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  5. "Cé mhéad soicind?"

" mhéad soicind?"

Translation:How many seconds?

September 12, 2014



I'm assuming there's an error here, and it should require the plural of "soicind" (is it "soicindí")?


Nope. cé mhéad takes he singular nominative for 'how many' and gen. For 'how much'


Ah, that's useful to know:-) I noted the two meanings of cé mhéad, but I guess there was no mention of the difference because we haven't been properly introduced to that tricksy genitive yet... Go raimh maith agat:-) (Yet again:-) )


Even if the context calls for plural (seconds)?


Oddly enough, Irish does not use the plural after some numerals and quantifiers. The motivation behind this is that the plurality is already implied by the preceding word.


Ya and it's not the only language, french and spanish do the same thing on occasion.


Also many dialects of English, and still maintained in some expressions even in modern standard English. "Six foot tall", "he weighs seven stone", for instance. Other dialects have things like "I gave him six pound for it", "it's nine mile from here", etc.


I didn't understand, please explain I little bit


The singular form is used after cé mhéad


Only? After cá mhéad, too?


It depends on what you want to express. If it's 'how much', you'd use the genitive singular. If it's 'how many', you use the normal nominative singular.


Cé mhéad and cá mhéad are just two equally valid versions of the same expression, so any rule you learn for one goes for both.


Galaxy, could you pls explain the why & when of cá mhéad, cé mhead, sing-nom and sing gen when used with them?


I don't know how often GR checks in here, but, basically, the answer is that Cé mhéad and Cá mhéad mean the same thing, and both are correct, so just take your pick.

How many is Cé/Cá mhéad followed by the nominative singular form of the noun, so you're really saying How many dog? or How many tree?

How much is Cé/Cá mhead followed by the genitive singular form of the noun, so you're really saying How much of flour? or How much of time?

cé mhéad crann = cá mhéad crann = how many trees (Crann is masculine, first declension, so crann is nom. sing.)

cé mhéad plúir = cá mhéad plúir = how much flour (Plúr is also masculine, first declension, so plúir is gen. sing.)

Here's a blog about 'How many,' which seems to have been the issue in the original question: https://blogs.transparent.com/irish/ce-mhead-realta-ce-mhead-riabh/


Another useful word that works the same way is "cúpla"--"cúpla úll" - a couple of apples, "cúpla deoch" = a few drinks. I like not having to guess at plurals!


cúpla focal = a few words


I thought seconds was soicindí

[deactivated user]

    Please read the other comments. Irish doesn't use plurals after numbers, and it doesn't use a plural after cé mhéad or cúpla, etc


    It is. Does Duolingo tell you anywhere that you always use the singular after cé/cá mhéad? It looks as though this has been pointed out on this page a couple of times already, and I still don't know whether Duolingo actually teaches/tells you that or expects you to know it by magic.

    [deactivated user]

      This exercise teaches you that you use the singular after cé/cá mhéad, and this is definitely a Duolingo exercise, so yes, Duolingo actually teaches you that.

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