Gaeilge: The Preposition Do I am trying to piece together all of the mutations for the preposition do (to). Are these rules correct for at least one dialect? Without the Article: 1a.) prep + noun beginning with f = d' + lenite noun -- d'fhear (to a man) 1b.) prep + noun beginning with vowel = d' + noun -- d'úll (to an apple) 1c.) prep + noun = prep + lenite noun -- do dhuine (to a person) With the Article: 2a.) prep + an + noun = don + lenite noun -- don bhuachaill (to the boys) 2b.) prep + na + noun = prep + noun -- do na bocaí (to the boxes) 2c.) prep + na + noun beginning with vowel = prep + h + noun -- do na húlla (to the applesOther Examples: 3a.) do dhuine / do dhaoine = to a person / to people 3b.) don dhuine / do na daoine = to the person / to the people 4a.) do theach / do thithe = to a house / to houses 4b.) don teach / do na tithe = to the house / to the houses 5a.) do shagart / do shagairt = to a priest / to the priests 5b.) don sagart / do na sagairt = to the priest / to the priests 6a.) do chapall / do chapaill = to a horse / to the horses 6b.) don chapall / do na capaill = to the horse / to the horses 7a.) d'fhear / d'fhir = to a man / to men 7b.) don fhear / do na fir = to the man / to the men 8a.) d'údar / d'údair = to an author / to authors 8b.) don údar / do na húdair = to the author / to the authors
Nov 24, 2016 7:27 AM
Answers · 3
Almost right. 1a applies to nouns beginning with a vowel or "f", but only in the "f" is followed by a vowel (e.g. "d'fhear", but "do fhrancach" = "to a rat"). I think a simpler way to look at it is that "do" lenites a following consonant, then if the resulting noun begins with a vowel sound (as you know, "fh" is silent, but "fhr" and "fhl" sound like "r" and "l") the "do" is reduced to "d'" to avoid two vowel sounds coming together. "Don" doesn't lenite "d" or "t", in the same way as the article by itself never lenites these consonants (don duine, don teach); in some dialects (especially in the north) it prefixes "t" to "s" (don tsagart), as the article regularly does with "s" in situations in which it would otherwise lenite. I think in some dialects this only happens if the noun is feminine though. In some dialects in the south-west, there is eclipsis rather than lenition after "don" (I think whether "d" and "t" are eclipsed varies according to sub-dialect). Basically you just need to remember (for Ulster Irish) that preposition + article causes lenition, and the lenition follows the rules for lenition after the article (e.g. nominative singular feminine, genitive singular masculine). In Munster preposition + article tends to eclipse and Connacht is somewhere in between. "Don", "den" and "sa" often lenite even in many dialects that prefer eclipsis.
November 30, 2016
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