Thanks, you guys are awesome- Satharn, Scilling, Knocksedan. I am learning so much through the comments. I think it is just me and my computer doing Irish here in Cape Town. I can't wait to progress to the past tense to give me bit more to say. I went to a gala function in Cape Town the other day and met the Irish Ambassador. Beyond the basic hello I couldn't think of anything else to say except to ask if he worked in a bog and if his wife wore pink on Wednesdays - as Gaeilge of course. He gave me a bit of a wry smile before moving on to say hello to the next person.
I am only guessing. Perhaps "Is he a duck?_ would be expressed using "sé", not "é". ???
Which is why you don't use sé.
The FGB entry for sé
sé 1, 3 sg. m. pron. He; it (usually referring to m. noun). (Subject of verb; not used with copula)
The FGB entry for é
é, 3 sg. m. pron. He, him; it (usually referring to m. noun). (Has various grammatical functions, but cannot be the subject of an active verb)
No, you can't form a question in Irish just by changing the tone of voice and sticking a question mark on at the end of a statement. The question in the other exercise should just be An cóta é?. If it was "the coat"/an cóta you would need the first é, An é an cóta é?, but the purpose of the first é is simply to separate the copula from the definite noun - it isn't explicitly translated.
is cóta é - "it is a coat"
is é an cóta é - "it is the coat"
an cóta é? - "is it a coat?"
an é an cóta é? - "is it the coat?"
If you need to translate a "tone of voice question" from English into Irish, you still have to use an to indicate that it is a question, at which point it ceases to rely on tone of voice to indicate that it's a question, and the translation is exactly the same as the non-"tone of voice" question: "It's a coat?" - An cóta é?
The previous question "Is it a coat?" was incorrect as "An cóta é?" and required "An é cóta é?" Could someone please point out why " An lacha é?" is correctly constructed but "An cóta é? is incorrect. Is there some sort of difference in the type of noun that requires the second é
I have the same questions. I wonder if the difference has to do with coat being a thing while duck is an animal...
Scilling's comment on "Is it a coat?" is more pertinent - the first é in that exercise is superfluous - the translation should be just An cóta é?.
I did not say that you needed the second é, I said that you "need to use the interrogative form of the verb or copula" (so your question needs to start with an if the statement starts with is). is cóta é? is not a valid translation of "is it a coat?" (or of "it's a coat?").
My Answer was .. "Is that a duck. No" which was marked wrong. Top of this page uses .. "Is IT a duck? It is not." Answer on the original Page is .. "Is HE a duck? No" Which makes me think that my answer was not too far off the mark as it covers both. :) But what would be the correct translation for my answer " Is THAT a Duck" ??
And many thanks to all who try to educate us on this site.