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  5. "An bhfuil leabhar agaibh?"

"An bhfuil leabhar agaibh?"

Translation:Do you have a book?

August 31, 2014



I put "Is the book with you?" I see that they meant the idiomatic meaning (duh!) but I still get a bit confused with the use of "bhfuil". Not quite sure how to use it, and also not sure why the use of "an" doesn't result in the word "the" being in the answer. Help?


So, an has two meanings that (I believe) you've learned. Yes, it can act as the definite article. However, it's also the question particle in some tenses. The difference is whether it comes before a noun or a verb. So here, an is marking a question. Bhfuil the form of that goes after the question particle in the non-habitual present tense.

Also, a more literal translation is "Is there a book at you" (note, ag means "at", not "with").


Oh god, I completely forgot about the other meaning. I was trying to figure out which skill I had gone and forgotten haha. Thanks, now I know where to go and practice. :D


I said "Have you a book?" and it was incorrect.


It might be out of fashion, but there's nothing improper about it.


I hear leabhair (books) not leabhar ( a book)

  • 1449

The slender r in leabhair sounds quite different - she is rolling the r in this exercise, it is not slender.

You can hear the slender r in leabhair in these exercises:
Íoslódálaim na scéalta agus na leabhair
"They read the books"


Thanks for adding the example with the plural form. I'm finding the difference quite subtle. She is rolling the r in the singular but there is a slight trill (I think is the way to explain it) in the plural. This makes it quite similar to my ear. I will need to pay close attention to this to get it right.


What is the differance between you and ye

  • 1449

Standard English doesn't differentiate between "singular "you" (talking to one person) and plural "you" (talking to multiple people). In many dialects of spoken English, though, there is a distinction made, such as "you all" for plural "you" in Southern US English, or "ye" in some parts of Ireland and Britain.

This distinction doesn't always make it into written English (even people who make the distinction in spoken English might not make it when writing), but it is useful when translating from Irish, where there is a distinction between (singular "you") and sibh (plural "you"). In this exercise agaibh tells us that the question is addressed to a group, so "do ye have" is accepted as an answer.


In Early Modern English, ye was the second person plural subject and you was the second person plural object.


So I'm still confused about when and where to use bhfuil. I realise that you use it in questions, but i can never seem to figure out which sentences it should be in and which it shouldn't


I am getting a little confused about the usage of "an bhfuil". Here it translates to "Do you have a book?" Another sentence "An bhfuil torthaí ón gcailín?" translates to "Does the girl want fruits?" Is it interchangeable between "want" and "have"? Or does some part of the context determine the meaning?

  • 1449

Irish doesn't have a verb that means "have", or a verb that means "want". Instead the phrasal verb tá ... ag is used to say "have" and tá ... ó is used to say "want".

Tá X ag Y - "Y has X"
Tá X ó Y - "Y wants X"

An bhfuil is the interrogative form of , so An bhfuil X ag Y? means "Does Y have X?" and An bhfuil X ó Y? means "Does Y want X?".

The preposition used modifies the meaning of the verb.

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