1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "Cá bhfuil sé ina chónaí?"

" bhfuil ina chónaí?"

Translation:Where is he living?

August 29, 2014



The audio sounds like "chá..." to me.


That seems to be mistake. I suppose that: /kah (v)will/


So literally, this is "Where is he in residence", right?


Is "ina" a kind of contraction of "i = in" with "a = his", the "n" being there for pronounceability (or some other reason)?


I'm reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally struggling with being able to understand the speaker and translate to English. I'm almost completely unable to figure out the pronunciations and what she is saying. Is there a way to make this easier? A guide to Irish pronunciation or something?


Try the http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/ as it helped me. I am struggling too because I have a Cochlear Implant and wish they would speak slowly and not run words together.


Maybe videos would help you more, as there's an element of lip-reading in real life? My aunt wears a hearing aid and finds it easier to learn that way. On YouTube, you can adjust the playback speed.


This "bhfuil" and "ta/ata" difference is troubling me. Why do we have "bhfuil" in this example and "Conas ata tu?" in another? Doesn't the verb "be" denote temporary state in both examples?


I think it doesn't. In "How are you" you're referring to the state of the person in a given moment, while in the other one you're referring to a place he stays in a (presumably) regular basis. If you want, they're both temporary, but one is way more temporary as referring to a shorter period of time. That said, I'm a native spanish and it might seem more clear to be to differenciate between 'ser'/'estar'. Maybe in this case it's not like that / this is not the point.


Yes, you are right. In another discussion, it was explained that "bhfuil" and "atá" difference is a matter of relative clauses: "bhfuil" follows complex question-words (the ones which already contain "bí" inside the word, such as cá, cé) and denotes a direct relative clause (Cá bhfuil sé ina chónaí? = Where is it that he is living?), and "(a)tá" follows simple question-words (the ones that are not formed from the question itself+bí), denoting an indirect relative clause within the sentence (Conas atá tu? = How is it, that you are?).


Wait, 'cá' and 'cé' (among others?!) already contain bí? I didn't know that. Do you have any online source I could help myself with that? Many thanks for your comment, it really enlightened me! :P


Yes, that's how I understood it, when someone explained it elsewhere. If I bump into the original post, I'll copy the link here. ;)


From Wiktionary:

Note that the phrase cá bhfuil (“where is?”) is pronounced [kɑːlʲ]. So, the woman here pronounces it as "chá bhfuil" but according to Wiktionary it should be pronounced as if it were written "cáil"


Both are correct, as far as I know. Ca'l is the contracted form.


Hmm, good to know! In any case, she pronounced it like "ch" ...


The chónaí was confusing me. I could not find what conjugation it was using till I found out about verbal nouns (which is what chónaí is). To over simply put it: it is used in a similarly why we use the infinitive. For a better explanation go here: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/verbnom.htm


What does this sentence mean if translated literally into English?

  • 1323

This sentences means "Where is he living?" whether you translate it literally or not.

The literal translation of the noun cónaí is "dwelling" or "residence".


I don't know where he lives. Do I look like a stalker to you Duo? Do I?


What does 'ina' mean here?


How would you say 'Where does she live'? (Non-continuous/imperfect)

  • 1323

Cá bhfuil sí ina cónaí? - "Where does she live?"

The a in ina is the possessive adjective, so you have
Cá bhfuil sé ina chónaí? - "Where does he live?"
Cá bhfuil sí ina cónaí? - "Where does she live?"
Cá bhfuil siad ina gcónaí? - "Where do they live?"

withe the mutation on cónaí telling you whether a means "his", "her" or "their".

You could also say cá bhfuil cónaí uirthi?, or, and technically you could even ask Cá gcónaíonn sí? but that form really isn't commonly used.


Connacht pronounciation! YAY!!


chonai or gconai ? which goes with what?

  • 1323

For words that start with consonants:
a + lenition/séimhiú = "his" - tá sé ina chónaí
a + no change = "her" - tá sí ina cónaí
a + elipsis/urú = "their" - tá siad ina gcónaí


I wrote where is his home. What would that be is differentiated from where is he living?


Cá bhfuil a theach?

You can be i do chónaí in a place that isn't "your home".


This sentence really confuses me. What's the literal translation? Why does it use bhfuil instead of atá?

  • 1323

As a noun, cónaí can mean "dwelling" or "residence". Ina chónaí - "in his residence"
Ina cónaí - "in her residence"
Ina gcónaí - "in their residence"

The simple answer to "why cá bhfuil rather than cá atá?" is the same as the simple answer to "why is the Irish for "blue" gorm rather than donn?". The simple answer is just "Because that's the way it is".

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