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  5. "They are horses."

"They are horses."

Translation:Is capaill iad.

August 26, 2014



You have a couple of things going on here. Let's take them one by one:

When the verb is an =, you have to use "is." Here you are saying "They=horses" You can't use Tá for =, only "is." (If you've learned Spanish, thinking of ser and estar may help.)

The normal word order in Irish is Verb Subject BlaBlaBla. When you use "is" to identify something/someone (like in this sentence), you switch things around: Is BlaBlaBla subject. Is fear é. Is úll é. Is t-leine (t-shirt) í. Is páistí iad.

And, to make things even MORE interesting, you have to use é/í/iad instead of sé/sí/siad.

All that from one little verb! Welcome to an Chopail, aka the copula.

Hope that helps a bit :)


did you say must use 'is...iad' not 'tA...siad' or 'tA siad...' ?


If you want to tell WHAT they are, yes.
They are friends/horses/doctors. Is cairde/capaill/dochtúirí iad.
That's what I mean about an =. They equal friends/horses/doctors.

If you want to say WHERE or HOW they are, go ahead and use Tá siad ... They are at home/here/blue/great. Tá siad sa bhaile/anseo/gorm/galánta.
They don't equal home/here/blue/great; those other words just tell us where they are or give a description.


Thanks for this brilliant, clear, straightforward explanation. Such joy when presented like this! I wish you were 'on the payroll'...


... though I appreciate it's done voluntarily


Hey, could someone please explain to me why "Tá siad capaill" is wrong? Go raibh míle maith agaibh :)


I'm trying to explain it but my English is not good enough for that... I'm not sure if I'm right but I think the copula form is used here because the word horses is a noun. In sentences like "A is B" where A is the subject and B is a noun it requires this copula form. Maybe. I'm really not sure... Someone please tell me if I'm wrong :)


It's to do with states of being. "Tá siad capaill" would mean something like 'they are horses right now or every so often but not all the time.' The cupola here indicates they're always horses; it's part of what they are.


You're along the right track, but not quite! The phrase Tá siad capaill does not make sense in Irish. If you wanted to express your concept of "'they are horses right now or every so often but not all the time", you would have to say something like Tá siad ina gcapaill (literally "they are in their horses").

Another example of this construction that makes more sense: Is aisteoir mé, I am an actor; Tá mé i m'aisteoir, I am an actor [at the moment] (literally, "I am in my actor").


Here is a grammar site which explains in detail. http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/gram.htm and this page gives many more, helpful sites; https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3374465 Keep checking the Duolingo Irish Portal for more info. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4277962


The copula form of 'to be' is used here. I'm not really sure how to explain it but if you look at the Basics 1 area it has information that helped me a little understand what it was about with this form of 'to be'.


Are they horses or are they something else, make up your mind


Oh frabjous day! Thank you Cait48. Now I know the difference between Tá and is. And why they aren’t the same and how the word order doesn’t work and the difference between sé sí siad and é í iad.

The huge endorphin rush of clarity after 80-odd days streak is ALMOST worth it!


You're welcome, but if you like getting nice clear explanations, maybe Dublin City University's Irish program is for you. Go get on the waiting list for the next session of 'Irish 101' at www.futurelearn.com It's free!


Funniky enough i started Duo whike i was waiting for thr 101 course to start. Did the two together for a bit and then decided Duo fitted the little and often model much better. Loved the background material though.

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