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  5. "The beef is mine."

"The beef is mine."

Translation:Is liomsa an mhairteoil.

October 6, 2014



Why is "beef" here "mhairteoil" when in a previous sentence "Is leatsa an portán" has the normal word for crab and not "phortán"?


mairteoil is a feminine noun, therefore, in the nominative case, it lenites following the singular definite article. Portán is a masculine one, so it doesn't change.


If a steak is on my plate next to a baked potato, how can I tell if it’s male or female?

Okay, that’s not really my question...but it made me laugh. Well, I chuckled. Fine, I only grinned a little. I don’t have much of a sense of humor.

I also don’t have a sense of whether seemingly gender-neutral things (like beef) have a sex. I get why the cow or bull would, but not the food. It hasn’t yet clicked in my “old dog” brain that beef is feminine, yet a crab is masculine.

Is there a way to know which is which, or is it kind of like English...full of exceptions to spelling rules?


There are some general rules but i can never remember them so i just try and learn the gender as i learn the noun


If Irish is like German when it comes to grammatical gender, I fear there are no hard rules, maybe some hints. As a native German speaker I can assure you that there are even a few words (really not many though) in German, where any grammatical gender is possible for the same word, depending on regional preference. It just has nothing to do with biological sex - well at least not in general, that is. Mostly biological sex does correlate to grammatical gender, but there are exceptions. For instance diminuitive overrules that. It requires neutral gender, hence "das Mädchen"/"the girl" is grammatically neutral in German because of the suffix "chen" which is a diminuitive of the older grammatically female form "die Maid"/"the (young) woman" which is almost extinct though (practically used in poetry only, if at all).


As far as I knotas a beginner (may the powers that be correct me :)

Generally, a noun that ends in a broad consonant is m., whereas a noun that ends in a slender consonant is f..

exceptions: - f. óg/-eog (broad) - m. -óir/-eoir (slender) - m. diminutive -ín


Can someone explain if there are differences in possession if the word is masculine or feminine? I looked through the notes but neglected to find anything about "liomsa." Are there other suffixes like "sa" that indicate possession, or is "sa" specifically for the self?


Okay, so just that I'm clear: M takes h in the genitive if the noun is feminine?


"Mairteoil" in this case, so far as I am aware, is lenited because it is feminine and follows the singular definite article, "an." I think the genitive of mairteoil is mairteola, but I'm not really that far along with Irish myself.


I thought I remembered in earlier chapters, sentences with "Is" always had a pronoun, i.e. "Is ainmhí é an madra". That doesn't seem to be the case in these sentences, is it a different structure entirely or a different rule or am I just misremembering?

  • 1393

Apart from anything else, liomsa is a prepositional pronoun, so this expression does contain a pronoun, but this isn't an identification/classification copula, so you won't use the rules designed for the identification/classification copula anyway.


What is the rule for putting in a seibhiú? Mar shampla 'mo mhairteoil'.

  • 1393

There is more than one rule, because the séimhiú is used in different situations.

The most common rules are described in the Tips & Notes for the Lenition skill.




-sa emphatic suffix of the first-person singular; used after velarized consonants and back vowels



Ok, so how do I empathize the pronoun of the 1st prs. sing. when it's palatized*?

  • 1393

When a 3rd party resource that you are referencing talks about "palatalized consonants" do you understand what they mean?


Knowing the gender and declensions (how the word changes) of nouns would wreck your head. These links should help:

http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/subst3.htm http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/1dekl.htm

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