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  5. "The boys like that."

"The boys like that."

Translation:Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin.

January 12, 2015



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


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


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


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


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


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


Thanks--this was really confusing me!


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?


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.


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.


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


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


I wrote is maith na buachaillí sin


The phrase for liking things is Is maith le ABC XYZ.

ABC is the person who likes something and XYZ is the thing they like.

Is maith le Máire tae. Máire likes tea.

le + an = leis an Is maith leis an chailín an pictiúr. (gcáilín would also be correct.)

le + na = leis na Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin <<< This is what you should have written.

Ádh mór.


Wow that was kinda jawdropper.many thanks


I put Is maith leis na buachaillí sin and was marked wrong because I left out é. I'm not sure why é is needed, but I know that the Irish like to throw it in with the copula for good measure.


To put it a different way: without the é, sin is modifying "na buachaillí," turning it from "the boys" to "those boys." With the é, "é sin" forms a pair, becoming "that." I think this is a real interesting garden path sentence, since you don't know until you get to that é what the actor in this sentence is.


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?


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.


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


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


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


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


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


why not is maith leo na buachailli e sin


When you use this expression, the person who is liking something has to come after 'le'

Is maith le XYZ bainne = XYZ likes milk

Is maith liom caife = I like coffee

Is maith leat... = You like...

Is maith leis... = He likes...

Is maith léi... = She likes

Is maith linn... = We like...

Is maith libh... = You like...

Is maith leo... = They like...

Is maith leis an bhean... = The woman likes...

Is maith leis na mná... = The women like ...

Is maith le mo mhac ... = My son likes...

Note that le changes to leis in front of an and na.


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!


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.


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?


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.


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!


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


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.


thanks. :-)


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.


Cait48 How can you access this if your not doing duo!!! Are you a moderator? You give gr8 examples thank you


I did do Duolingo when it first came out, but I already knew a lot of grammar and quickly became disillusioned because there were a lot of mistakes and because answers in Ulster Irish were marked wrong. I started submitting error reports, and Duolingo changed some questions to accept Ulster answers, and they fixed some of the sentences with mistakes. (No one seems to respond to error reports now.) If you make a comment on a page, DL notifies you whenever there's another comment on the page -- I have no special powers!


Why is it "é sin" and not "sé sin"?


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.


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


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


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.


I've learned several languages in which I am now fluent. Other than when I studied Vietnamese (briefly), I have never had so much trouble with a language. Ever. I slog along with Irish, year after year, while flying through other languages. Why is this so hard? Am I missing something? I never encountered declension in ANY other language. Does it even exist in other languages?


Sure it does. Russian has big time changes for declensions. English does for pronouns, I/me/mine, etc. French does for pronouns, il/le/lui, etc. German does for pronouns er/ihm/ihn, the definite article der Apfel/den Apfel/dem Apfel/des Apfels, plural nouns in the dative case, masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive case, adjectives and so on. Other Slavic languages decline nouns and modifiers. And then there's Latin!

If you are really 'slog[ging] along with Irish, year after year,' perhaps you should try a different program. I'm serious, and I mean it in the most helpful way possible. After 'year after year,' you should have outgrown Duolingo. Get a real program with adequate audio and good explanations of the grammar. First choice would be a real class (online or in-person) with a real teacher. Next best would be either the Irish classes on FutureLearn (www.futurelearn.com) or the Ulster Irish series Now You're Talking (book pages, sound files, videos, answer key all at ultach.org).

Why spend any more time on a program that isn't working for you?


Why do we need to say "é"? I keep getting that wrong.


We're supposed to say The boys like that

the boys = na buachallí

like = Is maith le (person who likes th thing) (thing that is liked)

that = é sin

When you put it all together, you get /is maith le na buachaillí é sin/, but whenever you want to say 'le an' or 'leis an,' STOP and write leis an or leis na. It's just one of those things that every language has, like in English, when you want to say 'a' in front of 'apple' or 'unicorn,' you have to STOP and say 'an' because we just don't say 'a' in front of vowels.

[deactivated user]

    In Is maith leis na buachaillí sin, na buachaillí sin is what is liked.
    In Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin, é sin is what is liked.

    That's why you need to say é.

    Is maith leis na buachaillí sin - https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/4313347
    "He like those boys"

    Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin - https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6443468
    "The boys like that"


    The simple answer is that with the copula ('Is') we use the object pronouns (é, í) instead of the subject pronouns (sé, sí), for the subject. Is buachaill é, is múinteoir í. Likewise, in 'Is maith liom é sin', 'é' is the subject of the sentence. Literally, 'That is good to me.'

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