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"Itheann ulchabhán an luch."

Translation:An owl eats the mouse.

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ballygawley
Ballygawley
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knowing that bhán is white, I had to check , whether ulcha means anything. Turns out, that the owl is a "white beard" ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John418880

Thank you BallyG, I do love seeing these language roots unearthed :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IrishSelkie

Wow! That's awesome

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FionaSkyeAZ

Why is one "an" and the other "the"? Is it arbitrary? Is there some sort of reason why sometimes "an" means "the" and other times it means "a/an"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

You are confusing "an" in English with "an" in Irish. "an" is the Irish for "the", and it's the English for "a/an" - "an luch" always means "the mouse", it never means "a mouse" - "an owl" is just "ullchabhán", "the owl" wold be "an t-ulchabhán".

Basically, English uses the same article for definite singular and plural (the apple, the apples), it uses "a/an" for indefinite singular (an apple), and it doesn't use anything for indefinite plural (apples). So English has 3 different articles (the, a/an and nothing) for 4 different situations.

Irish doesn't use anything for singular or plural indefinite nouns ("úll" - "an apple", "úlla" - "apples"), it uses "an" for singular definite nouns ("an t-úll" - the apple) and it uses "na" for plural definite nouns ("na húlla" - the apples). So Irish also has 3 different articles (nothing, "an" and "na") for 4 different situations. They are just organized differently than the 3 different articles in English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IrishSelkie

Wow u r good...439 days in a row of practice!!! Also great explanation thanks that helped me too.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatharnPHL

It might also be helpful to know that "an" in Irish is not pronounced the same as "an" in English, so if you read "an" in Irish, and use the Irish pronunciation (http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/an) it will help you to avoid this confusion.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IrishSelkie

Thanks!

1 year ago