1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Tá a fhón póca agam."

" a fhón póca agam."

Translation:I have his mobile phone.

October 6, 2014



Just an observation - where I live, the distinction in speech between a mobile phone and the ordinary type is dying out. Hardly anyone says "cell phone" or "mobile phone", and if they say "smartphone" they're not referring to the device in its making-phone-calls capacity. So just "phone" shouldn't NECESSARILY be accepted here, as this could be just a dialect thing, but that's what I'd naturally use in speech to express the concept.


In the audio here, there is a sharp break between a and fhón. It just stands out to me because in most Irish audio I've heard there seems to be more of a blending of words. Is the speaker doing that for our benefit or is that how this sentence would normally be spoken? Does fh in this sentence sound like H as in the English word "honest" or is it like the H sound in the English word "hand"?


fh never sounds like "h". fh is silent. The two vowels a and ó are articulated separately, but in fast speech the distinction might not be as clear.


Thanks SatharnPHL. I appreciate the useful responses you give.


Why does it have to be "his" rather than "her"?


Because of the lenition afterwards. a fon póca would be 'her'

a fhón -> His phone (lenition)

a fón -> Her phone (nothing with consonant)

a bhfón -> Their phone (eclipse)


I'd love to hear this pronounced.


In the browser, there’s a speaker icon for this exercise (which I presume means that there’s a recording available for it) — does it actually have a recording of a different phrase?


His mobile phone is at me???


You have question marks, but it's not obvious what your question is. Are you asking why that answer was accepted or asking why it wasn't accepted?

"his mobile phone is at me" is a very literal translation of "tá a fhón póca agam". In fact, it's an overly literal translation - when someone says "Tá X agam" in Irish, they almost always mean mean "I have X", and Duolingo would be doing you an injustice to suggest that "his mobile phone is at me" is an acceptable translation of "tá a fhón póca agam".


Why in some cases Irish adds the t - or some other consonant so there wouldn't be two vowels after each other but not in other cases like this?


Irish never uses a t-prefix to separate two vowels - a t-prefix almost always follows an, which does not end in a vowel.

An n- prefix sometimes occurs between two vowels, but it is not done to separate the vowels, as it is also inserted when the previous word doesn't end in a vowel - ár n-athair - "our father", bhur n-athair - "your (plural) father", a n-athair - "their father"

A h-prefix is sometimes used in positions where the previous word ends in a vowel, so you could say that it is used for the purpose of separating two vowels, but there is no general rule that vowels have to be separated by a consonant.


Tá a BHFÓN póca agam (after a vowel, you harden a soft consonant; after a consonant, you soften a hard consonant...)

[deactivated user]

    Tá a fhón agam - I have his phone
    Tá a fón agam - I have her phone
    Tá a bhfón agam - I have their phone


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