1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Cén fáth go bhfuil an bia ar…

"Cén fáth go bhfuil an bia ar an bpláta?"

Translation:Why is the food on the plate?

August 29, 2014



Could not even hear go bhfuil in that sentence. Had no idea what she was saying there.


In the recording, go bhfuil an is pronounced quickly, as if it were a single word.


It sounded like “ghoul”, but reeeeaaaaallly fast.


The speaker just slurs all that together. I'm guessing that that is probably how things would be pronounced most of the time. With speed in speech.Go bhfuil an bia sounds like one word. Maybe the deeper we go into these exercises, it'll start to be like that a lot. That would seem more natural for sure.


Sounded like "fog will" to me and had to play it a few dozen times


It'll be good practice to encounter this with the answer coming up after trying to listen, then listening again. It'll cost us a heart or two, but sure. I'm quite enjoying this.


The complete word bhfuil is not spoken here. At best I hear "gol" not "go bhfuil". Is "gol" a contraction for "go bhfuil"?


What's the meaning of "go" here?


It means 'that':

What reason that the food is here?


Remembering this one I answered "why is that food on the plate", which is wrong of course: "Why is it, that the food is on the plate?"

[deactivated user]

    Thank you, It is easier to understand why "go" is needed in the sentence if you translate it that way... "What reason is it that the food is on the plate? "


    That makes more sense the the options DL give: to, with or until.


    Thanks for this


    I wrote a bhfuil first time round because a) it's what I heard and b) it's standard in the west and the north. But, it was a listening exercise, so I listened again. And again. And again. OK, Duo, fair cop . She does use the Munster go bhfuil. But you have to admit, dear Owl, that it sounds very ghoulish.


    Can you also say Cén fáth atá an bia ar an bpláta?


    No, but Cén fáth a bhfuil an bia ar an bpláta? could be said. (Using Cén fáth go … ? instead of Cén fáth a … ? is typical of Munster Irish.)


    Why not atá? Aren't atá and a bhfuil interrogative forms of tá? When is it proper to use atá and when a bhfuil?


    Will someone please answer SamuelRias1's question? Because I'm also dying to know!


    It has to do with whether you have a direct relative clause ("The direct relative particle a requires the autonomous verb form") or an indirect relative clause ("The indirect relative particle a/go/ar and nach/nár requires the dependent verb form").

    You can get some more details on this at GnaG:


    The sense is "What is the reason for which the food is on the table?" Hence the need for the indirect relative.


    Or, rather more prosaically:
    "What is the reason that the food is on the table?" where a or go play the same role as "that".


    Anyone else have the issue where you type in Irish and it still tells you you're typing in English?


    Not on this one, but I have on others.


    Why is it bhfuil and not atá? as we have learnt the declarative clause Tá an bia ar an bpláta (I think...)... the tips and notes are really missing important points here... I jusy can't understand how this all works


    This go, the Munster Irish form of the indirect relative particle a, causes the use of a dependent verb form, which is why fuil is used rather than the analogous independent verb form . (Go causes eclipsis, which is why fuil becomes bhfuil.)

    Atá is a combination of the direct relative particle a + , and isn’t used in this sentence because it doesn’t have a direct relative clause.


    Damn never knew that was particular to Munster! Funny how you just learn the dialect your teacher tells you and think it's standard. I love all the unique differences in region


    cant hear any ''go" here


    It's pretty clear to me.


    I agree with you both. I got it wrong completely but when I saw the answer I could make it out next time I heard. Quite a challenge to introduce dependent forms, go from Munster, and a new form of question, all in one go with a quick, fluent rendition before having seen any of that written down. But that's the way it goes, I guess!


    I agree. I actually enjoy this way of learning, and analysing the sound of it after getting it wrong. We're learning a new language, there are going to be subtle things we don't hear first time. It's one of the things I adore about learning languages.


    I think sounds at the end of a word can be combined with the sounds at the beginning of the next, resulting in something that sounds like "ghoul". Though I still dont know why the "an" later on was dropped.


    What does bhfuil mean?


    It's a form of .

    Take the question out of the sentence and you would say tá an bia ar an bpláta.


    Each word is spoken clearly here, it may just be a bit too fast for learners to pick it up. A pity there is no slow audio version.

    If it sounds like she says "ar a bpláta" that's because she does drop the "n". This is quite common in the spoken language because it flows better. In the written language only the full "ar an" is acceptable.

    Before nouns starting with a vowel "ar an" is also pronounced that way, e.g. in "ar an uisce" you would clearly hear the "n".


    I've personally found it helps to use a few other resources, like YouTube videos for example, to try and get familiar with the speed of the syllables when spoken by a native speaker. As one YouTuber pointed out, you'd sound like a Dalek if you enunciated every syllable slowly, which I thought was quite funny - it is supposed to flow naturally rather than be spoken in a staccato way, so I think listening to native speakers is very helpful.


    "Platter" can't be used?


    The Irish for "platter" is trinsiúr


    Really annoying. I spelled it wrong but it kept telling me i was typing in English.


    I get a kick out of the fact that i usually leave the bhfuil out but bet everything else write and it tells me i am answering in English. I have to type gibberish to see what i am missing. :)


    Perhaps is the "say it slower" option actually had a slower audio clip, like in other languages on Duolingo, then those of us who couldn't hear "go bhfuil" on the first 10 or 20 tries would be able to toggle between fast and slow to hear it better. But i am sure Duolingo is working on that. And that the website has lesson hints but the app does not.

    Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.