"An bhean bheag agus an fear mór."

Translation:The small woman and the big man.

January 28, 2015



Does lenition on 'bheag' occur because 'bean' is feminine? Would the male equivalent be 'an fear beag'?

February 19, 2015


Yes, that's it!

March 29, 2015


And so that is the same reason that bean gets séimhiúed as well and fear doesn't, because of the word genders? Any tricks to knowing what other words are masculine and feminine so we can know when to séimhiú adjectives (e.g. tabla, leabhar, cathaoir)?

February 19, 2016


Yes. There are some general guidelines (put “Acme AND declension AND guesser” in the Irish Discussions search box next to the green New Discussion button to find them), but the best method is to also learn the noun’s gender when you learn a noun.

April 13, 2016


Excuse my ignorance, but do other languages have similar rules as this? And for native speakers of Irish, do these 'rules' just come naturally?

June 15, 2016


I’m not sure how specific a “this” you mean, but other languages modify adjectives by noun gender, e.g. masculine beau vs. feminine belle in French, and other languages sometimes have categories that are determined by suffixes, e.g. -chen signifying neuter diminutives such as Mädchen in German.

Since I’m not a native speaker of Irish, I can’t say how “natural” those rules are, but I’d imagine it would be similar to e.g. putting adjectives of size before adjectives of color in English — i.e. it’s “natural” for native speakers of English to refer to “a big blue ball” rather than “a blue big ball”, even though the latter phrase is also grammatically correct.

June 15, 2016


Good example, and yeah that makes sense. It was actually the genitive rules that got me thinking about this. It was actually trying to get my head around the lessons on the genitive that got me thinking about this. As in 'capall' is the nominative singular, but nominative genitive is 'capaill', but these essentially get reversed in the plural (but with a h in the singular genitive and a g in the plural genitive). Obviously, it seems random to somebody like me, but probably makes perfect sense to a Gaeilgoir. But I'm aware that I'm coming at the language from a point where I didn't understand any of this at school.

June 15, 2016


yes, in breton you would use the same pattern : ar vaouez vihan hag an den bras ( maouez and bihan changes because of the gender): You ear it when someone doesn't say it correctly.

August 18, 2016


sounds like a bad sitcom

January 28, 2015


'An fear mór' reminds me of 'en farmor' which means 'a grandmother' in Swedish. :->

May 11, 2017


an bhean bheag - the wee/small woman

September 8, 2016


Apparently, wee is wrong. I think there are plenty of people in Ireland who would disagree.

March 24, 2017


Jack Sprat comes to mind

November 15, 2016


Wasn’t it his wife who could eat no lean?

March 15, 2017


Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean! Yup XD

January 13, 2018


You're a big guy

May 17, 2018
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