1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "The boys like that."

"The boys like that."

Translation:Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin.

January 12, 2015

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwasson

Why is it "leis na buachaillí" instead of, say, "le na buachaillí"? doesn't "leis" have an implied pronoun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Not in this case. le becomes leis when followed by the definite article (singular or plural), regardless of the gender/number of the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/exeisen

Can you give a link to a source that explains this more fully? I was also thrown by this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmc3.5

I presume it's to stop it being 'le na' otherwise it would be pronounced 'lena' which is a different preposition... 'lena' = with his / hers / its


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dalel_Chouikha

why "leis", and not "leo"? Na buachaillí is plural so why use the singular "leis" instead of the plural "leo"?!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

le becomes leis when followed by the definite article. It has nothing to do with the number/gender of the following noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwasson

Thanks--this was really confusing me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silmeth

So would ‘The woman likes it’ be Is maith leis an bhean é seo, and not Is maith *léi an bhean é seo, correct? Even though bean is feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Yes. The leis here has nothing to do with the gender of the following noun. It's just a sound change to keep the two vowel sounds from coming together.

Also Is maith leis an mbean in non-Donegal dialects.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silmeth

Thank you. Seems I have to look at declension tables at Wiktionary more often, as they seem very helpful and actually, as I see now, do show such things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Just to note: the dative can eclipse in Donegal Irish (and the rest of Ulster as well, but it's all extinct).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

Exactly. Le + an = leis an, regardless of the gender of the following noun. Similarly, le + na = leis na in front of a plural noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kavindad1

What is the difference between "Is maith leis na buachaillí í sin" and "Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin," and why are they both accepted for this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexinIreland

They mean pretty much the same thing. "é" is "it" for a masculine noun, and "í" is "it" for a feminine noun. Since the gender of "it" isn't specified, both are acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/songoftheskies

You can use both? I thought if you didn't know which it was you should use é.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Solvind

Because you could have spoken about a feminine noun earlier. With a single sentence you can't tell the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oftkiltered

I also got the impression that an unspecified gender defaulted to é


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/donna382364

Why is there an "e" after "buachailli"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eggplant42

The é refers to "it." It is a masculine it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob876380

Can't 'thaitnionn' be used here? Thaitnionn na buachailli é sin?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

You could say "Taitníonn sé sin leis na buachailli" but I don't know if Duolingo would count it right.

The thing that is liked is the subject of taitin and the person doing the liking becomes the object of le.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

You're very welcome. If you have questions, just ask and I'll answer if I know it. I don't do Duolingo, but there's a way you can tag people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshumz

Why is it "é sin" and not "sé sin"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwasson

It's like he versus him (sorta). "sé" is used for the subject. When you want to do third person singular masculine as the object of the sentence or in pretty much any other context, use "é" instead. Similar, sí changes to í, siad to iad, and tú to thú.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arklab

Can someone clarify what purpose "sin" is serving here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwasson

"sin" turns "he/she/it" into "that." "é" is "it/him," "é sin" is "that."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CeitNicLab

Aha!!! As a Gåidhlig speaker this was one of the things that totally mystified me. You wouldn't need the equivalent of é in Gàidhlig; it's just 'S toil leam sin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EllaSionnach

Wait, here, leis refer to buachailli or to "í"? I thought it had to be "leo", since I read somewhere that this kind of sentences should have a pronoun(?) even when there's a noun.. I'm so confused!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TuathaDeDanann

As stated above, le is changed to leis when it is followed by the definite pronoun (an or na). Leis has nothing to do with number or gender in cases such as this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

Why do we use leis at all here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

In front of an or na, le becomes leis. http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/le.htm 4th green heading


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KittDunne

Why is it not leis na mbuachaillí? This feels like a dumb question. If 'le' eclipses in the singular, doesnt it eclipse in the plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KittDunne

No one having answered, i searched. A post on The Daltai gives

leis an mbó = with the cow  leis na ba = with the cows 

From which I assume that the eclipsis rules for leis are not the same as the rules for le. Pretty confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait48

I wish Duolingo gave good enough grammar explanations that people like you weren't forced to crowd-source their grammar answers. Daltaí is, at least, better than what you're likely to get on these forums.

The difference is not between leis (which is simply the form of le used before an and na) and le. It is between the initial mutation or lack of it used after an and after na. In your examples, there is an initual mutation after an but not after na. That pretty much sums it up. Mutate after an but not after na. Charts: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/artikel.htm#praeposition

Note that there are two accepted systems of initial mutations after prepositions. I would say ar an bhus and leis an bhó, never ar an mbus or leis an mbó, and I would be right, too. Dunno if Duolingo tells you that.

More than you ever wanted to know about prepositions: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/praepos.htm

Unsolicited advice: Get a grammar book!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KittDunne

Thank you very very much! I actually have a grammar book (Christmas MacCongáil) and searched and searched, but you're right, it's on p 22. I just assumed an and na were the same thing. But Mr Christmas is clear about it! The Ulster - Munster rule that you mention appears passively in Duolingo and as a rule they allow both, I think. Thanks !

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