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  5. "She is opening her books."

"She is opening her books."

Translation:Tá sí ag oscailt a leabhar.

August 28, 2014



You have to use the genitive case after the ag+verbal noun construction.


So why isn't leabhar in the genitive here? Is it because of following a possessive pronoun?


"Leabhar" is the genitive plural, so it is in the genitive case.


Ah thanks! Missed that it was books rather than book...


Why is this incorrect? "Tá sí ag oscailt a cuid leabhar"


I'm pretty sure 'cuid' is incorrect in this case, basically from the idea that if you are opening them, then they are countable and definite. 'Ag tabhairt a chuid leabhar' would make sense if the speaker didn't know how many books were being taken (e.g. moving house rather than going to school). My (3rd level) Irish teacher mentioned 'leabhar' as an example where you didn't need 'cuid' (in contrast to 'mo chuid gruaige' or 'mo chuid airgid').


It seems to me that when it comes to cuid, mo chuid gruaige and mo chuid airgid are about the only things that there is widespread agreement about :-)


It's fine. It's not used in all parts of Ireland, but there's nothing wrong with that. Look up the phrases mo/do/a cuid leabhar, a cuid leabhar, a/ár/bhur gcuid leabhat in gaois.ie and see how many published writers agree with you.


How do you say 'she is opening her book'?


Tá sí ag oscailt a leabhair.


Isn't "ag oscailt a cuid leabhar" in the genitive case? I'm guessing the bit duolingo doesn't like is the "cuid", but I'm not sure why...


ag verbal-noun usually causes the following noun to be in the genitive case - ag oscailt a leabhar - "opening books", where leabhar is the genitive plural. You would also get ag oscailt a coda - "opening her share".

a cuid also causes the following noun to be in the genitive case - a cuid leabhar - "her books".

But when you have two genitive nouns one after the other, the first one doesn't take the genitive form, instead staying in the nominative form but lenited, so you would have ag oscailt a chuid leabhar.

From GnaG

The form of the genitive is not used when two nouns in the genitive directly follow one another, to avoid a double genitive.
Instead the first is lenited in the nominative and only the second is in the genitive. This is the so-called "functional genitive", the first noun is "functional" in genitive relation, but keeps the nominative form and is lenited.


It should be "ag oscailt a cuid leabhar". Similarly, it would be "ag oscailt a chuid leabhar" and "ag oscailt a gcuid leabhar" for "his books" and "their books", respectively.

Although the functional genitive retains the nominative form, it is otherwise treated as a genitive, including for the purposes of initial mutation. It is not unconditionally lenited as GnaG appears to suggest.

I think the subject is covered more clearly, and with better examples, in the Christian Brothers' grammar (§§ 9.24-9.36). There are also a couple of directly relevant examples in the FGB: "Tá an bhó ag doirteadh a cuid bainne"; and "Ag sleamhnú a cuid gruaige".


Excellent, thorough explanation. GRMA!

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