1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Itheann sé úll."

"Itheann úll."

Translation:He eats an apple.

August 26, 2014

58 Comments


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

What is the difference between sé and é?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neko.tamo

There are no "Tips and Notes" on an app


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

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


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

Sé means he and é can mean he or it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

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.


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

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


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

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!


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

You've nailed it.


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

Thank u..that was very very helpful!


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

Following this discussion because of this. Thanks man.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nkwk88

Thanks, that is very helpful.


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

Thank you for your definition. Very helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbullen14

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


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

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."


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

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?


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

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aya159236

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.


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dakx3

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


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

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JMOliver71

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyjo77

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


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

Yeah could i have spanish which i barley know!


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

Cause i prefer irish than spanish


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan224334

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Khalea220811

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gtr28

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JMOliver71

This, and my heritage are why i study Irish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mlefay515

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mlefay515

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?"


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

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.


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

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”).


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

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".]


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

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.


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph733121

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RachelCost802895

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

doesn't mean "she".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RachelCost802895

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueFace164514

I thought sí meant she, not he?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/19O492554

does mean "she" or "her".

This exercise uses - "he".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gra327090

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancisCha826464

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerrard23

Whats the difference between ithin and itheann


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

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"

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