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  5. "Cá bhfuil cat na leabharlain…

" bhfuil cat na leabharlainne inniu?"

Translation:Where is the library's cat today?

August 28, 2014



Can I just say, I've been sort of okay rolling with all the weirdness up until now...this genitive case is terrifying.


Someone must have checked her out. She's due back any day.


So comparing this to the previous sentence, does the (plural) definite article "na" make the difference between "cat na leabharlainne = the library's cat" vs. "cat leabharlainne = a library cat" (whatever a 'library cat' is?!) ?

That could explain why "leabhar leabharlainne = a library book" as opposed to "a library's book".

Of course it would then beg the question of why "hata fir = a man's hat" as opposed to "a man hat" (again, ignoring whatever that is for now!) ?

EDIT; I just thought of a 'man bag' which is a thing in English, so certainly such constructions can make sense in English at least some of the time.


"leabhar leabharlainne" means both "a library book" and "a library's book". If it doesn't accept one of these translations, then it should be reported.


How would you know the answer was not 'leabharlann', the genitive plural, which was the other option which I assume was wrong? What if the cat belongs to several libraries at the same time?


The library's cat = one cat, one library The libraries' cat = one cat, several libraries


If it were a dropdown menu question, the answer is you don't. Some of these type questions are impossible, because you don't have a translation to 'aim' for—and both options are grammatically correct. It is worth reporting them.


It's really annoying when these come up, honestly. I've seen it twice just in my strengthening of genitives.


I just had the same issue. I happened to pick the one that it was looking for (by luck), but came to the comments as both "leabharlann" and "leabharlainne" would have fit in the sentence they gave. I reported it.


why isn't it ca bhfuil an cat ? I thought it was a library's cat not the library's cat


A definite genitive noun phrase only has one article — between the governing noun and the genitive noun.


Speaking as librarian, "cat na leabharlainne" is a real thing:


Sadly, the library I work at has no cat.


I also wonder as did the last write, why isn't it "an leabharlainne" rather than "na leabharlainne".


An becomes na when it governs a feminine genitive singular noun.


That was not the last word


Why is 'na'- the plural for 'an' (the) used for a single building: "na leabharlainne."?


Look above at scilling's reply to teeling2. If a noun is feminine, then in the genitive form you have "na" instead of "an". This info may be too basic for you but genitive is the form indicating belonging. So in English we add words, like we say "of the library", or we add an apostrophe s, "the library's", but in Irish they indicate it by changing the article to "na" (if the noun is feminine). I am very much a beginner here and I keep forgetting about this, and also having a hard time memorizing masculine vs. feminine nouns!


Learning Irish makes me realize how poor my knowledge of the English language is. I can also understand why so many of Ireland’s Irish students dislike learning it. Back to the books for me! GRMA for the information.


The genitive is indicated by using the genitive case of the noun - leabharlainne in thís case. If the noun is singular and feminine and definite, then the definite article is na, but only a small minority of genitive nouns are singular, feminine and definite.

The genitive form of a noun isn't always obvious - it can take some practice to get used to the patterns.


SatharnPHL I'm still working on grasping this; thanks for the info! Brigid, yes there is a lot I still don't understand about my own language. It is interesting though how learning another language can help you understand your own better. Learning Latin in college with all the noun and verb endings really helped me understand the different grammatic roles of words and how this can be done differently in different languages. Irish is so unique though so it's really a challenge.


Finally a sentence I can use irl. Lol

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