this mean they are fighting side by side as well as each other?


Like English, it could be either “alongside” or “against”.


After reading all the arguments back and forth about this, it brings to mind a funny moment talking with my long-ago organic chemistry professor. Students would fight with him over the name of some gigantic branched molecule. They would insist on being right. He said, it is your job to observe the universe as it is. Stop trying to change it.


Why is it 'an bhfear' in this case instead of 'an fear'? Is it because of 'leis'? Also, I've seen 'an fhear' before, too.


Yes. It's because of leis. And, yes, you'll see leis an fhear. That's Ulster Irish.


Preposition + singular article causes eclipsis, except in Ulster Irish, as galaxyrocker points out.


Notwithstanding some of the previous comments I believe "He fights with the man but why?" should be acceptable. My understanding and reason for using Duolingo (Irish) app is to learn basic Irish rather than English grammar/meanings.


Me watching any superhero movie ever


Ok, I got that this was "He fights with the man but why", but I figured that "Why does he fight with the man" would be acceptable (as it makes more sense as an English translation). This is apparently wrong though?


Both sentences do not mean same .


What is the difference between the two?


"He fights with the man, but why" is a statement that they're fighting, and then asking why. "Why does he fight with the man" is a simple question. Both make perfect sense in English.

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