"She is a girl."

Translation:Is cailín í.

August 26, 2014


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I'm confused. The question I had immediately before this was 'Ta si' which meant she is. So why isn't this 'Ta cailin si'?

August 26, 2014


From my understanding, there is a difference between "state" and "essence" forms of "to be". An "essence" never changes, as in "is fear mé" because (for myself anyways) I will always be male. However, "state" can change as in "tá mé fuar" ("I am cold") since I might warm up later.

(As an aside, note the placement of "fuar" in the last sentence. We haven't quite gotten to that yet, but I double-checked with both Google Translate and a few online references so I believe it to be correct)


September 1, 2014


That actually helped a lot, seems like browsing the comments helps you learn the technical stuff.

June 4, 2018


This is a big help, I've been unable to understand until now. Very neat compared to english.

November 11, 2018


Tá is for temporary 'is'

August 26, 2014


There is another form of the verb "to be" that is used for "equal" things. Double check the About Irish section, it will explain it better than I can.

August 28, 2014


When is "sí" used vs "í" ?

August 26, 2014


Sí comes after tá. Í comes after is. "Tá sí ag ithe (she is eating)". "Is cailín í (she is a girl)". Tá is used for temporary actions. Is is used to describe more permanent states.

August 27, 2014


Thanks for the explanation, that has been confusing me for ages!

January 30, 2019

  • 1223

It's not an accurate answer. 1) There is no in Itheann sí úll - "She eats an apple".
2) tá sé marbh - "he is dead", which is usually a pretty permanent state.

You use , and siad for the subject of a verb (other than the copula is) when they occur adjacent to the verb. You use é, í and iad for the object of a verb (itheann sí é - "she eats it", cloiseann sé iad - "he hears them"), and with the copula - Is cailiín í.

January 31, 2019


What's a copula? Sorry complete layperson here.

Is it just the verb "Is" being a weird exception to the general rule of sé/sí/siad for subject, é/í/iad for object? Because if it's just the one special verb that breaks the rule then I can remember it.

April 17, 2019


question was asked here before, but the answer referred to something different than the question. so I would like to know aswell:

Why is í used here and not sí does it have anything to do with the word/letters before it? (like aN insect, An hour and A door) or is it a set construction tied to specific words?

June 15, 2017


I've been writing all of the translations down to help me learn the structure. Apparently, there is a problem with one of the translations that is presented by Duolingo. The app shows 'Is cailín sí' as a correct translation for 'She is a girl' at one point, but now shows it as incorrect. Very confusing.

February 2, 2019

  • 1223

Unless you have a screenshot showing that the app accepted Is cailín sí as correct, the simplest explanation for the confusion is that you made a mistake when you wrote the translation down.

February 2, 2019


I can't put the accents

April 20, 2019


How do u put the accents

April 20, 2019

  • 1223

That depends on the interface that you are using. If you are using one of the various mobile apps on a phone or tablet with an on-screen keyboard, press and hold the vowel for a second until a secondary keyboard appears. If you are using the web interface on a laptop of desktop PC, then you can click on the accented letters below the input box, or you can configure your computer to use a keyboard layout that supports accents. Some English language layouts already support accented characters by using the Alt-GR key on the right of the spacebar to create accented characters.

April 20, 2019


On most keyboards on phone you hold in the letter you want a accent on and then choose which one you want

August 8, 2019
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