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  5. "I cut the bread and I eat it…

"I cut the bread and I eat it."

Translation:Gearraim an t-arán agus ithim é.

June 23, 2015



Why is it an t-arán and not an arán


Because the definite article can change the first letter of words. This is really confusing sometimes, so look up The Article section on this site here: http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/gram.htm


Thank you so much. This is something I have been fighting to wrap my head around the reasoning for.


I always forget the t- prefix with this type of a sentence.I can tell that it makes the sentence flow smoother. What's a good rule of thumb for remembering this?


The t-prefix differentiates masculine nuns (an t-arán) from feminine nouns (an ubh). The nearest thing to a rule of thumb is that there are more masculine nouns than feminine nouns.


I thought I saw another sentence where the correct sentence used “an arán” where arán was the object, not the subject, and the reasoning was that the t- construction is only used in the nominative case. By that reasoning, the t should not be used here. What’s right?


There is a bogus exercise out there - Gearrann an scian an arán.

The correct version is also available - Gearrann an scian an t-arán, but the bad version was never deleted.

The reverse exercise, from English to Irish, uses an t-arán:
"The knife cuts the bread"

In Irish, the nominative and accusative take the same form and follow the same rules for lenition and eclipse, so it doesn't matter whether arán is the subject or object of the sentence - with the singular definite article you will have an t-arán.

But when a noun is an indirect object after most simple prepositions, you use the dative, so you would say cuireann sé im ar an arán - "he puts butter on the bread".

*Edit - there's another incorrect exercise out there that is missing the t- prefix before arán - Díolaimid an fíon agus an arán don chóisir


Thank you! The discussion on that second example is what I was thinking of. Thanks for adding to that thread too.


Are gearraim and gearran mé both ok, or is only the first acceptable? Also is this true for all other verbs?


They’re both OK for all verbs; see here for the details. There still might be exercises here that don’t accept both forms, so be sure to use the Report a Problem button to let the course creators know if you find an exercise that doesn’t accept both.


As ever, go raibh mile maith agat, a Scilling!

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