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  5. "Is fear é."

"Is fear é."

Translation:He is a man.

August 26, 2014



So... "he" can either be "sé" or "é," and "she" can either be "sí" or "í," right?


Normally, and mean "he" and "she" (they are the subjects of the sentence), while é and í mean "him" and "her" (they are objects).

As always, the copula is an exception and it has special rules: you use é and í instead of and .


Sorry, but what is a copula?


Here is a decent explanation. It's been covered in a few lessons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_syntax#The_copula_is


Also, check the notes for first lesson.


Where can you find the notes?


Given the fact that you have no avatar I'd assume you're on mobile, in which case you can't.

And being somebody who uses mobile fairly often too (I'm typing this up on my phone right now), I hope they change that.


Click on "Tips & Notes" in the top right. This works on a computer. I've heard some other people say that there are no notes in the app. I don't know, as I don't use the app.

You really need to read the notes at least once, I think :).


It has taken me until now - four years after this message - to find Tips and Notes on the computer. When you hit a lesson set (say, Basics 1) a rectangle opens below it that tells you which set you're on and how many still to go before you reach level 5.

At the top right of that rectangle is a lightbulb icon. THAT's where I found the Tips and Hints! I could have screamed...


Scroll down on this page for the Tips and Notes. I use the computer and the mobile phone. If you have wifi, you can access the internet page that the computer users see. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Basics-1

Rumoured, avatars are optional so you cannot assume someone is on mobile by that.

ataltane, the Tips & notes appear on the top left on my computer lesson pages.


On page 9 at this site, they call é, í, íad emphatic forms which is a better term to use to not confuse this form with an object in this construction where there is no object. So, I would rather think of it as the emphatic form can also be used as an object? if that is so?



This is what I'm trying to figure out as well, it seems to me so far that "e" is used with "is", but "se" with "ta"?


With real verbs (like or itheann, but not with the copula is), it works like this:

sé = he; é = him

sí = she; í = her

siad = they; iad = they

Two potentially confusing things:

The other personal pronouns have only one form (mé = I or me; tú = you)—which is just like the English word 'you'.

The copula pattern (with 'is') always takes the shorter form (é, í, iad), if it exists, though an English speaker might expect the longer form (sé, sí, siad).


Would it have something to do with the fact that this is copula ends with a letter "s" and those persons , and siad begin also with a letter "s"? I immediately made that association.

I also think that only , , and siad have their initial "s" dropped — while there are other grammatical persons with an initial "s" — because they are third persons, and in many languages third persons have particularities in their behaviours. At least, that is how I understood it.


Right. (There are also emphatic written forms of these pronouns that would be translated using italics or a tone of voice in English.)


i thought it was "is he a man"

  • 2296

Nope. We haven't been taught how to form questions yet.

The basic structure in English is SVO--subject, verb, object. The basic structure in Irish is OSV--object, subject, verb VSO--verb, subject, object.


Irish isn’t OSV, it’s VSO. For example “Ithim an capall ull.” The literal translation is “Drinks the horse water.”

  • 2296

Gah, you're right. I messed that one up.


Yeah no worries. So many languages, it's easy to get mixed up. :-D

OSV is very uncommon, really just isolated to languages in the Amazon basin, or in English and German when you want to emphasize the subject: "HIM I know."



Wow, I just realized that OSV is possible in Turkish too, in fact every sorting (is it the true word here? I'm not sure sorry:)) is possible to do in Turkish :D but OSV emphasizes in Turkish the subject. "Onu BEN tanıyorum."


I am a total newbie and was wondering what the difference was between "Is fear mé" is and "Is fear é" is? Can anyone help?


Is fear mé = I am a man

Is fear é = He is a man

Mé and é are different pronouns. Make more sense?


Why does the "s" in "is" use the broad pronunciation when "i" is a slender vowel?


Like any rule, the "leathan le leathan, caol le caol" rule has a few exceptions, this is the most common one


Lesson stuck at this point

  • 2296

What do you mean by "stuck"?


I've been doing Welsh for a while - am I right in assuming that Irish is similar to Welsh and has no indefinite article?

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