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  5. "Off the girl."

"Off the girl."

Translation:Den chailín.

November 6, 2014



Why does Duolingo sometimes have this as "off" the girl and sometimes it is "of" the girl? Which is correct?


Both, but see ataltane's comment below.


Except you wouldn't use 'de(n)' to translate 'the phone of the girl' - you'd use the genitive for that, to indicate possession.

You only need to use 'of' to translate 'de(n)' occasionally, such as 'of' in 'made of' (tá sé deanta de chlocha = "it's made of stone") and in what's called the partitive (indicating some or part of something, such as duine de na buachaillí = "some of the boys").

Generally, take the base meaning of "de" to be "off, from". And remember, the word is not defined by the random collection of English prepositions that happen to translate it.


You made my "de."


"And remember, the word is not defined by the random collection of English prepositions that happen to translate it"

Very true for the prepositions in Irish, an excellent point. Most of the prepositions have only a moderate connection to the English preposition commonly used to translate them.


De would also be used instead of the genitive when the first noun is undefined and the second is defined , because using the genetive would make the first noun defined ...

Hata den chat = a hat of THE cat Hata an chait = THE hat of THE cat


Why isn't "Den gcailin" correct ?


Because den lenites its noun rather than eclipsing it.

EDIT: The 2016 version of the Caighdeán also allows eclipsis after either (den and don) or (sa).


"Den gcailín" is actually used in Kerry, but not the other dialects.


I just love it that so many people on here know so much more than I do. I hope Dust514 is still around for this answer - it is really encouraging to see that his (or her) logical deduction is part of the language in a dialect! Would not have known that if you hadn't popped in.


That explains why i was so confused i just assumed I'd it wrong in my head but nah its just the Kerry Irish lmao


Why is there an h


Lenition is a change of an initial consonant sound that is applied in various grammatical situations in Irish. Ablaut in English is akin to it, where a change in a verb’s root vowel sound signifies a grammatical change, e.g. sing/sang/sung. Lenition is expressed in Roman type by following certain initial consonants with an H. (In Gaelic type, lenition is instead expressed by putting a dot on top of those consonants.)


What does "off the girl" mean? Is it an idiomatic phrase in Irish? In English it would be the equivalent of saying "kill the girl".


I think it's a pure grammatical exercise, not intended to have a great deal of meaning.

We could invent a context for it, weird though it may be: "Hey, remember that girl we saw who fell asleep during her picnic and there was a spider crawling on her? Is the spider still on that girl?" "I just checked. The spider has crawled away. It is off the girl."

  • 1438

I wouldn't use den chailín tó say "it's off the girl". I would say thit sé den chailín to say "it fell off the girl".


That was my thought exactly!


Why is the answer not "den na chailín?"


"na" is used for plurals: "na cailíní", "an" is for the singular and "an" is already included in "den" (de + an = den)


Because den causes lenition.


Why does this translate to "Off the girl" while Duolingo's "Den bhuachaill" doesn't allow "off the boy" as a translation?


I see both 'of' and 'off' are correct. Is this 'of' in a possessive sense? And 'off' in the sense of 'buying something off someone' or for example 'throwing someone off a cliff'?


See my reply above.


So, 'Den chailín' is the right answer. My brain has blipped - why don't we need the definite article here? Is 'den' a contraction of 'de' and 'an'? In which case, den úll, den madra, den cat, etc?


Yes, den = de + an, so den úll, den mhadra, den chat, etc. The rule is to lenite when possible, except for words that begin with D, S, or T, which remain unlenited, e.g. den dlí, den sráid, den teach.


Ah! Knew I'd find the answer in here. I initially wrote den an cailín which is wrong.

Is it the same for don (do + an ?) and san (sa + an ?)? The eclipsis notes specifically described the contractions with an, but not the lenition ones.


Yes, the same applies for don = do + an, and sa = i + an. (San is used in place of sa before a vowel sound, e.g. san uisce, san fhéar.) Note that the 2016 version of the Caighdeán also allows eclipsis after either (den and don) or (sa).


Me too! I love all that I can glean from discussion regarding grammer :)


Thank you, Scilling! That explains it, and is actually a far easier rule to remember than I had thought it would be.


Why is the pronunciation of chailín not affected by lenition? Same with chara, why does the 'c' still sound hard? Thank you.


It should be affected — the pronunciation of the lenited C in chailín and chara should be the same as in German Bach (IPA /x/), not the sound of the unlenited C.


go raibh maith agat


Why isint it ón gcailín


Ón means “from the” rather than “off the”.


so den means 'of' and 'off'?


Den can mean either “of the”, “off the”, or “from the”.


So how would I say get off me?


Should be From the girl not off the girl. Den chailin. From the girl????


of the girl or off the girl ? Which one is correct ?


From reading ALL the answers above, including ataltane's answer (the most helpful), here's the answer to your question : BOTH "of" and "off" are correct, even though English language gives two different meanings to these prepositions. You just have to bear in mind that "of", "off" (AND "from") are approximations of the true meaning of "Den" which doesn't have a TRUE EQUIVALENT in English. But that's only my understanding of/off/from the comments I read above... I could be mistaken.


It's "of", not "off". You should fix this.

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