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  5. "Is buachaill é."

"Is buachaill é."

Translation:He is a boy.

August 28, 2014



Is it possible to translate this sentence as "It is a boy". I know it's not entirely natural English, but as far as I remember "is...é" can mean "it is...". Or am I wrong?


Yes, Is buachaill é can mean either He is a boy or It is a boy.


It would be easier if Duolingo put the phonetic form adjacent to the word.


What's the difference between "í and é" and "sí and sé"?


With the verb is you use é for "he/it", í for "she/it", and iad for "they". Otherwise you use for "he/it", for "she/it", and siad for "they".


Í is famine é is slander or masculine


You can say : Is fear é. or Is lag é (he is weak). But can you say: Is fear lag é (he is a weak man) or He is my boyfriend. or he is my boy. Is mo buachaill é ?


No, you cannot say "is lag é", you would use the other verb for to be "Tá mé lag." "He is my boyfriend." is "Tá sé mo chara bhuachaill." It looks as though the minute you put adjectives in, you must use "Tá" and not "Is".



Scroll down here for Tips & Notes: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Basics-1


Go raibh maith agat! I'll review the tips and notes. The presence of the adjective is a great clue to help me.


Can we also say "Is é buachaill," since both "é" and "buachaill" are subject and object because of an chopail is?

Also, how do we know that, in the pronunciation of buachaill, it is the "i" that gets pronounced with the "a" making the "ch" broad [xɪl̪ʲ] and not the "a" that gets pronounced with the "i" making the "ll" slender [xal̪ʲ~xəl̪ʲ]? It seems like both the "a" and the "i" have an equal opportunity of being pronounced in the second syllable "buachaill," correct?


I don't know about pronunciation for your second question, but regarding the grammar for your first question: no.

It looks like they really condensed the information about the copula in the Tips and Notes for Basics 1. They used to have more details about it. For those who don't have any Tips and Notes:

Most sentences in Irish are VSO, or Verb Subject Object, although with the stative it's really more VSC, Verb Subject Complement.

Itheann an fear bia | The man eats food (literally Eats the man food)
Ólann sí bainne | She drinks milk (literally Drinks she milk)
Tá sí ard | (literally Is she tall)

But with the copula (which is a defective verb), the syntax is different. It's VCS, Verb Complement Subject. Just as in English you wouldn't say "A boy am I" (unless you're being poetic, but that's a rare exception and not the norm) but rather "I am a boy", in Irish it's always "Is buachaill é" and never "Is é buachaill".


Great! Thank you so much! From seeing this often, I believe the Irish equivalent would either be "Go raibh maith agat!" or "Go ro maith agat!" :D


So there are no articles?


Yes, there are. There are definite articles "the": "an" for singular and "na" for plural. There are no indefinite articles "a."


Ahh yes, that's what I was wondering. Have a lingot. :3 Got raibh maith agat!


Does ¨Is¨ get used for both the first- and third-person conjugations?


what is the é for?


It's the 'he' part. Like the mé is the 'me' or 'I' part.


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess but... is 'Is'...'to be'? 'to be-boy-he'?


Is in Irish means am, are, or is in English.


Basically, it is used only when you want to say that the following two words are equal and refer to the same person or thing. Otherwise, use "tá" http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/articles/grammar/ta-and-is-the-to-be-verbs/


Scroll down here for Duolingo's Tips & Notes: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Basics-1


Why is there a sé and an é, both meaning him?


EDIT: The distinction is different than it is in Spanish.

It's like the Spanish ser vs estar.

Spanish "estar", equivalent in Irish
tá tú
tá sé
tá sí
tá sibh
tá siad

Spanish "ser", equivalent in Irish
is … mé
is … tú
is … é
is … í
is … muid/sinn
is … sibh
is … iad


Be careful it is not exactly a one to one correspondence. "is", the copula, has a more limited use than "ser" and is used only to say that the following two words are equal and refer to the same person or thing.


Looking back on it now, I did explain it rather ham-fistedly. I've had several months to get a better grasp on how this works. :)


With real verbs (like and itheann),

sé = he; é = him

However, the copula (is) is not a normal verb, and you always use é with it, not . English speakers would expect here, but that's not how it works :).


to me "Is" is confusing what does it mean


"Is" means "is", oddly enough. Word for word, "Is buachaill é" means "Is boy he" or by English grammar "He is a boy".

Read the whole page here:


Wow, Irish word order is so similar to that of Indo-Aryan languages.


I know but no other Indo-European language of Europe has such stark grammatical similarities. In my experience.


Yes, in my very limited knowledge of Indian languages, I agree. I was just thinking (before reading your comment) that 'e' is like "che" in Hindi and "chu" in Gujarati. Do you agree?


One thing i'm curious about. Why is there """ at the end if "Is" says the same thing as "é"?


is and é are not the same thing at all.
is is the verb "is".
é is the pronoun "he".


Why is "is" in front meaning i am but "é" is in the end meaning it is? Is "is" like "desu" in japanese?


Is "is" like "desu" in japanese?

Only in that it does not have different conjugations for I, you, he/she/it, we, y'all, they.

Irish grammar is Verb Subject Object the way English grammar is Subject Verb Object.

"Is buachaill é" word-for-word is "Is boy he".
If I wanted to say "She is a girl" that would be "Is cailín í", literally "Is girl she".
If I wanted to say "I am a woman", that would be "Is bean mé", literally "Am woman I".


Is irish redundant or is that just how its written? Very new to this tongue but it looks like he is a boy he is.


There's nothing redundant about it. Irish just has different word order than English does.

English is subject-verb-object. Irish is verb-subject-object, or in this case, verb-complement-subject.

Word-for-word, this is literally "is boy he".


is there a way to change my keyboard to allow for accents? Can that be done for just this app or would it carry forward to use of my keyboard for everything else?


Have you tried long-pressing on a letter? A little menu should pop up.


Thanks so much. I had no idea how that worked. Yes, pressing down works just fine.


If you have questions, this is the place to ask them, but this is not the place to submit your answer.


Is buachall é He is a boy:)

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