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  5. "He likes those boys."

"He likes those boys."

Translation:Is maith leis na buachaillí sin.

September 16, 2014



Could this also be translated as the boys like that?


Almost. You'd need é/í sin at the end instead of just sin


Thank you! I had that sentence to translate earlier and I was horribly confused.


How would you say "She likes that"?


Is maith léi é sin


I said 'seo' at the end instead of 'sin'. I know seo means 'this', but can it also mean 'these'?


Yes, but it cannot mean "those".


I understand that "sin" means "that/those" but why do you need the "na" ? Do you always need the "an/na" before the noun?


Yes, with nouns you need to use the article with sin.


Why is ''sin'' placed at the end?

  • sin = that, those


  • An leatsa na madraí sin? = Are those your dogs?
  • Ná léigh na leabhair sin = Don't read those books.
  • Cá bhfuil na páipéir sin? = Where are those papers?
  • San am sin. = In those times.


Very informative, thanks!


So, if the sin was left out, would it just mean "He likes boys"?


Not quite, without 'sin' it would be "He likes THE boys"


Right, the na before buachailli, thanks!


I have a question. Why is it 'Na buachaillí' and not 'an buachaillí'


'An', meaning 'the', is only used with singular nouns. For plural nouns like 'buachailli', you would use 'na', which also means 'the'.


Since le becomes leis before an article (if I am remembering correctly) would "Those boys like..." also be translated to "Is maith leis na buachaillí sin...."?


Go raibh míle maith agat a chara!


So "Is maith leis na buachaillí sin" means "He likes those boys," but "Is maith leis na buachaillí É sin" means "Those boys like him." Do I have that right? Is there anything in the way those two sentences would be spoken that would distinguish them before you get to the word "é"? Or do you really just have to wait that long to decide whether "na buachaillí" is the subject of the sentence or the object of "leis"?


As for the first question only, I think the answer is no, that is not quite right; you have the translation of the first sentence right, but not quite the second:

One: Is maith leis na buachaillí sin. = He likes those boys.
Two: Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin. = The boys like that.

Your proposed translation of the second sentence was "Those boys like him," but, since "na buachaillí sin" is how we would say "those boys," and "é" is "him," I think your proposal translates this sentence instead:

Three: Is maith leis na buachaillí sin é. = Those boys like him.

And a sentence you did not ask about, but for comparison:

Four: Is maith leis na buachaillí é. = The boys like him.

In sentence 1, "leis" means "with him;" because, le + sé = leis.
In sentences 2, 3, and 4, "leis" means simply "with" rather than "with him;" because, le becomes leis before a definite article: in 2, 3, and 4, "leis na" means literally "with the" (but in 1, means literally "with him the").
The potential confusion (whether "leis" is le + pronoun or le + article) is with the 3rd person singular masculine pronoun only; i.e., there is no "leis" in, e.g.:

Five: Is maith léi na buachaillí sin. = She likes those boys.
Six: Is maith leo na buachaillí sin. = They like those boys.

If it helps us follow the syntax, we could parse or "clump" or "understand" the sentences this way:

  1. Is maith leis / na buachaillí sin. = He likes / those boys.
  2. Is maith leis na buachaillí / é sin. = The boys like / that.
  3. Is maith leis na buachaillí sin / é. = Those boys like / him.
  4. Is maith leis na buachaillí / é. = The boys like / him.

In sentences 2, and 4, "Is maith leis na buachaillí" means "the boys like;" what do the boys like? in sentence 2, they like "é sin" ("that") and in sentence 4, they like "é" ("him").
In sentence 3, "Is maith leis" still means "like," but now, it is "na buachaillí sin," "those boys," rather than "na buachaillí," "the boys," who "like," and what "those boys" "like" is "é," or "him."

That is how I reckon it, anyway. If anyone sees an error, something I have mistranslated or misunderstood, please, let me know. ᵔᴥᵔ

Note that in sentence 3 or 4, the "é" could mean "it" instead of "him" (Also, "í" instead of "é" would mean "her" instead of "him," but "í" could also mean "it;" whether to use "é" or "í" depends on the grammatical gender of the referent).


This will confuse things but the é at the end for him would normally be replaced by eisean which is the emphatic form of the pronoun. É is correct but emphatic pronouns help to avoid confusion.


To tell the difference between the subject and the object, you have to identify the object.

Given that there isn't a verb separating the subject and the object, it's surprising that this confusion doesn't happen more often - Tá sé leon sa zú means "there are 6 lions in the zoo" rather than "he is a lion in the zoo" (which would require the copula anyway).


Well, "he is a lion in the zoo" would require a different verb, wouldn't it? That would be "Is leon sa zú é," yes?

So, was I right about my two sentences above and what they mean? Does the "leis na buachaillí" SOUND the same when they are spoken, or is there some kind of break or change in intonation when "na buachaillí" is the subject of the sentence rather than the object of "leis"?


I entered is maith leis na buachaillí é sin, but am corrected to leave out é. I enter without é and am corrected that é is missing... which is it then? I'm stuck!


There are two different exercises, and they demonstrate how a tiny change can make a huge difference in meaning.

Is maith leis na buachaillí sin - "He likes those boys"
Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin - "The boys like that"

In the first, the thing that is liked is na buachaillí sin - "those boys"
In the second, the thing that is liked is é sin - "that"

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