1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Codlaím mar tá mé tuirseach."

"Codlaím mar tuirseach."

Translation:I sleep because I am tired.

August 28, 2014



why is it tá mé and not táim?


I think that "táim" is a regional (Munster) phrase.


I really hope that isn't true because we sure have been taught to use "táim" most of the time here on Duolingo.


Táim is not a Munster thing, but táim and tá mé are both widely used.


So it is acceptable to use táim in fhis sentence as well?


Munster irish is pretty common and people from different canúints (dialects). Also most people in ireland have to learn irish from all the dialects.(i know because its really annoying in school)


Reported "I sleep as I am tired" as being marked incorrect


The present habitual ...mar bím tuirseach should be used here. Tá mé tuirseach is a simple statement of fact at the present moment, but codlaím is a habitual action. Imagine codlaím was qualified temporally and the sentence was, Codlaím gach oíche mar tá mé tuirseach. This sentence would clearly be nonsense because it's translation is "I sleep every night because I'm tired (right now)." Bím tuirseach fits in much better because it's meaning is roughly "I'm tired (every night)." This remains true even if there's no explicit temporal adverb, because of the habitual aspect inherent in codlaím and bím but absent from tá mé


What indicates that codlaím is a habitual action? The nature of the word itself, that even though present tense it is not describing something that is happening not only at the present time? Is that what is meant by the habitual form?


To clarify what I mean by present habitual is that it refers a discrete series of actions, some which have already occurred and others which haven’t but are likely to occur in the future. This contrasts with a (true) present that refers to some state of affairs currently ongoing without any reference to past of future.

As a verb codlaím can only be habitual, because for most verbs the Irish present tense is really a present habitual tense i.e. the present habitual interpretation is the only possible one. If you wanted to specify that the sleep is currently happening you’d have to say Tá mé i mo chodladh. This is true for most verbs in English too, “I sleep” can only be interpreted as a general statement of behavior, as opposed to “I’m sleeping” which describes what I’m doing right now.

Where English and Irish differ, though, is the verb “to be”. In English “I am” admits both a (true) present and a present habitual interpretation depending on the context e.g. true present in “I am so tired I could go to bed right now” and a present habitual in “I am tired everyday after work”. In Irish though the verb has different forms to capture these two different meanings. The true present uses táim as in Táim chomh tuirseach sin go rachainn a chodladh anois which corresponds to my first example, while the present habitual form of is captured by bím as in bím tuirseach tar éis obair an lae.

What's key to understand, and what I think isn't sufficiently well explained, is that it's the táim form that's exceptional, not the bím form. Every verb has present habitual forms, no other verb has special forms for the true present.


Kudos! Not only because it confirms what I suspected but more so because it is a wonderfully clear explanation of the present habitual


Doesn't "Tá tuirseach orm" work too?


I believe that would be "tuirse" rather than "tuirseach".


I believe you're right--"Tuirse" is a noun (fatigue or tiredness), and it is "on" you. "Tuirseach" is an adjective (tired), and you "are" it, just like in English. I'm pretty sure they mean the same thing, but I don't know if one is the preferred form.


they mean the same thing. i was taught that "tá tuirse orm" was a "more Irish" way of saying it, rather than a more English way..... someone native correct me plz (then again, my teacher was native..... lol) :)


I think 'tuirseach' means more like being a tired person, as opposed to 'tuirse' which means tiredness.


uh oh. I don't think I've seen a "ta" in the middle of a sentence before.....


They're just two sentences connected by a conjunction. And, since it's coordinated, you can separate them - they're independent.


"Codlaim mar tá tuirseach orm" would have been the correct way to say this for higher level Leaving Cert Irish in the 90's - the above form was a pet hate of all Irish teachers!


Tá tuirseach orm is even worse, as tuirseach is in fact an adjective, and the Tá ... ar construction requires a noun - Tá tuirse orm.

But while other adjectives like brónach, ocrach, etc are normally only used when translating attributive adjectives from Irish (Tá an fear ocrach ... - "the hungry man is ...", "hungry" is an attributive adjective) relying on a noun construction when translating a predicative adjective (tá ocras ar an fear - "the man is hungry" - "hungry" is a predicative adjective), there are a number of examples of tuirseach being used as a predicative adjective in the FGB, so your LC Irish teacher might have been a bit reactionary.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.