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  5. "Ithim roimh an bportán."

"Ithim roimh an bportán."

Translation:I eat before the crab.

September 16, 2014



This is a ridiculous sentence.


This site wouldn't be nearly so fun without the ridiculous sentences. My favorite was the one that sounded like a serial killer was making a to-do list that ended "In December, he dies."


My favorite is still "the crab has juice"


who remembers " the deer speaks Gaelic"?


Yeah laughed out loud on a crouded bus


Some of the japanese phrases are seriously nuts. Definitely helps you remember what youre learning


The Dutch one has "ik ben appels" - 'I am apples'


It's totally useful for learning the grammar, for learning how these sentences work. Duolingo doesn't teach you useful sentences that you can memmorize for when you travel around Ireland, it's not a travel guide book!


Well, let's put it this way - after a sentence like that I'm never going to forget the structure! Maybe that is why they chose such a bizarre image?


Unusual sentences can help in establishing intellectual property rights in some jurisdictions.


Well, I guess if you're the man in the refrigerator, you'll have to eat in front of the crab being stored for dinner.


I make a habit of eating my breakfast before feeding my pet crab. (hereforth: the crab). I eat before the crab.


This is how I read it. We eat before the dogs too.


Could this be "I ate the crab before", as in I ate the crab earlier?


No; ithim is not a past tense form, and roimh is a preposition. To use “before” as an adverb, another wording (e.g. Ith mé an pórtan riamh for “I ate the crab before”) would have been used.


Ridiculous sentences is how we learn a language. :)


I quite agree. I much prefer translating dry statistics and instruction manuals. Iesu grist.


So does "roimh" mean "before" time-wise? i.e. does this sentence mean I'm eating first and the crab eats second? Or does it mean that I'm eating in front of the crab? Can it mean both?


There is at least one sentence (the children eat chocolate before dinner) where it is definitely time-wise and the other occurrences sound more place-wise. So I was guessing it can mean both.
But since I wanted to know and not only guess I looked it up. http://breis.focloir.ie/en/fgb/roimh
The answer is: Yes, definitely both!


many thanks for that link. a wonderful help.


Yes, roimh means before in time. In front of would be quite different. It would be " os comhar" sorry can't do the accents on the O's


You have to establish a pecking order with crabs. If they eat before you do, they'll think they're the one in charge.


Maintain eye contact; establish dominance.


Can't remember the last time I was invited to a crustacean's party. It is more likely that 'Ithim an bportán', sorry crabs everywhere. : )


Would it be "Ithim an portán" in that case? (without the eclipsis, because "an" on its own doesn't cause eclipsis)


I see a lot of upvotes, but no reply. I believe the answer is "yes"


Makes me think of the story "the Walrus and the Carpenter" from Carolls Alice's adventures in Wonderland, except the crabs survive.


...but the oysters did not, alas!


I'm in favor of ridiculous sentences. It keeps me from just guessing based on the nouns.


In social gatherings, of course


Well that's just rude! Everyone knows crabs should eat first!


A feast with crabs sounds... interesting. Just be careful that they don't pinch you, intentionally or not. XD


Can someone clear this up for me? Is roimh before as in i eat before the crab eats (in time) or like while the crab watches (location)? Saw this question posted below but the answer wasnt very clear to me.


it's before in time


It can be either. When it's "Paul drinks wine before the cat," the cat isn't drinking wine, Paul is just in front of the cat.


I feel like a nice overview would have been helpful; I went into this with no idea what an eclipsis is


There is one on the web version. Lessons and everything. Mobile is just a quiz to keep you working.


I still can't find the lessons, but here's a lingot :3


(I know it has been 2 years since your post, but, for the benefit of others just now reading it,) in the desktop version, when you click on the lesson, a window pops up that lets you select (click) 'START' to start the lesson, but instead, you can click the 'key in the circle' above 'START' to test out of the lesson, or, click the 'light bulb in the circle' in the upper right of the pop up window to navigate to the 'Tips and notes' section.


https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Eclipsis is for the Eclipsis lesson...I don't see one for this lesson though. If you bring it up, it's just on the webpage-but not on the mobile. I hope they work on that though-there's so much I missed by not knowing this in the first few lessons.


I don't know where to post this but it would be great to have some sort of videos/quick tips for mobile versions. Just so we don't end up with brand new notions and no examples at all.


Alright, so do I eat while sitting before the crab, or do I eat before the crab gets a chance to eat?


You eat first. Then the crab eats. Actually that seems sinister - in the end, the crab eats you!


Ithim portán roimh an bportán


Is mise an rosualt agus ithim roimh an bpotán _ goo goo goo joob!


Why didn't it let me use phortán? Is it because the way she said it?


Why is there a consonant in front of the nouns? What did I miss? Thanks


Certain grammatical situations call for a consonant to be placed in front of a word, and that consonant’s sound replaces the word’s normal initial sound. That situation is referred to as “eclipsis”. If you’re using a browser for Duolingo, check out the Tips and Notes section for the Eclipsis skill.


Ok, so does this sentence mean "I usually eat before the crab(does)"? Or is it just f'ed up?


That's a bit mean to the crab


Presumably "before" is in the positional sense (as in "in front of the crab") rather than a temporal sense (as in "prior to the crab eating")?

  • 1448

Both "before" and roimh can be used spatially or temporally.

Without any other context, the temporal sense seems more natural to me in this particular case.


When EVER do you use that sentence in a conversation ???

  • 1448

Duolingo is not a phrasebook!


Fair enough... but as a language teacher I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of the communication factor, much like in the "phrases" part of the lessons.


But certainly there's value to knowing the language inside and out, how it's put together, how all the parts move. Weird sentences like this help me understand the functioning of the language because it forces me to think, not just go on "autopilot."

"I eat before you eat." = OK.

"I eat before the crab." = Forces me to slow down and think.

  • 1448

Note that ithim roimh an bportán does not mean "I eat before the crab (eats)". That's ithim sula n-itheann an portán.

"I eat before you eat" - Ithim sula n-itheann tú.


Edit: OK, this has been clarified. Leaving the original post in square brackets for transparency's sake.

[Wait. How does this square with what you wrote in another discussion?

"Just like "before" in English, roimh can be used for time or position. [. . .] Ólann Pól fíon roimh an gcat can be interpreted as "Paul drinks wine before the cat does", or "Paul drinks wine in front of the cat". " From: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/5550345]


Edit: The confusion has been clarified. Original post left below in square brackets for the sake of transparency.

[That is a very helpful clarification, especially since other comments are suggesting that the ambiguity in the English "before" (is it temporal or physical?) is mirrored in the Irish "roimh." Thank you!]

  • 1448

roimh can be used spatially and temporally - ithim úll roimh an ndinnéar - "I eat an apple before dinner". But you use sula before a verb/action.


Got it: "roimh" is ambiguous, in that it can refer to space or time. "Sula" is not ambiguous, because it must be used with a verb and therefore refers to time. Thanks!


How do we know which consonant to add to the noun?

It seems to me the "unvoiced consonants" get their correspondent "voiced" ones:

C (that sounds like K) gets G P gets B T probably gets D And so on...

Is that correct?


I love the whimsy and weirdness that comes from beginner level language lessons


i wonder when i will get a chance to say this in Ireland next time i go there?

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