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  5. "Is liomsa an mhairteoil."

"Is liomsa an mhairteoil."

Translation:The beef is mine.

August 31, 2014


  • 2474

Can someone please explain why lenition is used in the phrase "Is liomsa an mhairteoil" and not in "Is leatsa an portán"? I could't find any explanation in the rules.

Go raibh maith agat!


If a feminine noun begins with a consonant (other than d, t, s), you must lenite it after the definite article (an).

Feminine nouns:

  • an mhairteoil = the beef
  • an chloch = the stone
  • an fharraige = the sea

Masculine nouns:

  • an madra = the dog
  • an cóta = the coat
  • an fear = the man

  • 2474

Thanks! Now I remember reading about it in the rules indeed.


I understand that, but is there a way to know if a noun is feminine or masculine? I suppose it's easy to know it if you're familiar with the language, but otherwise...

  • 2474

I have found an interesting resource on the subject: http://nualeargais.ie/foghlaim/nouns.php?teanga=


great resource! thank you!


Thanks, it might help.


Dictionaries will tell you this like Collins Pocket Irish Dictionary


Cá bhfuil an mhairteoil?


So, how does one say "I have a beef with you"? :)


Offered: "Tá marteoil leatsa agam." (Not guaranteed to be right, though.)


You wouldn't use mairteoil to say that in Irish - that would be pure béarlachas.

You could say Tá gearán agam leatsa, but a more common idiom in Ireland might be "I have a bone to pick with you" - tá cnámh spairne agam leatsa.

[deactivated user]

    Wrote "I own the beef", it was marked correct. :)


    For "the beef is yours," would it be "leatsa." Do i just add "-sa" to all the conjugations of "le"?


    No, you don't just add "-sa". Please do scroll slightly down in the link and review the "contrast form" in the first table:


    This article also explains the use of "leis" (as in le an / le na) as well as "lena / lenar" and others, so it is quite relevant for this course.


    Is maith liom ... vs Is liomsa ... ??


    'Is maith liom an mála' = I like the bag 'Is liomsa an mála' = I own the bag / The bag is mine etc.

    I hope this was what you were looking for!


    As HazelOShea already explained, is liomsa an mála means "the bag is mine".

    Is liomsa an mála - "The bag is mine/I own the bag"
    is maith liom an mála - "I like the bag"
    is aoibhinn liom an mála - "I love the bag"

    (As "love" is a bit subjective in this case, some other adjectives besides aoibhinn can be used).


    I wrote "It is my beef" and it marked it correct. Is there another way to say it such as "Is mo mhairteoil é" ?


    It would have to be Is é mo mhairteoil é but the emphasis is slightly different - with it's liomsa é you are declaring your ownership, with Is é mo mhairteoil é you're just describing it.


    I'm not getting this "-sa" ending. What does it mean? Why is it used? Is it optional?


    It is an emphatic or contrastive marker. In this type of construction it isn't really optional. (From a purely grammatical point of view it might be, but in practical terms it would be unusual to not use it).


    So, if I was talking to someone and wanted to say "The beef is mine", and said "Is liom an mhairteoil." I wouldn't TECHNICALLY be wrong? EDIT: Or, perhaps a better question would be, if someone said that to me, should I assume they are saying "The beef is mine"?


    Your emphasis is wrong - you MIGHT be technically correct, because I haven't looked for a specific rule, and if I found one, I don't know if it would be a descriptive rule or a prescriptive rule.

    But a quick check of the FGB and the EID provides examples without the contrastive form, so I guess it can be optional, but I haven't encountered it being used that way in real life.


    It's emphatic - think the difference between "the beef is mine" and "the beef is MINE!!!"


    It's probably more contrastive than emphatic - more "the beef is mine rather than yours" than "the beef is MINE!".


    Good Lord, these are increasingly sounding like 'as the actress said to the bishop' jokes.


    I didn't notice a thing! You must have a filthy or filty mind as they say in dear old oirland Aisling !!!!! I notice you are doing a lot of languages. Have they all got weird sentences as on this course ?


    Tugann sin i mo cheann , "Is liomsa an gcailín", (Pól Mac Cartaine agus Micheál Mac Siacais.) Is fuath liom an amhrán sin!


    Is mairteoil used only for the living animal, for the meat, or for both? I mean, is there a difference like between pork and pig?


    the sound to me was not at all mhairteoil


    What does that mean? Did you think mhairteoil would sound different?


    For some reason I was expecting this to say "is liomsa é an mhairteoil" (with an é). I guess it doesn't need that because beef isn't a proper noun... so why did I think it would be needed?

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