1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Is Meiriceánach í."

"Is Meiriceánach í."

Translation:She is American.

January 3, 2017



Why is this not "She is AN American"? Is 'Meiriceánach' here not a noun?


I think you are right, even though the word meiriceánach can be either a noun or adj here it is a noun.

I checked in: http://www.teanglann.ie

I think if we want it as an adjective it changes to mheiriceánach: Is caillin mheiriceánach í.


Meiriceánach can be both a noun and an adjective, but in a copular phrase like Is Meiriceánach í, it is a noun - "she is an American".

In Irish, you don't say Tá sí Meiriceánach, which would be the adjectival form.

When used as an adjective, Meiriceánach agrees with the noun, and cailín is actually a masculine noun, so it's Is cailín Meiriceánach í


In Irish it seems hard to determine if nouns are Masculine or Feminine.


There are some guidelines that can help you determine the gender:


Why can’t this be translated as “It is American?”


Because Is Meiricéanach í is using the copula, which means that Meiricéanach is being used as a noun ("an American"), not an adjective.

In English "she is American" and "She is an American" are equivalent. But for some other countries, you can't equate "She is Swedish" with "She is a Swedish", you must use the noun form "She is a Swede", or add a noun such as "She is a Swedish woman". So if you had Is Sualannach í, the actual meaning is "She is a Swede" rather than "She is Swedish" (though English doesn't really differentiate in meaning between the two). As the Irish sentence doesn't contain bean, "She is a Swedish woman" doesn't really do the job either.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.