1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "The boy and the girl."

"The boy and the girl."

Translation:An buachaill agus an cailín.

November 11, 2014



Hi I need help understanding why you need to put an buachailli agus an cailin but you can just put bean agus fear


an buachaill agus an cailín means "the boy and the girl" (emphasis own), where as bean agus fear means "(a) woman and (a) man" (once again, emphasis own).

So, really, if it's "the", you need the singular definite article, an.


As i understand it is "an bhean" as woman is feminine, so is Cailin masculine or have i misunderstood something else?


The word cailín is indeed a masculine word.


Thanks, so i have learnt something then!, i think i will leave the next question, why a word referring to a female is a masculine word for another day.


The suffix ín is a diminutive meaning little or small. When you just tag it onto an existing word it doesn't change the gender (so an bheanín for "the little woman"), but when it is an integral part of the word, it's a masculine ending. Not all words that end in ín are using it as a dimunitive, though, so braillín is a feminine word, for example.


Bhean/bean means woman. Cailin means girl.


is it not supposed to be an gcailín?


No; you will learn when the "g" is needed in the Eclipsis skill later on.


What is the difference between Na and an?


Na is the definite article for all plural nouns and for feminine genitive singular nouns; an is the definite article for all other singular nouns.


I'm wondering this too..


Why "gusar" instead of "buachaill" in the answer box.


gasúr is an alternative that is sometimes used for buachaill, though it might be more usefully compared to "lad" or "youngfella". It's close counterpart, garsún has obvious links to the French "garçon".

When you submit an incorrect answer, Duolingo does a crude alphabetic comparison with the list of acceptable alternative answers, and it decided that you answer was alphabetically closest to an acceptable alternative answer that used gasúr rather than buachaill. If you look at the default translation shown at the top of the webpage for this discussion, you will see buachaill.


Thank you! This is helpful information. How long have you been studying Irish?


How do you know when to use an accent? Is there a rule or do we just kinda memorize it?


That's a bit like asking "when do you use a 'b'?". á and a are two different letters, and words that are spelled with a á or é or í or ó or ú require you to use the accented letter.

The accented vowels don't sound the same as the unaccented vowels, so you can tell which one is used to spell a word.

bán and ban
mála and mala
féar and fear
céad and cead
císte and ciste
clóis and clois
agús and agus

Accents aren't like lenition or eclipses that come and go depending on grammatical rules. Accents don't change and they don't tell you anything about the grammar - the only rule for using an accented vowel is that you need the sound that it makes.


If I need to use "bhean" after "an," why do I not use "chailin" after "an?"


cailín is a masculine noun.


Hello there, I wrote buacháil instead of buachaill (With an accent mark and one less L) but it still marked it as correct, is this ok?


As there is no such word as "buacháil", you answer was accepted as a typo (and you should have been warned of that). As you get further into the course, you won't get as much leeway with such typos and misspellings.


Ah, I didn't notice it being accepted as a typo. Still, thanks


It keeps saying to pay attention to accents. But my keyboard on my phone has no way for me to put in the accent. That is frustrating and annoying.


On almost every phone, if you press and hold a letter on the keyboard, a sub keyboard will pop up to offer variations of that letter with accents.


Thank You - I did not know that. I will do that next time. :-)

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