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  5. "What level are you on?"

"What level are you on?"

Translation:Cén leibhéal ar a bhfuil tú?

May 14, 2015



Why a bhfuil and not atá?


Let's see if I understood that correctly: - A bhfuil is for a direct relative clause (the subject of the proposition in the clause is the same as the subject of the precedent, main proposition); - atá is for an indirect relative clause (the subject is different).

Is that correct?


How come "Cén leibhéal a bhfuil tú air?" is also correct? Surely it should be "ar?"


No, it should be air. Irish, like Latin (but unlike English!) can't end with a preposition, so you have to conjugate the preposition to go with the subject. It would literally translate as "Which level that are you on it".


Fair enough! That makes perfect sense although I did think it seemed like an odd way to say the sentence, conjugating the preposition or not. I'm occasionally thrown by some of the more alternative translations.


Actually, if the indirect relative clause was negative, the preposition would have to go at the end and be inflected (you conjugate verbs).


So I understand there are two ways to form the relative clause: cén leibhéal an bhfuil tú air and cé leibhéal ar an bhfuil tú, but not in the negative, so one can't say: cén leibhéal ar nach bhfuil tú? Why is that?


Exactly. ar a, not ar an though. For negative, you'd have to say Cén leibhéal nach bhfuil tú air


Another good point! So the negative would be "Cén leibhéal nach bhfuil tú air? That does sound right when I read it out. I suppose I just always said the positive version one way and was conditioned to associate ending with the preposition on a negative without knowing why. Good old Ardleibhéal at work!


I've worked so hard to unlearn that English "rule", and just when I think I've got it down...


Ah sure, the whole rule is nonsense! :) AFAIK it stems from the days when language scholars were desperately trying to squeeze English into the grammatical structures of Latin (a "proper" language in their view) despite the glaring differences due to English's complex mixed origins. In fact, the Oxford English itself now says using a preposition at the end of a sentence is grand: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/ending-sentences-with-prepositions


You can still forget it in English!


Heh. At least the synthetic Irish prepositional forms make it easier to do the right thing. "ag" without anything after it feels weird.


The answer that Duolingo shows me says "ar", rather than"air". Is that because, in Duolinguo's example, "ar" isn't at the end of the sentence? How strange that in one position the preposition is declined and in the other it isn't!


The answer Duolingo shows you says ar rather than air because there is no pronoun involved (the relative clause is the object of the preposition). The alternative answer uses air, because you can't end a sentence with a preposition - using a prepositional pronoun suffices.


I've tried to report this, but sometimes what you want to report isn't provided as an option. (I went with "The dictionary hints on hover are wrong or missing").

There is a problem with this one, though, if you're using the option where you choose words from a list rather than typing your own translation out: the word "ar" is missing.

The list of words provided is: cén, leibhéal, a, tú, bhfuil, phróifil, smacht, air, baill, glaoch.

If it's possible to get the meaning of "what level are you on?" using that list, I can't see it.


cén leibhéal a bhfuil tú air?


Thanks! Today I see that Duolingo gives this as the correct answer.


There was no "ar" in the word bank,so I put "air" as in Scottish gaelic...

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