1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "The man walks with his dog."

"The man walks with his dog."

Translation:Siúlann an fear lena mhadra.

November 27, 2014



one time the sentence is written "siúlann an fear lena mhadra", the other time "siúlann an fear lena madra" - what's right now? or is this again a dialectal variety?


As far as i read elsewhere where an answer was provided to a similar question, i believe it is because lena can mean his or her. In the case it is his, lenition takes place, hence the mhadra. In one case you read his and in the other her, and lenition shows you which is which.


Thank you very much!


Youre welcome! As a matter of fact I just made the same mistake and went to read the comments. Stumbled upon this one. Found it clear. Then realised it was I who had written it. Sigh


If you strengthen your "lenition" skill (and maybe check the notes), you'll be reminded that "a madra" is "her dog" and "a mhadra" is "his dog".


You cant see the notes on the phone app though


You can see the Tips & Notes in the browser on your phone. (At the time the message you are responding to was written, I don't think you could access the discussions on the phone apps either).


does this mean his own dog, another man's dog, or both?


It depends on context, I guess. Same way it would in English. Generally, I'd go with the man walking his own dog.


Wouldn’t it be lena madra rather than lena mhadra to translate “with their dog”?


Wow. I completely misread that as 'her dog'. My fault!


I thought "lena" was only for coming 'le + an/na'. Can is also be used as it is here, lena madra, lena mhadra and how many more cases is it used in. More importantly, is there a section on DuoLingo which I'm forgetting dedicated to this specifically? (Or am I on it? ._.)


le an/na becomes leis an or leis na. le a becomes lena.


Thank you a lot.


lena mhadra = his dog? lena madra = her dog? lena madra = their dog? M cannot eclipse?

If above is correct, how can one tell if it is her or their dog?


You can't. It's entirely down to context! With letters that don't mutate at all you can't distinguish 'he' from 'she' either - lena leabhar for example.

It's not as hard to deal with as you might think - think of how English does just fine without distinguishing you (sing.) and you (plur.). Somewhat tangentially, Lithuanian doesn't distinguish 'he works', 'she works' and 'they work', and that works out fine for them too.

Even the mutations can lead to ambiguities sometimes: a bhás (his death) sounds the same as a bhfás (their growth)!


"lena" means "his," right? So shouldn't "with his dog" need another word, like "le lena mhadra"? or is the second "le" just ignored?


No. a means "his" (or "her" or "their"). le+a combine to form lena.


Is lena and leis the same?



Siúlann an fear lena mhadra - "The man walks with his dog"
Siúlann an bhean lena madra - "The woman walks with her dog"
Siúlann an fear leis - "The man walks with him/it"
Siúlann an fear le madra - "The man walks with a dog"
Siúlann an fear leis an madra - "The man walks with the dog"

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