1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  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:-) )


If you've got a phone, I recommend Collins. I believe they have iOS and Android apps. It's a good dicionsry, for 10 dollars, and it explains things like that.


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.


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!

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