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

Irish: When to use Cad or Cén?

I get confused between the two. Cad is used to ask someone's name - cad is ainm duit (what is your name) but Cén is used to ask the time - cén t-am é (what is the time). Also sometimes see 'céard'. Thanks.

August 20, 2019

8 Comments


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

Cad and céard are interrogative pronouns, so they won’t be followed by a noun, such as in your example Cad is ainm duit? . (Etymologically, céard is a shortened form of cad é an rud.)

Cén is a determiner with a built-in article, so it will always be followed by a noun, such as in your example Cén t-am é? . Cén can also be thought of as “which”.

August 20, 2019

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

Thank you.

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoanThe3rd

grmma! i love these explanations so much. mind blown. cad é an rud. no shit. also, i had not pieced together the bit about whether certain ones are followed by a noun or not, and it really helps to know the breakdown with cén that explains why it can be used differently. míle, míle buíochas duit!

September 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1188

"What time is it? can be Cad é an t-am? or "Cén t-am é?*.

Cén includes a definite article - you don't need an article to say "What is your name?" - Cad is ainm duit?, but you do use an article to ask Cén t-ainm atá ort? ("which name is on you?" or "what is the name that is on you?").

August 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie-Clai133496

Can you also say " Cad é an t-am é?" or is it wrong I wonder.

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1188

Cad é an t-am? and Cad é an t-am é? are both used, though you could probably differentiate them as "What is the time?" and "What time is it?"

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie-Clai133496

Thank you.

August 22, 2019

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

Thank you, nice and clear.

August 21, 2019
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