November 23, 2014



Why is it 'mi an' for some months and 'mi na' for others? Do the ones named after festivals get the 'na'?


The ones that are feminine get na, the masculine ones get an.


Thank you, GalaxyRocker. If I don't always thank you, it's because my phone doesn't let me do it and I'm not always at my computer.


Is that only for months?


That's for anything in the genitive singular.


How do you know which ones are feminine? Or do I have to memorize that?


You have to memorize it if you want to use those forms, but nowadays "Mí na Samhna" and "Mí na Nollag" are the only ones that are consistently used with the article, and they're both feminine.


Does May require "mí na"? Other months don't appear to.


Six of the months require the definite article when used with (Mí na Feabhra, Mí an Mhárta, Mí na Bealtaine, Mí an Mheithimh, Mí na Samhna, Mí na Nollag). Feabhra, Bealtaine, Samhain and Nollaig are all feminine, so they take na in the genitive ("the month of X" is a genitive construction).

You can find out more here.


Any reason why Mí Bealtaine is listed as a possible variant in the NEID?


The NEID reflects current usage, and it looks as though some people are using all of the months without the definite article, except for Mí na Samhna and Mí na Nollag.

(The FGB and the NEID both give Mí Feabhra as the only option, and the NEID offers Mí Márta, Mí Bealtaine and Mí Meithimh, which certainly makes life easier!)


Please clarify for me the instances when the articles are used with the months and when they can be left off.


Why didnt it accept mí Bealtine for "May?"


Because the genitive of Bealtaine is also Bealtaine.


Does anyone know why some months have 'Dé' in front of the name and others do not? This confuses me a bit :)


It's days of the week, not months, that have in front of them

There are a couple of blog posts [1], [2] on the Transparent Irish blog that delve into the Days of the Week in Irish, but the explanation there starts with this statement:

each day has at least two forms, one for the day as a subject or concept (like An Luan, "Monday", lit. “the” Monday) and one used to say when something is happening (like Dé Luain, lit. “on the day of” Monday).


I put Bealtaine, and it marked me wrong.

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