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  5. "The girl has water."

"The girl has water."

Translation:Tá uisce ag an gcailín.

August 26, 2014



why are "Tá uisce ag an gcailín" and "Tá uisce ag an chailín" both correct


Because of dialect, both are acceptable depending on what part of the country you're from.

ag an gcailín is the official standard.


Why the g though? Is there a phonetic difference between the two?


In eclipsis, the new first letter 'eclipses' the original, which is not sounded - so 'gcailín' is said like 'gailín'.


Dont know... that happened to me too.


Can someone clarify what the difference is between "Tá uisce ag an gcailín" and "Tá uisce aicí an cailín"?

When does one use the prepositional form instead of just "she has"? I'm trying, but this doesn't seem to equate to anything in English, so I'm having a hard time getting a grasp on it.


I don't understand why 'Tá uisce aici " isn't correct ??


That means "she has water", not "the girl has water".


There's no word for "has" in Irish. Possession is expressed by saying not "the girl has water" but "there is water at the girl" (tá uisce ag an gcailín).

Tá uisce aici would mean "she has water". You can't then add an cailín after it.


It is misleading to say that "possession is expressed by" there is water at the girl"".

English speakers might find it useful to explain Tá.. ag.. by reference to "at", but Irish speakers do not think of that ag as "at", any more than English speakers think of the "have" in "I have eaten my dinner" as an indicator of possession.


Picky, but true. However, we are explaining this to English speakers, and so it is useful to explain it in this way.

The request was for an explanation of what the expression equates to "in English", and why we simply don't say "she has" in Irish. These are reasonable questions from a learner, and they specifically require a literal mapping onto English to answer.


Why exactly is the 'g' there? What put it there?


Eclipsis (urú), one of the initial mutations that Irish uses for a range of puposes. In particular, eclipsis occurs after preposition + definite article

an bus, the bus; ar an mbus, on the bus. an cailín, the girl; ar an gcailín, on the girl.


What's rule for using "m" or "g". Is it a gender thing?


As Altatane said:

In particular, eclipsis occurs after preposition + definite article

The Tips & Notes for the Eclipsis skill says:

Eclipsis occurs after certain prepositions where they are joined by the singular definite article an:

ar an mbord - "on the table"
thar an bhfuinneog - "over the window"


With one small exception (certain words that start with s), gender is not taken into consideration.

There are other things that can cause Eclipsis, but the eclipsis in this exercise is cause by the ag an before cailín.


Yeah i don't understand why it isn't "Ta uisce aici" either...


That means "she has water", not "the girl has water".


I'm wondering about word order in this phrase. I had thought that Irish word order was Verb Subject Object but this seems to reverse the subject and object? Can someone explain what I am misunderstanding?


As explained in the Tips & Notes for the Phrases skill, Irish doesn't have a verb that means "have". It uses a different construction, a phrasal verb with the verb and the preposition ag. "Girl" isn't the subject of the verb in Irish, because there is no such verb. Uisce is the subject of the sentence in Irish, and the preposition ag is used to specify who possesses that subject. This is still a VSO sentence.

"X has Y" - Tá Y ag X.


Had a bit of a mind blank here. When does the verb not come first in the sentence? I thought automatically that "ag" would come at the start because of the VSO order


ag is not a verb, it's a preposition.

Irish doesn't have a verb for "have" (a feature that it shares with languages like Russian, Hindi and Korean).

Instead, you use a construction with the verb ( in the present tense) and the preposition ag.

Tá X ag Y - "Y has X"
Tá rud ag duine - "A person has a thing"
Tá uisce ag an gcailín - "The girl has water"


Note also that Tá cailín ag an doras means "There is a girl at the door", not "The door has a girl".

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