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  5. "Siúlann an fear lena mhadra."

"Siúlann an fear lena mhadra."

Translation:The man walks with his dog.

September 15, 2014



Why lena and not leis? Probably something simple I missed.


I'm surprised an Irish speaker or an Irish language scholar hasn't answered this. "Leis" means "with him", but here we are asked to translate "with his dog". I'm not sure what the rules are for prepositions followed by possessive adjectives (like "his" or "her"), but it seems to me that "lena" is simply "le" ("with") plus "a" (for "his" or "her"). This is similar to how "i" ("in") followed by "a" ("his" or "her") turns into "ina".


I feel like they should've not included that right here, or at least put it in the tips & notes (or if they did, I missed it.) But thank you, I was also confused


I was confused by "lena" too, where can we read about this? if anyone knows, thanx.


I thought there was a rule where the vowels on either side of a consonant had to be either slender or broad. 'lena' has a slender vowel on one side of the n and a broad on the other. Is this a mistake or am I making up rules?


cmcnall6 ... I found this:
http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/translation/topic111612.html Scroll down to feargal1965 August 9, 2014

Remember the rule in English? i before e except after c? what about "weird"?


ok so it is just an exception then. Thank you!


Yes, it might help to think of it as a contraction of two words (with + his) rather than one word. Scroll up to FeyMorgaina for more on this.


I left out the with and it marked me wrong. But as an American, I would probably never say "The man walks with his dog." I would say "The man walks his dog." Obviously he is "with" it. Is there a different phrase in Irish without the with that would exist? Or should Duo give us credit for either in this case?


Interesting point. I (also an American) would say I was walking my dog if the purpose of the walk was to take the dog out. But I would say I was walking with my dog if I were going for a walk and brought the dog along for company.


We say "walks his dog" in Ireland too, but this sentence specifies "with", so the meaning is different. Imagine he's out walking with his family - his wife is walking with their child, and the man is walking with his dog ;)


Interesting, I hadn't even thought of it like that. (I don't know.)


OKAY, DuoLingo! I had this question three times in a row and each time they said it was a different answer. I had to translate "The man walks with his dog." to Irish, so I wrote "Siúlann an fear lena mhadra." It told me I had a typo, that it was just "madra". So the very next question is this audio where she says the phrase, and I'm supposed to type it. So I type it the way the previous one corrected me to "Siúlann an fear lena madra." and then it tells me I have a typo, that it's supposed to be "Siúlann an fear lena mhadra." Which...one...is it.

  • His dog = a mhadra
  • Her dog = a madra
  • Their dog = a madra

See the notes in the Possessives skill for a breakdown of this pattern! Can you upload the screencap you took when you were marked wrong? The exercise seems to be working OK from our side.


It should be mhadra. After a meaning "his", the noun is lenited if it begins with a consonant.


Mmk. I didn't at first notice that there were two different, but similar sentences, yet STILL the weird "You have a typo" came up.

This is the one I screencapped AFTER the above "mistake":

"The man walks with his dog." Wrote: "Siúlann an fear lena madra." YOU HAVE A TYPO, should be "Siúlann an fear lena mhadra."

^^^Which is what I thought. But then there's "The man walks with HER dog." ???

I just didn't think it's very clear/"fair" that, if one is "madra" (the one with "her" dog?), they put that audio test RIGHT after the one where you're supposed to type "mhadra" instead. They put the same-sounding sentences in the test at least 3 or 4 times --in a row-- for me (the written sentence to translate to Irish, the Sound Test where you get no clues/have to transscribe what you hear, and then the multiple choice, and then it had the dang translate FROM Irish...), and it was very frustrating.

So is it

"Siúlann an fear lena madra." = The man walks with her dog. "Siúlann an fear lena mhadra." = The man walks with his dog.

Is that how it goes? Ultimately I don't think it matters much in conversation since it sounds the same, but meh. Duo is cruel (LOL) for confusing the heck out of me like that.


It gets worse. "The man walks with their dog" is Siúlann an fear lena madra.

Ultimately I don't think it matters much in conversation since it sounds the same, but meh.

That's wrong. madra and mhadra are completely different in speech.


...So "their" and "her" is the same thing? o_O As for sound goes...(edited) NVM, I just clicked the sound above to check. I understand the sound part now. I'm just still weirded out as to when madra gets lenited.


In this case, yes, a meaning "her" and a meaning "their" are the same. That is only because " m" cannot take an eclipse, though.

Take, for example, the word buachaill.

"His boy" = a bhuachaill

"her boy" = a buachaill

"their boy" = a mbuachaill

For vowels:

"His apple" = a úll

"Her apple" = a húll

"Their apple" = a n-úll


How do I know when a word is feminine or masculine? (for example in Spanish it is normally a word ending in a "a" for the feminine and a "o" for masculine, with few exceptions like "agua" for water), I know a feminine word will lenite in some or in most cases (still learning when and how).


http://www.nualeargais.ie/foghlaim/nouns.php This has been shown in several commentaries. At first it seems totally impossible, but then you pick one rule, and remember it slowly, and then you read it again a couple of weeks later, and Voilá! there goes another ;-) Keep going!


There are some patterns in Irish based on a word’s ending, but it’s not as general as is -a vs. -o in Spanish. In the case of an Irish noun ending with a vowel, if it’s an abstract noun ending in -e or , then it’s usually feminine, otherwise it’s usually masculine.


Simply for the sake of complete correctness, the Spanish word "agua" is feminine. It takes the articles "el" because it starts with an "a" and the first syllable is stressed. Example: ¿Necesitas el agua? Sí, la necesito. Notice that the direct object "la" is still feminine. ¡Buena suerte con el castellano y con el irlandes!


Gracias por tú apoyo ... hmmm I never noticed that before (I've actually been speaking Spanish for a long time but my grammar has been horrible at times, my children's mother is from Mexico City, and I've lived in border states over half of my life)


Super nitpicky of me but just for grammar's sake, it should be gracias por tu apoyo or gracias por apoyarme


Couldn't this also be translated as "The man walks with the dog"? Or does the lention indicate the ownership?


If it was a woman that walks her dog would it be "lena madra"?


Yes, the a in lena is the possessive adjective a, and it follows the normal rules - a meaning "his" lenites, a meaning "her" doesn't lenite or eclipse, and a meaning "their" eclipses.

Siúlann an fear lena madra - "The man walks with her dog"

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