1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Tá an cat os comhair an fhir…

" an cat os comhair an fhir."

Translation:The cat is in front of the man.

October 3, 2014

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewjeo
  • 2161

How does this compare with "Tá an cat roimh an fear" meaning-wise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

One of the meanings of roimh is “in front of”, so they could have (but wouldn’t necessarily have) the same meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

Seeing those two words in juxtaposition sent me to my dictionary for kitty-corner, (Other versions: catty-corner or cater-corner, which I've never heard), my idiolect's word for diagonally opposite (schräg gegenüber i nGearmáinis). I found nothing. Is there a way in Irish to express that spatial relationship?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Yes: “cater-corner to/from X” is fiarthrasna ó X. Interestingly enough, the “cater” in “cater-corner” is cognate to Old Irish cittach (“left-handed”, “awkward”).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

Go raibh maith agat. "Cittach" and "ciotach"/"ciotóg" sound much more like "kitty-corner" than "cater-corner," don't they?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Certainly citt- and ciot- sound more like “kit-” than “cat-” does, but “cater” was a verb (meaning “to cut diagonally” — unrelated to modern “catering”) that goes back at least to Elizabethan times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

No, no, I understand that the Irish and the English words have distinct origins. I just think it's odd/cool that the words are somewhat similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate_J

We say cattycorner here, that's really interesting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoras

What is a cattycorner


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

Diagonally across, like from SE to NW.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fe2h2o

Hearing her say "an fhir" in this lesson reminded me...

Are there many words, where when they are lenited (or I guess, eclipsed), they sound the same? It's ok when you can see the word written, but if you're just basing it on what you can hear... I can just see scope for potential misunderstandings!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

The eclipsis sounds are distinct from each other, so if there’s any aural confusion to be found, it’d come from lenition. After browsing for nouns for a few minutes in my pocket dictionary, I found sean (“ancestor”) and teann (“strength”), for which their respective lenited forms shean and theann could be homophones.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fe2h2o

So, possible, but probably not too commonly—and context should be sufficient... Go raibh maith agat:-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EavanM

Would this be true for all dialects? Curious because I've been hearing words that end double-n, like peann, with an "ow" sound (like "ouch").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

No, that particular example would not hold everywhere — as you’d noted, the “ow” sound of peann can be heard in Munster dialects.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soupandbread

In 'Ulster English' you'd hear the word 'fornenst' to mean opposite/in front of. 'The cat is fornenst the man'. Is this word used anywhere else?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverCasserley

I never knew how to spell it before now and I have not heard it in years.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

The OED has its headword as “fornent”, but includes “fornenst” as an alternate spelling; it came from “fore” + “anent”. It notes the word as being used in Scotland and northern England.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danoconnell55

I'm a bit confused, why is man "fhir". I thought genitive was only applicable in possessive cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balbhan

The genitive case really means "of X". Like French, Spanish, and nearly every other non-Germanic language, Irish expresses possession as "cat of my son", rather than "my son's cat" - cat mo mhic, le chat de mon fils, el gato de mi hijo etc. It's the same here, with "in front of the man". Possession only works like in English with pronouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cinzia47

I can't understand the rules for the genitive in Irish. Why, when the sentence was - the library's money - was the plural "na" used but not in this case for " the man"? Is there a rule that someone could explain, please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

Getting a real grammar book is key to surviving Duolingo! Here's the short version of how to say 'the':

Nom/Acc Case: an for singular, na for plural

Genitive Case: an for masculine singular, na for feminine singular, na for plural

Here's a link that may be helpful: http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/artikel.htm Look at only the first two yellow boxes. It'll take you a bit to figure out their system, but the site is quite reliable.

Have fun learning Irish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cinzia47

Thank you Cait48


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John787925

Why is it still "an fhir" in this case and not "na"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

'Os comhair' is a compound (multi-word) preposition, and you have to use the genitive case after compound prepositions. 'Na fir' is nominative plural; 'an fhir' is genitive singular. You can look nouns up in the grammar section of teanglann.ie to see their declension: https://www.teanglann.ie/ga/gram/fear I hope that helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZanninaMargariti

Roimh and is comhair difference????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Roimh can mean “before” in either its spatial meaning (e.g. “in front of”) or its temporal meaning (e.g. “earlier than”), and its noun phrase is dative; os comhair can mean “in front of” or “opposite”, and its noun phrase is genitive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate_J

"Tá an cat roimh an bhfear" would mean pretty much the same thing, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

It could. (Roimh has more than one meaning.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samterry4

Is the r in Irish pronounced the same as the d in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL

No. The slender "r" is a sound that many English speakers are unfamiliar with, so they sometimes (incorrectly) assign it a value of "d".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/exeisen

So "THERE IS a cat opposite the man" doesn't work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ballygawley

No, because it is "an cat" which is "THE cat".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lethe-DFD

Why is "The cat is opposite of the man" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL

It's not a grammatically correct sentence in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPere25094

The cat is across from the man is correct in english??? What the hell is that? The exercise told me it is rhe right answer...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oden246

Where is the speaker from?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dandelionmagic

It sounded to me like the speaker said "leat" not "an fhir", i replayed it many times, knowing that couldn't be it but i couldn't figure it out, is this one of those ones where the audio is off or am i just really far off on how "an fhir" should sound?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL

It's an fhir. While the slender r can be difficult to characterize, because it's not a sound that is used in English, the n in an is pretty clear, an the i in fhir does not sound like the ea in leat at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/irekis

why "ta sicin sa cheapaire" demands "THERE IS chicken in the sandwich" but "ta an cat os comhair an fhir" marks "THERE IS the cat in front of the man" as incorrect.

Is there any irish nuances?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL

That's an issue of English usage, not Irish. It is more natural in English to say "There is chicken is the sandwich" than to say "Chicken is in the sandwich". When the subject has a definite article, English changes, so you have to say "The chicken is in the sandwich".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoannaWill19

Duolingo is using "os comhair" to mean "in front of" and "opposite". How can you tell the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL

Two people or buildings or things that are facing each other are "in front of" each other, and are also on opposite sides of the space separating them, so they are opposite each other and across from each other and in front of each other all at the same time.

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