"Why is the food on the plate?"

Translation:Cén fáth go bhfuil an bia ar an bpláta?

August 29, 2014

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kl1997

what does "go bhfuil" mean and what does "a bhfuil" mean

August 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnLonDubhBeag

go bhfuil = that is

a bhfuil = whom/whose is

atá = who is

An fear a bhfuil a mhac san ospidéal = The man whose son is in hospital.

In English the who/whom/whose distinction is only used for people, but in Irish it also holds for inanimate objects.

August 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozieToez

But why are both correct is this sentence?

July 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Because different dialects use each one. Ulster uses lenition, while Connacht and Munster use eclipses.

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozieToez

Ok, but I was referring to "go bhfuil" and "a bhfuil".

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Ah, my bad! Cén fáth has to require a relative clause (indirect, to be precise), so a bhfuil is what should be correct in the standard.

Note that that was the standard, however. In Munster, go bhfuil can be used for the indirect relative clause. That's my best guess as to why they're both correct.

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

Ah, brilliant, I wasn't aware of that. Thank you.

August 30, 2014

[deactivated user]

    Thank you! I knew there had to be a simple explanation.

    October 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainm10

    An fear GO bhfuil a mhac san ospidéal

    (sentence taken straight from the appendix to the recording for Teach Yourself Irish by Dillon and Ó Cróinín that shows differences between the dialects)

    June 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
    Mod
    • 1219

    As already explained, it's only an fear go bhfuil in Munster Irish, and even in Munster Irish, it's a mhac, not a mac

    June 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainm10

    You are right on both points. I could try to hide my typo by suggesting that it is anachronistic to assume that the man must use masculine pronouns but, instead, I will just alter my mistake..

    BTW - it does seem like a sentence that may have had the origin I suggested and that was designed to show that go bhfuil is used in Munster, as you state, and a bhfuil in the other dialects.

    June 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlannahMe

    Thank you, that clears that up!

    July 26, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

    "go bufuil" means "that ... is", so in most English sentences that have a "that ... is", you use "go bhfuil", for example, "deir sé go bhfuil sé ard = he says that he is tall".

    I'm actually not sure what you mean by "a bhfuil" without seeing it in a sentence. Where have you come across it?

    \"an bhfuil" is used for a question. Perhaps that is what you meant?

    August 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trentthomas

    That makes a little more sense. As for "a bhfuil" I came across it in a 'choose the correct translations' exercise. I chose the one with "go bhfuil" but it was marked wrong and said that both "go bhfuil" and "a bhfuil" were correct. Do they mean the same thing when used in a question?

    August 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

    I don't think so. You would use "an bhfuil" to pose a question. "go bhfuil" may occur in the middle of a question.

    Unfortunately without the actual sentences in full to read, it's hard for me to know. If you find some examples come back to me with them.

    August 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oppikoppi

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

    August 30, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

    I don't understand why we are given sentences we have no way of answering! We not only are not given the literal meaning of the words but we aren't given them as an example so there is no way we could know what the construction of the sentence would be like. So this says, "Why is the food that is on the plate?" So every sentence that starts with "Why is" and ends with it being "on" something starts with "Cen fath go bhfuil" ?

    April 25, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

    Two years later and I still can't do these sentences and don't know what they mean...but it must just be me....

    August 13, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      This is the first lesson I've had genuine trouble with. It would be nice if the notes included an explanation of how to use the verb "to be" in questions.

      October 15, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
      Mod
      • 1219

      The notes for the Present Tense skill explain how to use verbs, including the verb "to be", in questions.

      October 15, 2018

      [deactivated user]

        They really don't.

        October 19, 2018

        [deactivated user]

          You are wrong. Your link doesn't explain when to use which form of the verb "to be" in C questions. Or when not to use it for that matter. That was the context of my question.
          I really hate our exchanges. They are a negative experience that I do not wish to have. I am going to stop participating in these forums, so that you will no longer have the opportunity to color my experience here with negativity.

          October 21, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
          Mod
          • 1219

          You didn't ask about how to use the verb "to be" in C questions, you asked about how to use the verb "to be" in questions.

          There's nothing special about the verb "to be" when used with Cén fáth. It is used in the same way as any other verb:
          Cén fath a ritheann tú ar an mbóthar?
          Cén fáth ar bhris tú an cupán?
          Cén fáth nach léann tú an nuachtáin?.

          The only oddity with "to be" is that it uses the dependent form fuil, as explained in that link.

          October 21, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
          Mod
          • 1219

          They really do. But the comment that you deleted suggests that you weren't really asking about questions using the verb "to be", like "is it ready yet?" of "are there any donuts left?" or "am I late?", you're confused about "w" questions - "who", "where", "which", "why", "when", "what" and "how", and why some of them are followed by atá, and some are followed by bhfuil, and some of them are followed by the copula.

          Rather than making any more assumptions, though, if you give some examples of the type of questions that you are confused about, it might be easier to explain what's happening, rather than providing an answer to a question that you didn't ask.

          October 20, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainm10

          Maybe (?) I can help here..

          Download 'Teach Yourself Irish' from archive.org and study lesson 26 (relative sentences).

          There is an amazing website on Cork Irish that was, until recently, run (bizarrely) by an English guy who claims in his non-language-related posts to really not like the Irish. He was the guy who obtained permission to make the book and associated sound files freely available and put the work into creating the files - his letter of permission is concatenated at the end of the pdf).

          Anyway, the website is still available at present and has links to the audio files that go with the course. There are embedded audio files in at least one version of the pdf on archive.org but you may want the actual files as well. The website is: https://corkirish.wordpress.com

          June 12, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TreasaWilson

          Me neither.

          January 30, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TreasaWilson

          Why is go bhfuil necessary if cén fáth already asks the question 'why'?

          February 24, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fagurfifill

          You need a verb: “cén fáth“ = “why“ (literally (“what cause“) “go bhfuil“ (or “a bhfuil“) = “is“ (indirect relative form) To make it clearer, we could replace “go bhfuil“ by a different verb, e.g. “Cén fáth ar rinne tú é?“ = “Why did you do it?“

          March 10, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainm10

          'ar rinne' really doesn't sound right to me but I will leave it to people with non-Munster Irish to confirm or deny my opinion.

          June 12, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBeatha

          You're correct, ...ar rinne tú... is a mistake in any dialect. In Munster it'd be ...gur dheinis and everywhere else it'd be ...a ndearna tú.

          June 12, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainm10

          Ah, thanks for that. I guess I have been getting that wrong for the past couple of decades! I always said "... do (prounounced as 'a') dheinis? ".

          I would have reserved go / gur for something like 'whose' or 'to whom' in English.

          June 12, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBeatha

          That is normally the distinction between the direct and indirect relative particles, but it's just a fact that needs to be remembered that why questions take the indirect particle, which is usually go/gur in Munster Irish.

          June 12, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

          Nope, wouldn't understand that one either. "ar rinne"?

          August 13, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FionaOnDuoL

          Okay, try a slightly different sentence.

          Even in English people wouldn't say "Why the food on the picture/?", they would ask "Why IS the...?"

          BTW this sentence would make more sense as a rhetorical question - the meme from wewantplates.com

          Hope this helps.

          November 22, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ManuCassanello

          It said that both sentences below were right...

          "Cén fáth a bhfuil an bia ar an bpláta"

          "Cén fáth a bhfuil an bia ar an phláta"

          Why can both be right? I thought only the first one were right..

          June 28, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TuathaDeDanann

          Dialectical difference. Ulster Irish will use lenition but the others use eclipsis. Best to choose one and stick with it, as they are both accepted in the standard.

          June 30, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jsclingman

          Why is "go" in this sentence here? What is its purpose? Shouldn't it be "cén fáth an bia ar an bpláta"?

          November 14, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
          Mod
          • 1219

          Where's the verb in "cén fáth an bia ar an bpláta?" ?

          November 14, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Radoslaw182

          I don't understand why it says wrong when written:

          Cén ina thaobh go bhfuil an bia ar an bpláta?

          instead of Cén fáth...

          April 13, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smrch

          That should be Cad ina thaobh (pronounced "cana thaobh")

          July 14, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p8c
          • 409

          clearly this sentence is out of place in this lesson and in spite of the opportunity to learn by induction, it only creates frustration based on all lessons before it. (with the greatest admiration of all those who have volunteered their time to create this course, the blame clearly falls on duo admin for these type of issues throughout duo courses.)

          May 10, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizZiska

          Why is it "a bhfuil" instead of "an bhfuil"?

          August 14, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
          Mod
          • 1219

          an bhfuil bia ar an bpláta? means "Is there food on the plate?"

          Cén fáth a/go bhfuil bia ar an bpláta? means "What is the reason that there is food on the plate?". In English, that becomes "Why?" but you actually have a question with a relative clause, using the relative particle a rather than the interrogative particle an, because the question is in the word Cén.

          (As the "default answer" listed above indicates, Cén fáth a bhfuil is Cén fáth go bhfuil in some dialects).

          August 14, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacBeatha

          This sentence is an unnatural mishmash of different dialects. Cén fáth takes an indirect relative clause, whose particle is a in standard Irish as well as in Connacht and Ulster. So cén fáth a bhfuil... is the form that should be used in this course. In Munster the indirect relative particle is generally go, like it in the sentence here, but cén fáth isn't an authentic Munster form. This question would be Cad ina thaobh go bhfuil... or Cad chuige go bhfuil in Munster Irish.

          June 5, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColleenBax

          The grammar comments and dancers are necessary and enlightening. Is there any way to copy and keep these posts? Also, is there a place or places where each element of the grammar is explained separately. From a teacher who used to teach languages in the conventional way, this is an awful lot for a beginner, including me, to glean from one sentence. Phil, this is not a criticism because the answers explain a great deal but merely an observation. Thanks. Irish can be a bit daunting smile.

          December 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidcwalls

          You can get back to any sentence discussion using the URL, this one is https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/4341734

          I copy and paste the URL into my notes, so on the page in my notes for C questions, I have this link under examples. I also keep the URL for the relevant Tips and Notes, in this case, https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Questions/tips-and-notes

          (I love "comments and dancers", however, if you want to fix a typo like that, you can edit your post to make it the way you want it rather than having to post a correction.)

          December 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColleenBax

          Oops, and answers, not and dancers

          December 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sissy681549

          Can anyone tell me if I can select text within the app as this would be usual for me. GRMA!

          July 30, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sissy681549

          I read that it was best practise to use atá for question format and still got it wrong! But sure I'll Nat be giving it up for that :)

          August 14, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHark12

          Why do we need four randomly spelled words to say"why"?

          May 27, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TellTheSeal

          Well, in English, we have "why," "how come," "wherefore," and "how." (Albeit, using "how" to mean "why" is a regional variant; e.g., you might hear "how" for "why" in Scottish English.)

          June 9, 2019
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