"'S e togalach àrd a th' ann."

Translation:It is a tall building.

July 13, 2020

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Can someone explain the sentence structure here? Why isn't it sufficient to simply say "S e togalach àrd"?


You might want to read this discussion.

And this post of mine.

You could say directly it is a tall building in Gaelic using the copula, but that would be is togalach àrd e. And this is a very archaic/poetic way to say it, so you wouldn’t do it in a regular conversation (although this is commonly used in Irish).

The ’s e togalach àrd… structure historically meant a tall building is it… (and not it is a tall building) and is a kind-of setup for later part of the sentence – it doesn’t have any concrete meaning on its own. The whole ’s e togalach àrd a th’ ann means literally a tall building is what is in-it or even more literally a tall building is it that is in-it, and it is an idiomatic way to say what sth is in Gaelic.

Similarly one could say ’s e duine a th’ annam for I am a person/a man, literally a person/man is what is in me; or ’s e oileanach a th’ annad for you are a student (a student is what is in you).


it sounds like "àrd" can be pronounced both as "art" and "arsh". Am I hearing this correctly?

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