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  5. "Cad é doimhneacht na farraig…

"Cad é doimhneacht na farraige?"

Translation:What is the depth of the sea?

June 13, 2015



Can "farraige" also mean ocean, or do you have to say "farraige mór" for that?


One could use bóchna, aigéan, or farraige mhór for “ocean”, but farraige by itself is only “sea”.


As doimhneacht is feminine, shouldn’t it be “Cad í doimhneacht na farraige?” Or does the pronoun é refer to something else?


with the word "na" rather than "an" before farraige, is "the seas" acceptable?


"the depth of the sea"/"the sea's depth" is a genitive phrase, and in the genitive, the singular definite article for feminine nouns is na. You've probably encountered examples like Uachtarán na hÉireann or timpeall na scoile.

The genitive plural for farraige is ▪farraigí▪, and the plural article causes eclipsis, so "the depth of the seas" is doimhneacht na bhfarraigí.

And with a plural noun, you would use the pronoun iad rather than é.


Why is the definite article 'an' omitted before doimhneacht?


Why is the definite article omitted before "depth" in "the sea's depth"?

The definite article in a definite genitive noun phrase goes before the genitive noun, which is always the second noun in Irish.


It is just like “the sea’s depth” in English. “The” belongs to “sea” and “depth” has no article: it has the genitive as its “determiner” instead of an article.

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