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  5. "Tá gúnaí ag an mbean."

" gúnaí ag an mbean."

Translation:The woman has dresses.

September 10, 2014



That lenition and eclipsis stuff is really hard to understand. Without the constant support of the native speakers - a big fat thank you to all of you - this course would be rather difficult to manage. You really help us a lot in understanding the grammar of this beautiful language. I am very grateful.


Is there a reason that "The woman has gowns." was incorrect? I was under the impression that gúnaí was both dresses and gowns.


That's what I thought as well


Shouldn't it be "Tá gúnaí ag an bhean."? Lenition of a female noun after an I thought


The standard language allows either eclipsis or lenition with ag an + nominative singular noun of either gender. However, the noun is unmodified if it begins with either D, S, or T. Most prepositions follow this pattern — not just ag.


Thanks for the explanation! You say it allows either eclipsis or lenition, but is it wrong to leave the noun as it is, like ag an bean?


No, ag an bean is wrong.

Eclipsis and lenition are much more complicated than we have presented here, to the point that there is significant disagreement among native speakers. If you limit yourself to the system taught in this course, you should be alright!


Yes, it would be wrong to neither lenite nor eclipse such a noun in this phrase, unless it begins with a letter which is neither lenited nor eclipsed, or if it begins with either D, S, or T — for example, ag an teach would be right, but ag an bean would be wrong.


How is mbean pronounced? Is it similar to the way a Hiberno-English speaker would say "man"?


Yeah, you basically drop the b entirely.


I believe that when you add that letter to the front of a word, you replace the sound of the old first letter with the sound of the new first letter. So yeah, it might be easier to just think of it as 'mean' (pronounced mahn)


How would you say the woman has a dress on? I thought that was the correct translation and thought it sounded a bit off in standard English. That's why I translated the woman is wearing a dress. What grammatical construction or rule would tell you that the translation is the woman has dresses? Would AR be the correct preposition for on? Thanks


I'm no expert, but I believe you'd use "ar" in place of "ag" to suggest a person has something "on". But the construction above says "gúnaí" (dresses), so it's unlikely a person would be wearing more than one dress a the same time.

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