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  5. "Cad a theastaíonn uathu?"

"Cad a theastaíonn uathu?"

Translation:What do they need?

August 27, 2014



couldn't it just be Cad a uathu


No, but it could be "cad atá uathu".

When we say "Jack wants/needs a dog", we can either say "tá madra ó Jack" or "teastaíonn madra ó Jack". Both are equally correct.


Bí ó can only be used for want; it can't be used for 'need', like teastaigh can.


Are you certain that the NEID example noted here is incorrect?


Alright so this may not be the best place to ask this, but it's something I've been confused on.

When you want to express "to want," you use tá, of course, for example "tá uaim a scriobh" for "I want to write."

But when you say you "know" something, you also use tá ("the knowledge is at me"), "tá a fhois agam . . ." . . . thus it's not a true verb.

So how would you express "I want to know . . ." ? Would you use "eolas" instead?


There are several ways of expressing 'I want to write': Teastaíonn uaim scríobh, Is mian liom scríobh, etc. The a is only used before the verbal noun following an object, e.g. Teastaíonn uaim litir a scríobh, Is mian liom leabhar a cheannach, etc.

The a in 'a fhios' is actually a possessive adjective ('its'/'his'). Tá a fhios agam literally means 'Its knowledge is at me', i.e. 'I have its knowledge'.

'I want to know' would be Teastaíonn uaim a fhios a bheith agam, Is mian liom eolas a bheith agam air, etc.


Ohhh I see, thank you for the clarification on 'a.'


Is the a in Tá a fhíos agam needed if you just wanted to say "I know"? For example, wouldn't Níl fíos agam just be I don't know?

  • 1447

No. This is a question of idiomatic usage - the Irish equivalent of "I know" and "I don't know" use a fhios, and if you leave out the possessive adjective, you're no longer using an idiomatic phrase that people understand as the equivalent of "I know", you're now just saying "I have knowledge", without any indication that the knowledge that you claim to have is actually relevant to the topic at hand.


Curious: why is the verb lenited here, while here (Cad a deirimid?) it is not?


Incredible observation skill. Answer is, that "deir" is exception to the rule, scroll down on page to section "verbs".


lenition with verb after a direct relative particle a (except tá, deir): an teach a thógfaidh sé = the house that he wants to build


GRMA :) one more mystery solved


conjugations of the verb abair don't get lenited.. unless the mods *Say otherwise?


What is the a for? The hints say it means 'do', but in other cases where we would use 'do' in English there's no equivalent word in the translation (e.g. 'do you swim?' = an snámhann tú?) Can someone explain why it's needed here?


The hint with a as “do” is inexplicable. A more literal translation of Cad a theastaíonn uathu? would be “What is (it) that they need?”. The Irish relative particle a corresponds to the English relative pronoun “that” in this sentence.


teastaionn is for emphasis?


Omitting teastaíonn is casual but both forms mean the same thing


My understanding is that teastaíonn adds emphasis and indicates more of a need than a desire. Is that right, or am i completely off base here?


is "uathu" pronounced "OO-hoo" or "OO-uh-hoo"?


The former in Munster, the latter in Connacht and Ulster.


would it not just be what they need


Why is this not "What do they want?".


That is another possible translation.


Is the form of question with an or a?


The interrogative particle is an (or ar with the past tense of regular verbs and of some irregular verbs); it’s never a.


Some difficulty with this section. I translated as "What is needed from them". What is the logic/rule of the answer since uathu is "from them"


Teastaíonn Y ó X is an idiom for “X wants/needs Y”.


When do you use Theastaíonn with the h? I understand that it becomes dteastaíonn in a question, but why here is it lentioned ?

  • 1447

The "a" causes lenition. It's a preposition, and it's used here in a relative clause - you can expand the sentence to mean "what is it that they need?", and "a" is essentially the "that".

(There are a number of different "a"s in Irish, and you need to recognize what role the "a" is playing to decide which rules apply to it).


I'm trying to do these with my eyes closed to increase my ability to understand verbally, and the speaker pronounces "uathu" and "uathi" exactly the same. Grr.

  • 1447

In some examples, she actually pronounces "uaithi" so that you can tell she's saying "uaithi" (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4538503).

The same type of inconsistency crops up with "uirthi - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9083804 and https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9249963

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