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  5. "I eat before the crab."

"I eat before the crab."

Translation:Ithim roimh an bportán.

October 11, 2014



I don't understand... In the earlier lessons, crab was "portan"... please explain, thanks :)


my bad, crúbaire is a "mechanical term", portán is the correct word in context


Hey, why is it bportán sometimes and phortán sometimes? And why, when I put phortán does it allow the answer as correct, but suggest bportán? Is there a colloquial difference?


The answer depends on the rules for initial mutations. In this case, both phortán and bportán are accepted in the Caighdeán - both are commonly used in dialects (eclipse by the southern ones, and lenition by Donegal).


For "roimh" it gives both "before" and "in front of" as translations. Is this in the sense of being first (eg. in front/before you in line) or present (eg. here before/in front of a live audience)?


On another senrtence, I saw another commenter say that it means both.


I'd also like to know this.


Why bportán? How do I know when eclipse formatting is needed?


Check the tips and notes for the Eclipsis skill. In this case it is because of the word roimh.


There's no tips for the mobile app. Or if so I can't find them. Will have to boot up the computer


I log into a browser on my phone so I can review the notes for a section while doing the exercises in the app.


crúbaire is also a word for crab


I have no clue as to the meaning of an sentence like "I eat before the crab".

To me it feels like: - "I'm sitting in front of the crab and I eat" which to me makes no sense at all because I estimate that the crab is totally uninterrested in what I'm having for lunch. - It could also mean that I eat before the crab starts to eat which makes even less sense.

  • A sentence like "I eat before the dog" would make a lot of sense, even though then I feel for the dog and I can see its begging eyes before me. "ithim roimh an bmadra"???

Is this a typical Gaelic expression? Is this a grammatical error? Can anybody explain this to me?


"portán" is used because it has been used in other exercises, so it is vocabulary that people recognize, and it starts with a letter that can be eclipsed (this exercise demonstrates that "roimh" causes eclipsis). "Madra" can't be eclipsed, so it would be a poor example to use in this case.

"before the boy" and "before the girl" are used in other versions of this exercise.



I see... and I understand. Still it makes no sense. I think I'll try to skip that specific exercise.


It makes perfect sense - grammatically.

Duolingo isn't a phrasebook that you memorize and trot out when you need a particular phrase that you have memorized. Duolingo is teaching you the building blocks that you need to build your own sentences. Sometimes "nonsense phrases" will play a part in the process.


I'll take that as a Gaeltacht line of though and therefor I like it and support it.


For eclipses MBP NDT NGC bhF N-vowels

So m before b, b before p N before d, d before t N before g, g before c Bh before f

N - vowels Rest, no eclipse


How do you know how to spell the word in the particular situation? Thanks.


You need to learn the lenition/eclipsing rules. That'll tell you when something lenites (add an "h") or when something eclipses (add a letter before)


So using b or h is acceptable?? Is there any rule for using one over the other?


For this course, stick with eclipsis (bportán) rather than lenition in this situation.


Why b? How do you know which letter goes there?


I think eclipsed letters come in specific pairs:

b --> mb; c --> gc; d --> nd; f --> bhf; g --> ng; p --> bp; t --> dt


Ah thanks! I didn't understand any rhyme or reason for it at first.


Alternative : '...os comhair an phortáin '?


Not really - while it is technically possible to interpret "I eat before the crab" as a statement of physical position" (I am before/in front of the crab as I eat), it would be an unusual interpretation - why wouldn't you just say "I eat in front of the crab"?

The more obvious interpretation is temporal (I eat before the crab eats) and requires roimh, BUT you would have to say ithim sula n-itheann an portán if you included verb describing the crab's acttion


That clarifies things considerably. So, 'roimh' has both a temporal and a locative meaning. Thank you sir


What's the difference in meaning between ''roimh'' & ''romhat''


"Romhat" is a synthetic form of "roimh" used when the object is the second person singular. (So it means roughly "in front of you" where "you" is just a single person.)


When do you use b or m in front of a word?


The Tips & Notes for the Eclipsis skill describe the basic situations where eclipsis is used, and which letters eclipse which letters.


Is the crab eating in the same restaurant as me ?

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