"What does he eat?"

Translation:Cad a itheann sé?

August 14, 2015

28 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrowetryFont

I have trouble distinguishing when I should be using cad a and when i should use cad atá.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Cad a is used with any verb but the present non-habitual of . Cad atá is just Cad a tá, and is used when you would use in regular sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

That would be helpful if I knew when to use "tá"! I had no idea that "atá" is basically two words!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizKerrey

Oh at last I have found an explanation for this!! GRMA!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Magh-Roith

would "Cad atá itheann sé anois?" be correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

No, it wouldn't. That would roughly translate to "What is eats he now?" If you wanted to use anois, you could do Cad atá sé ag ithe anois - what is he eating now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JD.Hogan-Davies

The tip suggested "céard" instead of "cad," but the translation uses "cad." Are they interchangeable in some way? I'm not sure that I recall any explanation of that, but maybe I've just forgotten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikeinkerry

I don't follow the above either and agree that the tips seem to suggest "céard" and "cad" are interchangeable. Does anybody know if "Cad a itheann sé?" is OK as a translation of "What does he eat?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

That's the prefered translation on mobile.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vanoosamaroo

I'm not familiar with "cad a"; I'm assuming that the "a" doesn't mean "his" here- or does it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohanaSchw

correct, this is not the possessive 'a'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrPheidippides

But what is it? Why do I need it? "Cad itheann sé" seems like it already includes everything in the English sentence (but it's wrong apparently), so what is the "a" adding?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohanaSchw

What is it that he eats.. is the phrasing. The tutor should explain the linguistics


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrPheidippides

But essentially "a" in this sentence means "that," right? So the phrasing is literally "what that he eats"? And the "is it" is left out?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

cad contains a hidden copula, so you need a as a relative particle to introduce a relative clause with another verb, because you can't have two verbs in a single clause.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

Imagine the fun that learners of English have in figuring out what "how" means in "how are you?" "how many do you want" and "how did you do that?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

cad é sin? - "what is that?"

Check out the FGB entry for cad. Cad can be used with an explicit copula (cad is ainm duit?) or an implicit copula, and in some cases it's better understood without a copula at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrPheidippides

Whoa, so that's interesting. So "cad" by itself means "what is"? (Or does it mean "what is it?") Is there a good explanation of this somewhere around here that I can look at?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

"arguably somewhat idiomatic"???

Sometimes the word following "how" is a verb, sometimes it's an auxiliary verb, sometimes it's an adjective, sometimes it's an adverb.

cad is an interrogative pronoun. It's always a question word that means "what", though it is idiomatically translated as "how" in cad chuige? and "where" in cad as (because English idioms and Irish idioms don't always overlap).

Can you point to some of these "different ways syntactically and structurally" that cad is used that make it so different from "how", in your opinion?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrPheidippides

Thanks. This looks like something that's going to take some getting used to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrPheidippides

But "how" means the same thing in all of those sentences and is used in the same way. It's always a question word that queries and functions adverbially. There's no real distinction in meaning or function, although the usage in "how are you" and "how many" is arguably somewhat idiomatic. But the meaning is perfectly clear from the ordinary sense of the word "how." (That doesn't mean that "how" can be successfully translated into any other language using the same word for each of those questions, but that in no way indicates that there isn't a real fundamental unity to the sense and usage of the word in English.) By contrast "cad" is apparently used in different ways syntactically and structurally in Irish in different types of questions, which is much more confusing. Of course, English has its own peculiarities and absurdities . . .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stacey773203

Tutor? There's a tutor? I find absolutely zero reference to a tutor and I'm a subscriber. How do you find the tutor and these tips I hear about? My mother is learning Spanish and she hasn't seen any tutor or tips either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohanaSchw

i meant the dedicated moderators, or MODs on these forums,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JemCiasteczka

I know it's most likely wrong, but could someone explain why Cad atá sé ag ithe doesn't work? I've been doing a little of Rosetta Stone's Irish course, and they are super big on stuff like Tá sé ag ithe, whereas Duolingo likes Itheann sé.


[deactivated user]

    "he eats" and "he is eating" don't mean the same thing, they are different tenses, or different aspects of the present tense, if you prefer. itheann sé and tá sé ag ithe don't mean the same thing, for the same reason.

    Apparently some other languages don't make the same distinction.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chellewaves

    What does ata mean! Thanks if you answered.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/William40476

    Does the particle a always go before the verb?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

    This a is a relative particle, and as a relative particle separates clauses, and sentences (and therefore relative clauses) usually begin with a verb, the relative particle typically goes before the verb at the start of the clause.

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