1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "The boy goes around the libr…

"The boy goes around the library."

Translation:Téann an buachaill timpeall na leabharlainne.

November 7, 2014



Does this sentence mean that the boy goes around the outside of the library building or that he moves around inside it?


Around the building. Timpeall can also mean "circuit", so this can be translated as "The boy makes a circuit of the library"


But is the circuit inside or outside of the building?


Judging by the NEID examples, it could be either.


Please help me understand again why in the sentence you can't say timpeall an leabharlann?


An leabharlann is the nominative singular which you could use in a sentence like "Téann an buachaill go dtí an leabharlann" [The boy goes to the library].

Na leabharlainne is the genitive singular which is used in this sentence because it follows the preposition timpeall which is one of several that require use of the genitive case.


Adding (because I was confused) - for feminine nouns in the genitive, the singular article changes from 'an' to 'na' as well; and leabhalann is femine.


I don't know if I'm reading too much into things or if knowing the answer to this will help my understanding in any way, but here it goes.

I noticed that bialainne and leabharlainne end the same way. Is lainne a word on its own? Building or somesuch? Is it a suffix and not a word at all? Any help would be appreciated if it will help me learn.


bialainne is the genitive of bialann, leabharlainne is the genitive of leabharlann.

lann can mean "Land, ground, site. Building, house; church". Aside from bialann and leabharlann, you might have encountered pictiúrlann, grúdlann, dánlann and amharclann on Duolingo, along with lots of references to teanglann.ie,

Other examples are otharlann - "infirmary", ceardlann - "workshop", bearblann - "barber's shop", beachlann - "apiary", marglann - "mart", feithealann - "waiting-room", armlann - "armoury", léachtlann - "lecture theatre".


Thank you, this helps a ton!


How do I know what noun is fem or masc?


Say you already know two words, e.g. fear and fuinneog.

When you see "an fear" (the man) written you know the noun "fear" must be masculine.

And when you see "an fhuinneog" (the window) written you know the noun "fuinneog" must be feminine.

This rule applies to all nouns in the Irish language where lenition is possible.

However, the rule that says that certain letters cannot be lenited, e.g. "l", overrides the above.

So, "an lá" (the day) does not tell us the grammatical gender of "lá".

The difference can also be heard.


The difference can only be heard when lenition is possible, of course.

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