"She is."

Translation:Tá sí.

August 26, 2014



When does one use 'Is...í' versus 'Tá sí'?

August 26, 2014


Both should be allowed as answers, but they have different meanings.

In the sentence, "Tá sí" "tá", the verb form of "bia", is used. Roughly speaking, "Tá sí" in this context is used to express a permanent state: "She is" as in "She exists." By contrast, in answer to the question, "An í Cáit an múinteoir?", "Is Cáit the teacher?" you can respond, "Is í." meaning "Yes, she is." In the second example, the copula, and not the verb, is used to identify Cáit as the teacher.

We're talking about difference between the use of the word "bia" in its copula form and in its verb form. The copula in Irish is usually used to define and identify, but can also be used with the preposition "le" to express ownership, to give your name, and to mark emphasis by moving words toward the beginning of a sentence.

A copula (here, denoted by "is..." and one of the copula forms of "bia") is a word that connects the subject and predicate ("copulates") when there is no "normal" verb. It usually occurs in Irish only if a noun, pronoun or adjective is the predicate, as opposed to when the verb is the predicate.

This section is confusing for English speakers because copulae in the English language may be used non-copulatively. For examples, see Wikipedia's list of English Copulae. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_copulae

Be sure to check out the section entitled "The copula" in "Tips notes."


From the Wikipedia link posted above. This helped me think it through somewhat:

"In Irish and Scottish Gaelic, not only are there two copulas but the syntax is also changed when one is distinguishing between states or situations and essential characteristics. Describing the subject's state or situation typically uses the normal VSO ordering with the verb bí. The copula is is used to state essential characteristics or equivalences.

In Irish, the copula is used for things that are in a permanent state.

Is fear Liam "Liam is a man" (lit., is man Liam) Is leabhar é sin "That is a book" (lit., is book it that)

The word "is" is the copula (rhymes with the English word "hiss"). The pronoun used with the copula is different from the normal pronoun. For a masculine singular noun, "é" is used (for "he" or "it"), as opposed to the normal pronoun "sé"; for a feminine singular noun, "í" is used (for "she" or "it"), as opposed to normal pronoun "sí"; for plural nouns, "iad" is used (for "they" or "those"), as opposed to the normal pronoun "siad".[13]

To describe non-permanent states, "to be" is used, e.g., Tá mé ag rith "I am running"."


^ The Irish word "is" is the copula (rhymes with the English word "hiss").

Not to be confused with the English word "is" (rhymes with "his") which is one of the conjugated forms of the English copula "to be".


The link for "copula" on the Wikipedia page says:

Most languages have one main copula, although some (such as Spanish, Portuguese and Thai) have more than one, and some have none. In the case of English, this is the verb to be. While the term copula is generally used to refer to such principal forms, it may also be used to refer to some other verbs with similar functions, like become, get, feel and seem in English (these may also be called "semi-copulas" or "pseudo-copulas").

So, that list is really a list of pseudo-copulas, and "to be".


I think you mean "bí", not "bia", which means food :)


This type of resource would be a godsend... Not duolingo nevwr explains any of this. I didbt eveb kniw tá wathe verb form of bia or that a state of permanence is important here

  • 1225

bia is a noun, meaning "food".

is the present tense form of the verb .

The "state of permanence" thing seems to be brought up by people who are trying to apply things that they learned in other languages to Irish. Tá sé marbh means "he is dead", which is a pretty permanent state, whereas is mise an buaiteoir means "I'm the winner" - I can say that after a hand of cards, and it won't be true a few minutes later when I lose the next hand. The real difference is that marbh is an adjective whereas buaiteoir is a noun.


Yes, I got caught out with this one. :(


I will never give up


The interesting thing is the similarity to the aay this is expressed in Chinese. "Tá sí" "她是" (pronounced "Ta shì") Both meaning "she is".


Is there no difference between he and she? It's always tá right?


Tá is the verb, not the subject. So "Tá se" or "Tá si."


Oh, right, thanks!


Any germans here


If Tá sí means She is, than is it that different from using Tá sé


tá sé would be "He is."


Tá sé means he is


I'm mad because I pressed ta si but it only picked up si


No idea what the difference is between sí, é, í....


sé and sí are subject pronouns: "He does X, She says Y." í and é are object pronouns: "X gives it to her, Y walks with him." In English this would sometimes be 'it' but Irish uses gendered object pronouns.


My phone keyboard does not have an accent option.

  • 1225

"long-press" a vowel - press on the vowel for a second.


It's too bad the sound doesn't play on the actual exercise, especially since the pronunciation seems to be the trickiest part of Irish to me so far.


Wait.. it's sí, not sé?


Sí is "she", sé is "he".


I wrote Is í and this was accepted and they told me that Tá sí is another translation. It was not accepted a few minutes ago for I am and she is, when I wrote Is mé agus is í.


i no a little germen


I so hate it when it comes up and I have no idea whatsoever what the answer is, sigh. I think I need to slow down but I get bored easily.


aon, tá tú dúr.

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