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  5. "She lets the door open."

"She lets the door open."

Translation:Ligeann sí an doras ar oscailt.

June 27, 2015



I have no information on lenition or masculine/feminine..Everything I've learned is trial and error, like feeling around in the dark. With no resources explaining gaelics mysterious ways it can be very frustrating at times. However, determination alone has brought me this far and I'm not intending to give up. Suggestions are welcome, grma


I take it you're only using a phone or tablet to access Duolingo? Take a few minutes to log into the Duolingo website - there is a "tips and notes" section available at the start of most of the modules that covers the basic rules that you need to be aware of for that particular module.


Fágann sí an doras ar oscailt?


I had put "Ligeann sí an doras oscailte," because that's the sentence I learned in a previous course. When I run your sentence through the translator is reads, "She allows the door to open. I suppose, had you posed that sentence, I might have had a chance to answer it correctly.


This sentence means she allows the door to stay open.

> When I run your sentence through the translator is reads, "She allows the door to open.

Rule 1 of learning Irish: NEVER trust any translator, unless it is a native speaker.

For the construction used in this sentence, look here


For me (and I would imagine most (British) English speakers?) the immediate interpretation of "lets" in this sentence would be "allows" and the sentence as a whole would indicate that she "allows the door to open" rather than to "stay open" which would be "She leaves the door open" = "Fágann sí an doras ar oscailt" see eg:

  • I left both the windows open d'fhág mé an dá fhuinneog ar oscailt
    NEID ("both")

  • He left the door open, d'fhág sé an doras ar oscailt.
    Pota Focal ("leave")

I haven't (yet) found an example or reference for "lig" with this usage.

I would say that, while your reference to GnaG shows the stative construction ar + VN, it doesn't illustrate the use of "lig" meaning "to allow to stay" in such a state.

Can you find any examples?


The subtle complication of this exercise is that “lets” can mean either “allows” or “leaves”. If “lets” is interpreted as “allows” (which as a US English speaker was also how I’d interpreted it), then the sentence’s meaning is “She allows the door to open”, which could be translated by fág (definition 2.), lig ar (definition 3.), or lig do. If “lets” is interpreted as “leaves”, then the sentence’s meaning is “She leaves the door in its open state”, which is also translated by fág (definition 2.), as your examples show. I doubt that this ambiguity was anticipated by the course creators; given their choice of lig ar in the translation above, it would seem that their intention was that “lets” would be interpreted as “allows”, but since there is no context in these exercises, both of these interpretations should be allowed, and thus all of the possible translations for these interpretations should be allowed.


It's a very Irish thing to be saying, "let the door open" means to "leave the door open" but "leave him in" means "let him in". One of the problems with Duolingo is that while it is often far too strict in what dialect it will allow in the target language, it can swing wildly an unpredictably between dialects of English, this isn't a problem specific to this course though, personally I am of the opinion that the course should stick to one dialect of English as preferred in translations but accept other dialects.


“Let” as “leave” is heard here in the States, but “leave” as “let” isn’t common here. When an English word has more than one meaning (even within a single dialect) that can make sense in an exercise, it’s a guessing game as to which meaning would be preferred in an exercise, unless the sentence is detailed enough to make one particular meaning the “obvious” one — in which case a risk is run of making exercises too complicated for learners. It’s a balancing act on the part of the course creators.


So it's "She leaves the door open" in American English?


Lig is more allow/permit, so it's not quite "She leaves the door open" in the sense of "she doesn't close the door behind her", it's closer "she allows the door to remain open", as Galaxyrocker suggested.


See my reply to obekim above.


I find it terribly difficult to translate sentences when I have not been presented the information earlier from which I might draw a reference. I can only rely on what I have learned before, or in a worst case, on a translator. Since I have no access to a native speaker, I don't have the option of asking someone what is right. Does this mean I should quit? (No, I didn't really think that).


I often find that I learn more from my mistakes on this course than I do by getting everything right first time, especially when it reminds me that I can't just do a word-for-word translation from English.

Sometimes I make a silly mistake that I kick myself because I should have known better, and sometimes I get just a little more insight into how to pick the right plural form, and sometimes I am reminded that this weird concept of feminine and masculine nouns exists! :-)


Oh, no, you shouldn't quit. Just use Gramadach na Gaeilge and others to help you.


I thought it meant, "She allows the door to open" and so I tried *Ligeann sí an doras a oscailt".


Can anyone explain what the "ar" is for here? I think I used to understand, but I've gotten progressively more confused...


Galaxyrocker provided a link to an explanation in one of the comments above. ar indicates the status following an action, or a continuous state - the door is in a state of openness.


My irish speaking parents would say in English 'let the child alone' We understood that to mean ' leave the child alone' Its not always possible to understand Irish by comparing a direct translation of English.

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