le=”in order to”?

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    Just a quick question about the many-faceted preposition le.
    Am I right in understanding that it can also have the meaning “in order to”?
    In the following sentence for example:
    Bhí siad ag síos ar an mbóthar leis na hoibrithe a chosc ó dhul isteach ag an láthair.
    “They were lying on the road in order to stop the workers from leaving the place.”
    Or does leis have some other meaning here?

    Go raibh maith agaibh 🙂


    Yes, that’s right. “Le” means “in order to” here. But “dul isteach” would be “entering”, rather than “leaving”.


    To me, it’s easier to think of le as meaning “for the purpose of” in sentences like this, because this definition works with lots of different kinds of sentences that use le in a similar way.

    An bhfuil éinní le n-ithe agat? – Have you got anything to eat? (for the purpose of eating)
    Ní raibh faic le n-ól. – There was nothing to drink. (for the purpose of drinking)
    An bhfuil pioc le feiscint anso? – Is there nothing to see here? (for the purpose of seeing)

    Of course, “in order to” works in the particular sentence that you posted, but “for the purpose of” works in not just your sentence, but in lots of sentences that use le in that way – it works for me, anyway.


    Yes dul isteach is leaving…what was I thinking? I have a mental block with amach/isteach, keep mixing them up!

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