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  5. "Is maith leis na buachaillí …

"Is maith leis na buachaillí é sin."

Translation:The boys like that.

January 15, 2015



I am not sure I understand why this translates to "the boys like that", rather than He likes those boys. Can anyone explain?


I'm no expert, but I'll try my hand at it – a word-for-word translation would be something like "It is good with the boys it that", or, roughly, "That is good with the boys", idiomatically "the boys like that". I believe "é" could be used as either "he" or a gender-neutral "it", while "sin" is a weird, not-quite-translatable particle(?) that follows the noun it is specifying and indicates "that"/"those"/etc. There's probably a more-technical explanation for that, but I hope that helped!


Non-technical explanations are far easier to understand for me, thank you so much for puzzling this out


In this sentence structure, the boys are doing the liking.


The key to understanding the difference between is maith leis na buachaillí sin and is maith leis na buachaillí é sin is recognising who/what is being liked - na buachaillí sin in the first case and é sin in the second.

Once you know what is being liked, you can figure out who is doing the liking - is maith (leis) is the first case and is maith (leis na buachaillí) in the second.


The difference would be that in the first example ("is maith leis na buachaillí sin"), "leis" would be "le + 3° person singular masculine", analogous to "is maith liom anraith sin" (I like that soup), while in the second example ("is maith leis na buachaillí é sin"), "leis" would be "le followed by an article", right? So it's just "unfortunate" that "le" looks the same when it's combined with different things. If this is right, then in the second example "é" is just there to separate "sin" from "na buachaillí", meaning that "sin" does not modify "buachaillí", right? Because it would be confusing due to Irish having adjectives and pronouns following the noun they modify ("boy that" instead of "that boy"). I hope I understood correctly since I'm trying to get to the bottom of the grammar as I advance in the course.


é is not "just there to separate "sin" from "na buachaillí". You can't use sin on it's own. To say "that X", you need a definite article - an X sin, Is maith liom anraith sin doesn't make any sense, it has to be an t-anraith sin. To say just "that", you need the é.

"I didn't know that" - ní raibh a fhios agam é sin
"Is that a problem?" - An fadhb é sin?
"did you get permission to do that?" - an bhfuair tú cead é sin a dhéanamh?
"say that in English" - abair é sin i mBéarla

The thing that is liked is the last item in the construction is maith le X Y. In is maith leis na buachaillí sin, the last item is na buachaillí sin.
In is maith leis na buachaillí é sin, the last item is é sin.

That é is sometimes lost in speech, but grammatically, it's still there.


Thanks a lot, I hadn't read anywhere that the demonstrative pronoun cannot "exist" on its own; I guess even though I'm reading and watching plenty of resources aside from Duolingo, still there are many surprises!


Literally "He is good with the boys", so it's the boys experiencing the good, i.e. doing the liking.


How would you differentiate between "like that" and "like those"


How would you say: "Those boys like that" ?


'Is maith leis na buachaillí sin é sin'


I was afraid of something like the above, so basically the answer is, that you actually wouldn't say "sin é sin ... í sin." Thanks ;-)


Is good with the boys it there


Berkhead I love this answer. It looks like the most accurate direct translation of each Irish word in the sentence. But then I am only a novice at this & not sure what the experts might say.


How would you say "He likes that" ? Tks in advance


Is maith leis é sin.


I don't quite understand why "is maith LEIS na buachaillí"

as I know "leis"-"with him" but we want to say "with the boys"

so why not "is maith LE na buachaillí é sin" ?

what's the rule regulates it?


le becomes leis before a definite article - it's always leis an or leis na, never le an or le na.


How would you say "The girls like that" ? Would it then be "Is maith léi na cailiní é sin"


I see where you're going with that, but the answer is simpler than that: leis an [anything singular], leis na [anything plural], so your sentence would be "Is maith leis na cailíní é sin."


Ok, makes sense, go raibh maith agat


Ok so you use "Is maith leis" with anything that has "an or na" so to say "The children like that" I would say "Is maith leis na páistí é sin" or if I want to say "The dog likes that" = "Is maith leis an madra é sin" ...


Can someone verify if that's true? Thanks! It may seem so simple, but for first timers, it's confusing. Thanks!


As Cait48 and galaxyrocker already explained in the earlier comments, le + an X is written leis an X and le + na Xanna is written leis na Xanna.

(I just used Xanna as a generic plural - there is no significance to it).

There are some unusual cases where le does not become leis before an, but you don't need to worry about them for now.


Can you just say "is maith leis na buachaillí sin." That would be my natural instinct. Why's the é necessary if it is?


Is maith leis na buachaillí sin - "He likes those boys"

Your natural instinct is off on this one - that é makes a big difference!


Why is it leis and not le?


"is maith leo na buachaillí é sin" would be correct, no? le + sé = leis


Nope. le isn't inflecting with the subject. It's because of the definite noun. When le is followed by a definite noun, it becomes leis + definite noun, no matter what the subject is.


Ah, I stand corrected. Grmma!


You could replace "é sin" with "sin" in this sentence and still retain the original meaning. Loads of Irish speakers very seldom say "é sin" instead of "sin". If you remove the "é" then you can also interpret the sentence as "He likes those boys".

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