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  5. "The dog pays for the cat."

"The dog pays for the cat."

Translation:Íocann an madra don chat.

May 18, 2015



What a gentleman


Wonder what the dog does for a living. And are they on a date? And does Pòl know?


why does this sound like some obscure proverb?


This sentence is causing problems at home. My cat was helping me with the grammar, and when he read this sentence he assumed that this was to be understood as normative canine behaviour. Now he is miauwing for the dog to take him down to the takeaway for some cod and chicken slices.


Why is "Íocann an madra don an chat." wrong?


It's a contraction of do an, so the definite is already included. But that form is never used - it's always don.


Maybe the dog found Pòl lying somewhere with the empty bottle of wine beside him, stole all his money and took the cat out on the razz with it. That dog is a b@$tid.


Why is it "chat" and not "cat"?


don triggers lenition, as according to the lesson notes here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Lenition (probably not visible on mobile)

Edit, three years later: That link no longer works. I recommend this one instead: https://duome.eu/tips/en/ga#Lenition - also works on mobile!


Can someone clarify and post some examples to compare and contrast. Does Íocann an madra don chat, mean the dog is paying to buy a cat or does it mean the dog is paying the cat's fare, like on a date? Whichever it is, could you also give examples of the other so we can see both side by side? Thank you kindly!


If the dog is buying the cat, "The dog pays for the cat" is Íocann an madra as an gcat. If the dog is paying for the cat's ticket or meal, "The dog pays for the cat" is Íocann an madra don cat. English is ambiguous in this regard.

If the dog is paying the cat (giving the money to the cat), you say Íocann an madra leis an gcat.


See AnLonDubhBeag’s comment here.

(Ar son X needs the genitive form of X, so Ar son an chait?.)


Go raibh míle!


Why is madra not lenitited here? I thought it would be lenitited after a "the"


Feminine nominative nouns are indeed lenited after an - but madra is a masculine noun.


Is there a way to tell whether is is a femanine or masculine noun?


Generally speaking, your best bet is trying to learn the gender as you learn each noun.


Just found out this one: - Briseann mo mhadra an leabhar (My dog breaks the book). Duolingo accepts it like this, but here, "dog" is still masculine, right? Is it lenited or eclipsed in this case? It's still a little hard for me...


The lesson notes are a great quick reference - at least if you check them on the unofficial page DuoMe. Here they are for lenition and eclipse:

As you can see, m ⇒ mh conversion always means lenition. In fact, the letter m cannot be eclipsed.

So the trick is to find out when the m needs to be lenited. As you say, madra is always masculine, so the rules about gender are irrelevant. But the possessive mo, do, and a (in the meaning of "his") do all cause lenition. Hence,

  • an madra, but
  • mo mhadra

I recommend writing the conversion tables and rules down a few times at some interval - that'll help them stick eventually. :)


Thank you very much! I'll go check it all out on the links you gave me too. I didn't know about it. And thanks for the explanation too. You're very kind. ^_^


I answered Íocann an madra as an gcat. Not accepted.


same here. i think they mean the dog pays on behalf of the cat, rather than buys the cat itself


Just wondering, when would you use "don" instead of "do" to mean "for the"?


don is do+an, so you always use don for "for the" when "the" is singular, and do na when "the" is plural.


What's wrong with saying madadh rather than madra


Why chat , cat or gcat?

  • cat = radical (base) form
  • chat = lenited form
  • gcat = eclipsed form

For the specific sentence, don triggers lenition, as according to the lesson notes.

Lenition and eclipsis are core concepts in Irish grammar. If you are not familiar with these, I strongly suggest reading the lesson notes on each and doing relevant exercises until you get the general gist of it.


Why chat, and not cat? And why the absence of "an"?

[deactivated user]

    do + an becomes don and don causes lenition.

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