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  5. "Itheann sé úll."

"Itheann úll."

Translation:He eats an apple.

August 26, 2014



What is the difference between sé and é?


é (copula) is used with is, but other verbs use sé. Please see the Tips & Notes at the top of the lesson page and scroll down for all the information.


There are no "Tips and Notes" on an app


The course wasn't available in an app 6 years ago when the comment you are replying to was written.


Sé means he and é can mean he or it


tá sé ag cur báistí - "it is raining.

and é can both mean "he" or "it" as appropriate, but is only used as the subject of an active verb.


How do you know if it is he, she or it?


This is my understanding:

The word for "he" is "sé," (pronounced "shay") and the word for "she" is "sí," (pronounced "she," as in English) for sentence subjects: "He eats" -> "Itheann sé," "She eats" -> "Itheann sí." For sentence objects, drop the initial "s:" "sé" -> "é" and "sí" -> "í." "I see him" -> "Feicim é," "I see her" -> "Feicim í."

Any higher-level Irish-learners or natives, please correct me if I am wrong!


You've nailed it.


Thank u..that was very very helpful!


Following this discussion because of this. Thanks man.


Thanks, that is very helpful.


Thank you for your definition. Very helpful


Does Gaelic have its own alphabet? Will we learn that later?


Yes and no: Irish uses a subset of the Latin alphabet. There are certain letters that are only in loanwords such as J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y and Z. Additionally, there are special spelling rules and word mutations that make things seem really difficult at first, but you get the hang of it after a while. Search for "caol le caol agus leathan le leathan" and "séimhiú agus urú."


Could this also be "He is eating an apple," or would that be "Tá sé ag ithe úill?" Is it like English where they are not interchangeable, or are they?


Like English, they’re not interchangeable — as you’d noted, “He is eating an apple” is the proper translation for Tá sé ag ithe úill.


I thought Irish Gaelic did have an alphabet. Ogham, the "tree alphabet" or is that part of something older than Irish Gaelic?


Ogham can be called a Celtic concept I'm sure, not sure if specifically irish. I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that ogham is much older than the spread of Christianity into western Europe. Similar to the runic writing systems, yet less is knowing ogham. In fact, many first hear of ogham as a "magical language or writing system" while studying some form of paganism.


Most evidence of ogham exists in Ireland. I think there's some examples in Britain but I've never heard of any being used on the continent.


Can someone tell me when sound "sh" as in she comes and when simple "s" from snake comes?


The Irish "s" changes its pronunciation not unlike how "c" does in English, Spanish, and Italian: An "s" surrounded by "a," "o," or "u" makes an English "s" sound. An "s" surrounded by "e" or "i" makes the English "sh" sound: "Tá sé" => "Taw shay," and "Seomra" => "shumra," but "saor" => "ser," and "scamallach" => "skamaloch."


Im grateful for the promt "YOU TYPED IN ENGLISH" when i translated instead of typing what I heard.


Irish should be included in the teaching of English (culture) at school.


Yeah could i have spanish which i barley know!


Cause i prefer irish than spanish


But Irish is not spoken by a lot of the population anywhere, is it? It s interesting and fun to study for historical/cultural enjoyment for me. Even Latin has a broad use as the classical basis of medical /other language.


In a lot of schools Latin is taught and nobody speaks it


Maybe 50 years ago. Very few schools teach latin these days (at least that's the case in Ireland, the UK or the US - I'd be surprised if Latin is more widely taught anywhere else though).


They speak it in the Vatican (where the Catholic Pope lives) and if you have an interest in where words come from or going to go into a medical field i could see where it would help.


Latin is the medical language. Everyone who has diplom as a doctor use it. :) Mostly the assistants and the pathologist etc. Partly living language :D


This, and my heritage are why i study Irish.


what is the difference between "an" and "the?"


I'm not sure what you mean. "An" is the Irish word for the English word, "the."


sorry that was really unclear :O I meant... where is the word for "an" in that sentence? if "úll" is "an apple," is "the apple," "an úll?"


Close! "An apple" is "úll," but "the apple" is actually "an t-úll," but I think even that will change depending on context, such as when you say something like "the weight of an apple" or "the weight of the apple," which I think would be "an meáchan úill" and "an meáchan an úill."

I'd like to see what the higher-levels like @allintolearning, @Lancet, or @scilling say in order to confirm.


Irish doesn’t have indefinite articles; úll can mean either “apple” or “an apple”, depending upon context.

As SeanKillia noted, “the apple” is either an t-úll (getting the t- because it’s a non-genitive masculine noun beginning with a vowel) or an úll (when following a preposition, e.g. leis an úll [“with the apple”]). When used genitively, the spelling changes: an úill (“of the apple”, without the t-), e.g. gas an úill (“the apple’s stem”).


So, one could correctly translate "Itheann sé úll" as "He eats apple"?

Consider this context: a party platter of various sliced fruits- peach, pear, apple- but one boy always chooses the same fruit. "He eats apple." Not "an apple." The English article "an" would be wrong in this context because the selected food is not a whole apple, and may be from various apples. She eats cheese. He eats apple.

Or would this context require a different Irish sentence for the English?

[Edit 11-Jan-2016: I respectfully disagree with implications that there is no context in which one could correctly say in English "He eats apple." Yes, one might be more clear to say "He eats apple slices." But if I want to say that he eats apple in any form, whether whole, sliced, mashed, parboiled, crushed or prepared some other way... "He eats apple" will suffice, especially given the right context. Substitute other nouns that are 'commonly' countable, and the same applies. I could say, "I eat potato" or "They eat steak" when talking generally about acceptable foods. This, in combination with enlightening comments above about how Irish and English relate with regard to indefinite articles, makes me wonder how to put such a statement in Irish without having to specify the form of the food. I suspect my answer is the very sentence which forms the topic of this comment thread: "Itheann sé úll".]


In both Irish and English, cáis and “cheese” are commonly used as mass nouns, but úll and “apple” aren’t. Thus, in your example context, I’d expect something like Itheann sé slisní úll (this úll being in the genitive plural) and “He eats apple slices” respectively.

EDIT: I disagree with your assertion that there was any implication of there being no context in which one could correctly say “He eats apple”; what I’d stated was that it wasn’t commonly used, not that it was never correct.


Though I wouldn't say "he eats apple" in English, I think (at least part of) your question is whether or not there is a difference in Irish between using an indefinite article and no article because in English, it can have different meanings. It's my understanding that such a grammatical distinction is not made using an article in Irish and a distinction can instead be conveyed by other means, such as @scilling's "Itheann sé slisní úll," which specifies "slices of apples" to make it clear exactly what the boy eats.


Why is 'He is eating an apple' not accepted?


Because Irish and English differentiate between the present continuous ("he is eating an apple"/tá sé ag ithe úill) and the simple present ("he eats an apple"/itheann sé úll).

They don't mean the same thing, and you can't translate a simple present sentence in Irish into a present continuous sentence in English.


Don't "Tá sé ag ithe úll" is correct too ?


Because Irish and English differentiate between the present continuous ("he is eating an apple"/tá sé ag ithe úill) and the simple present ("he eats an apple"/itheann sé úll).

They don't mean the same thing, and you can't translate a simple present sentence in Irish into a present continuous sentence in English.


he eats apple and he eats AN apple.....a mistake? I dont think so.


doesn't mean "she".


I was typing in a hurry. I meant "he"


I thought sí meant she, not he?


does mean "she" or "her".

This exercise uses - "he".


How do you know if it is he she or it is right


When will we learn the Irish alphabet if we are learning it but it would be easier for spelling in Irish?


Whats the difference between ithin and itheann


I don't think "Ithin" is a word. Did you mean "Ithim"? That means "I eat," it's a contraction of "Itheann mé"

"Itheann" is just the present tense of "to eat"

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