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  5. "Níl freagra agam."

"Níl freagra agam."

Translation:I do not have an answer.

August 26, 2014



Might as well accept "I have no answer", I get the thought though


It just accepted it :-)


Freagra looks so much like Frage, which means question! False friend! :|


Could I also translate this with "I don't know"? Oh, and in an online-dictionary I found níl as the negation of bí. Is it a combination of two words then (a negation and a form of bí)?


Yes, níl originally came from a combination of two words. You can still see part of them in the question form, An bhfuil. If you remember that an eclipses in this case, you see that the dependent form of the verb was fuil. Now, what does (the negative particle) do? Lenites!

So now you have Ní fhuil. BUT! fh is silent, so you get Ní uil, which became written as Níl.


You can hear the 'ní fhuil' past of 'níl' in Donegal pronunciation where it sounds a bit like nyee-ill.


Donegal uses cha more than as a the negative particle, though.


True. But they do use 'níl' as well and when they do it sounds like 'ní fhuil'.


What exactly does "fuil" mean? All I can get from a Google search is blood, but I don't think that that's the answer lol.


You use the dependent form of a verb after particles like an, and go. For most regular verbs, the dependent form is exactly the same as the independent form. For some irregular verbs, the dependent form is different. For the irregular verb , the present tense independent form is , (Tá siad ag teacht) and the dependent form is fuil (an bhfuil siad ag teacht?, Níl said ag teacht, ceapaim go bhfuil siad ag teacht. níl is derived from ní fhuil).

The dictionary entry for fuil includes a link to the dictionary entry for .


Wow thank you so much! That makes a lot more sense now.


For I don't know, I would say "Níl a fhios agam" - lit. I have no knowledge. I'll leave the second part of your question to someone with more knowledge than me.


And, because of the fact that fh is completely silent, Níl a fhios agam sounds like Níl a is agam or, in normal speech, Níl is agam.


When is it Níl and when is it Ní?


Níl is the negative of (both are present tense forms of -- used when describing nouns); is the negative of is (used when comparing two nouns to each other).


is the negative particle used with every present tense verb. It is not just the negative form of the copula.

Ní rithim - "I don't run"
Ní thiomáineann tú - "You don't drive"
Ní shnámhann sé - "He doesn't swim"

In the case of , the dependent form fuil is used after particles, so you get an bhfuil and go bhfuil. But lenites, so you get ní fhuil, and because fh is silent, ní bhfuil is pronounced ní-uil, and eventually it came to be written as níl.


So then when would you use "Níl"? Sorry I'm just having a lot of trouble learning Irish.


When you are negating a statement.
Tá sé fluich, Níl sé fluich, An bhfuil sé fluich?
Tá ocras orm, Níl ocras orm, An bhfuil ocras orm?
Tá siad ag teacht, Níl siad ag teacht, An bhfuil siad ag teacht?


Why is it "an" instead of "the"?


Freagra is indefinite. "I do not have the answer." = Níl an freagra agam.

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