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  5. "Ceapaire atá ann, nach ea?"

"Ceapaire atá ann, nach ea?"

Translation:It is a sandwich, is it not?

August 24, 2015



Would it be fair to translate this sentence as "it's a sandwich, right?" I know it's not direct but there does seem to be some precedence on Duolingo for translating to common English phrases rather than always being completely literal.


Yes, it would be. Though, as you said, Duolingo likes its literalness.


I thought "ann" often means "there." Is it erroneous to translate the sentence as, "A sandwich is there, isn't it?"


I am going to attempt to answer my own question. While the FGB is helpful, what a teacher said to me might close the loop. Irish generally doesn't like to end a sentence with a verb. So in that situation "ann" is often added to close the sentence and can be thought of in English as "in there," "there," or "exists" if needed. However, in these cases the "ann" is just a closer and is not supposed to detract from the subject. The Duolingo translation does all the above even though, to me, that translation does pull the word "it" out of thin air.


Thats very helpful indeed. 'Ann' does in many cases just seem to be a weak existential place holder. Otherwise, you might parse this as a form of the 'quality bearing 'i' , as in 'Ceapaire atá i mo dheartháir', my brother is a sandwich'


Or rather, 'Tá mo dheartháir ina cheapaire'


You weren't far off the first time.

If you want to say "she is a ..." you can say ... atá inti.

Déagóir atá inti - "she is a teenager"
Bean chliste atá inti - "she is a clever woman"
bean as mo thír féin atá inti - "she's a compatriot of mine"

inti is the feminine 3rd person singular prepositional pronoun for i, and the the masculine form is ann, so ceapaire atá ann could be "he's a sandwich" (if you were talking about your brother), but usually it means "it's a sandwich".

By looking at examples using inti it's easier to see which ann is in play here.


I translated it as "There is a sandwich there, isn't there?" but DL didn't accept it. I felt it was a clumsy sentence (to many 'theres') but still grammatically correct. It seems you can't use ann to mean there in this case.


Tá ceapaire ann - "there's a sandwich there" (or the clunkier "a sandwich is there").

ceapaire atá ann - "it's a sandwich"
Compare it to Rúnaí atá ionat - "You are a secretary". ionat is the 2nd person singular prepositional pronoun for i, and ann is the masculine 3rd person singular.


Just to be clear, this can be translated as "He's a sandwich, isn't he?", can't it? I know it's completely silly, but then again, so is Paul, the President of Ireland, putting women in a refrigerator.


Duolingo does accept the slightly different (and more natural, for me) construction "isn't it", rather than the more stilted/formal sounding "is it not".


"He is a sandwich, is he not?" I thought this was a funny sentence until I checked here.


Why is "ann" in this sentence at all?


Because the sentence wouldn't make any sense without it.

Ann is a word that doesn't have a direct equivalent in English. It's worth reading all of the different examples in the FGB to get a better sense of what it is used for in Irish.


The link in my previous post is to the entry for Ann in the Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla.


Sorry, I didn't even see there was a link there. I will go look. Thanks.


Speaking as a humble learner. This sentence does not make sense in Irish or English


Or think of it as, “A sandwich is in it , is it not?” The word “ann” really means “in it.” So the first portion of the sentence has connected two nouns (sandwich and it) without a copula. That’s worth a lot if you’ve struggled with copula sentences. And of course, that literal translation is an awkward English sentence so hence the translation in the example.


Imagine you're in a school canteen. You can't see the food clearly inside the food warmer, so you ask the friendly worker ..


Everytime I get this sentence I still doubt about the situation in which is question occurs. This time I translated it as: Sanwich is it, is it not. My answer was not accepted. Now I wonder: is this situation that you both look at a sandwich and wonder if it is really a sandwich? or is someone taking your order and checking if he/ she was right about you wanting a sandwich? does that differ for the translation of this sentence?


I think, in the second case, the server might be more apt to say "ceapaire atá uait, nach ea?" In any case, Duolingo has been programmed to accept answers in idiomatic English. So a literal translation might very well be rejected.


Thanks for your answer. I will write your sentence in my (paper) notebook!

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