"Of the beef."
They both are, not all languages make the same preposition distinctions as English (Spanish doesn't have separate words for 'in' and 'on,' they're both 'en'). In Irish it just so happens that both 'of' and 'off' (and also 'from') all translate to the same word: 'de' (as mentioned above, 'den' is the combination of 'de' and 'an' so it means 'of(f) the' or 'from the') Hope that helped!
Well, they don't mean "from"; this is just one English word that can be used to translate both of them in certain contexts. So the fact that both can be translated as "from" is a fact about English, not about Irish.
Prepositions tend to have ranges of uses unique to each language and don't neatly map onto prepositions in another language. This means that you have to learn the places each Irish preposition is used without resorting to one-to-one correspondences like de(n) = "from". Such one-to-one correspondences tend to work better for nouns and verbs than for prepositions.
You can see a list of the way de and ó are used in any Irish–English dictionary, for example:
It can be understood as "from off of the" as in "taken from off of the bench". Depending on the dialect of English, any of those three words may be omitted but still have the same meaning. "Taken from off the bench"/"Taken off of the bench"/"Taken from the bench". Either way, we know where the paper was taken from. I'm probably missing important technicalities, but this example helped me.
So I've been working on this course for about a month now, and I don't understand the grammatical purpose for the "h" in this word, changing it from "mairteoil" to "mhairteoil." I know it was a concept introduced a few subjects back, but I still don't understand why "h" and "b" are added to words. Am I missing an explanation section in this app or something?
Hi Stacia, this is probably too late for you, but for everyone with the same question, please see the introductory notes on sections 'Ellipsis' and 'Lenition' to get an outline of the ideas, though they're too much to really get in your head at once. Then, throughout the course, you'll get additional reinforcement of the ideas in context. Once you know what Eclipsis and Lenition are, I think you will be better off learning to use them in context (e.g., "I'm asking a question? Oh, I need to apply Eclipsis to the verb") rather than trying to memorize the list all of the occasions you might need to apply them.
It would be used in something like “a taste of the beef”, blaiseadh den mhairteoil, where the governing noun is indefinite but the governed noun is definite. The genitive would be used in e.g. “the taste of the beef”, blaiseadh na mairteola, where both the governing noun and the governed noun are definite.
If “the taste of the beef” translates as "blaiseadh na mairteola", why is there no Irish definite article before "blaiseadh"? What's wrong with "an blas na mairteola"? Also, the plural is something of a puzzle for English: "beefs" ?! I wonder if "an blas den mhairteoil" makes any sense?
The structure noun article genitive-noun is used in Irish to make both the noun and its genitive noun definite. Putting an additional article before such a structure isn’t done in Irish; it would be wrong to do so. The na in blaiseadh na mairteola is not a plural article, but rather a feminine singular genitive article. (It’s the only time that na is used as a singular article.) Mairteola is a feminine singular genitive noun, not a plural noun. An blas den mhairteoil is akin to “the blue big ball” in English; its meaning is comprehensible, but it isn’t something that a native speaker would say.
It would be good to have this in the lenition or eclipsis section where this was explained then - I reported it to be consistent. There is no way to know that it means 'of' as well, since it wasn't mentioned earlier. I know how hard it is to make consistent education material and this is already a quite decent language learning tree, so this is just a comment to help with the quality control ;-)