"He is the most famous man."

Translation:Is é an fear is cáiliúla.

September 1, 2014

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakeW2016

Why is it 'cáiliúla' rather than just 'cáiliúl'?

June 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Superlative (and comparative) adjectives typically take the feminine genitive singular form.

October 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OisinKinsella

What? Why does everyone on this speak like we're all professional linguists

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

Do you think you need to be a professional linguist to understand the word "superlative"? How about "noun", or "past tense"?

If you don't want to take the time to learn a dozen or so basic labels, then the simple answer to any "why?" question about grammar is just "Because." That's how most of us learned when to use "biggest" instead of "big" in our native language, after all.

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimd_92

Okay can someone explain the grammer of this to me, I can't seem to wrap my head around it.

Why not: "Is an fear is cáiliúla é"?

The introduction to an chopail in 'Basics 1' explicitly states: "The word you are talking about goes in the middle."

I know I'm probably being too rigid, but I just can't seem to understand this.

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knocksedan

The notes in Basic 1 are a very brief introduction, and don't explain that "a definite noun is not allowed directly following the copula", so you can't say Is an fear é, and you handle that by inserting a subpredicate (é, í or iad), so you have Is é an fear é.

As freymuth's link shows, the reverse translation of this sentence uses Is é an fear is cáiliúla é. I don't know why the é at the end (which is actually the subject "he") was dropped in this exercise, but it is optional in Ulster Irish.

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

In the Ulster Irish form, the remaining é in Is é an fear is cáiliúla is the subject rather than the subpredicate.

February 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knocksedan

I'm pretty sure that's a post-facto grammatical kludge to get around the fact that the é at the end has been dropped, rather than a fundamental grammatical difference between the dialects.

February 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

I see it as Ulster Irish using the word order for identificational copular sentences with first- and second-person pronoun subjects for sentences with third-person pronoun subjects as well.

EDIT: john703681, Is é an fear níos cáiliúla (é) means “He is the more famous man”.

February 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john270023

Is e an fear nios cailiula How is this translated

May 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EoghanMurray

Great explanation. Elsewhere there's "Is fear amaideach é" which is correct. So the following are all correct? "Is é an fear is cáiliúla" "Is é an fear is cáiliúla é" "Is fear cáiliúil é"

The main thing to remember is if you were to say [incorrect] "Is an fear is cáiliúla é" to someone, I don't think that there's any doubt that they'd understand you, just that it might sound stilted. (correct me if I'm wrong on that).

(Assuming your quote paraphrases http://nualeargais.ie/gnag/kopul5.htm ; I've seen that website cited a lot; is it the last word on grammar?)

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

I think you can still apply your rule of thumb (i.e., "The word you are talking about goes in the middle."), but you would need to think of the sentence as "The most famous man is he."

Or even better, read this link

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim_Shakh

Would "Tá sé an fear is cáiliula" work?

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

No, because is not the copular form. The copula (is) serves to link two nouns (or a noun and a pronoun, like here).

Tá an fear cáiliul - The man is famous. (No second noun/pronoun)

but

Is é an fear cáiliul - He is a famous man. (He is linked to man, so you need the copula)

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stina458417

That makes SO much sense now!!! Bless!

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim_Shakh

Thank you!

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stacey773203

Thank you SO MUCH! There's been a lot of tall about the copula but I never understood what a copula was! Thank you so much! All the fancy grammatical terms are as confusing as the language itself.

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John481518

Umm... Is é an fear cáiliul. He is THE famous man. Not, He is A famous man. Right? Am I wrong here? And there should be an é at the end, right? Am I wrong? Would it be, Is fear cáiliul é, for, He is A famous man? I'm probably wrong here, eh?

May 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

Is fear cailiúil é - "He is a famous man"
Is é an fear cailiúil é - "He is the famous man"

May 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamEgan9

Does anyone have a good way of explaining why sometimes we use "Is" and sometimes "Nios" in a way were i wont need a phd in rocket science or a map to understand. Thanks very much

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

níos is used for "more" or "-er" - níos fearr - "better", níos blasta - "more tasty" or "tastier".

is is used for "most" or "-est" - is fearr - "best", is blasta - "most tasty" or "tastiest".

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiamEgan9

Thank you very much, got it :)

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimpat67

Just wonderin. Does the use of is é suggest a permanent state? He may be the most famous now but for how long?

March 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

No — it’s a statement of identification, and is is what’s used to make statements of identification.

June 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bredacm

Thank you SatharnPHL. I should have waited until I got through the whole exercise.

July 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/james163254

A previous question put an additional è at the end of the sentance "Is è an fear is càiliùla è" Can anyone explain why this version doesnt have it?

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

Dialect. Grammatically speaking, the first é is a placeholder, and the second é is the real subject, but in Ulster Irish that second é is dropped and the first one becomes the de facto subject.

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John481518

I'm confused. In a previous lesson I was required to use the first and the second é. Was marked wrong if I didn't. (I was only using the second é.) Now I used both and while I was given credit as having it right, it was only because I had a "typo"; the second é. The correct answer was given as just having the first é. What the heck!? What is the correct grammatical structure here? I don't understand it.

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stmonkeydoom

With couplas (phrases that use is), a definite particle (an or na) can never be right next to the is, therefore a shortened pronoun such as é or í is used to seperate them. Think of it as a kind of placeholder.

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EoghanMurray

In spoken Irish, am I right in saying that the sentence would be pronounced 'Shay an..' rather than 'Is ay an'? If so, can that be written with an apostrophe; "' 'Sé an fear is cáiliúla" ? I think having " 'Sé " as a contraction of " Is + é " would actually make it easier to know whether a n " é " is needed at the start or end or bot.

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacAnFhiodoir

I presume adding the 'é' to it emphasises the 'he'? So 'he' is the most famous man, not another man...

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnLonDubhBeag

My comment here might help:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4308646

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrevorAcero

In your comment, you say that the second é is required, but on the multiple choice version I had both with and without offered as options and both were needed for my multiple choice to be correct.

Correct solutions: Is é an fear is cáiliúla., Is é an fear is cáiliúla é.

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

The second é isn’t required in Ulster Irish, but it is required in the other dialects (and in the written Caighdeán form).

November 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bryji

It's confusing that the course is meant to be caighdeán but you are required to know what is possible in all dialects to answer correctly.

Not necessarily bad to know these things, I like to hear chonnacht related tips since i live there. But is the story of the course consistent?

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bryji

Í should have said 'style'or'method'. Ie course teaches caighdeán but accepts dialectical answers when given by regs user, isn't that the case? But to answer here one must know both caighdeán and Ulster to select all correct answers.

March 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

If (as I suspect) the “Select the missing word” format and the “Translate this text” format are mere presentation variants of the same exercise, then this is another drawback of this particular Duolingo feature. (Another one is particularly evident in the Conditional skill, where several one-word answers in the “Select the missing word” format can be grammatically correct, but only one of them is treated as being correct — presumably because only the “Translate this text” format mentions what the preferred translation is.)

March 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

What do you mean by “the story of the course”?

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeromeAustin

Anyone reading this needs to go to the link AnLonDubhBeag provided. The information in the link cleared up so much confusion I had had about my studies. Go raibh míle maith agat, a chara.

February 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Breandan2014

clúiteach is another adjective for famous and should be accepted as a correct answer in this case

October 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Use the Report a Problem button to bring it to the attention of the course creators.

February 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Padraigin18

Why if I included nios is it wrong, I thought nios meant most and most is in the question

December 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freymuth

Níos is the comparative form (níos cáiliúla, 'more famous') while is is the superlative form (is cáiliúla, 'most famous').

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evelyn855094

"Tá sé an fear is cáiliúla" got flagged as wrong. What's the difference?

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

Tá sé fear is simply ungrammatical Irish - you must use the copula is to link a pronoun ("he") and a noun ("man").

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bredacm

If he is the "most" famous man why is "nios cailiul' not accepted?

July 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

"famous" - cáiliúil
"more famous" - níos cáiliúla
"most famous" - is cáiliúla

July 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CEricFunst

A rather simple and silly question: Is the second "is" equivalent to "most" in English?

May 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EoghanMurray

Yes! níos = more is = most

The first 'is' (Is é an fear) can be thought of as the verb 'to be', but isn't actually a verb; in grammatically terms, it's known as the 'copula' (from copulate!) The copula links two words together and indicates that they are equal, in this case, linking 'é' and 'an fear' => he is the man.

The 2nd 'is' in the sentence means 'most'. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/is#Irish suggests that in this usage, 'is' is "strictly speaking the relative of the copula", but you wouldn't think of it that way.

(If you did want to think of the 2nd 'is' in 'is cáiliúla' in terms of the copula, you could think of it linking 'an fear' and 'cáiliúla', with the interpretation that the sentence means that there is no possibility of any other thing occupying the category famousness; 'he is the man, the man is famousness' -> end of story!)

May 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickCal941063

Why not "Is an fear cáiliúla mó é" ?

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

Is that a serious question?

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickCal941063

Yes. That's what I put and it marked it wrong, twice. I thought maybe my syntax is wrong.

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

The simple answer to "Why not Is an fear cáiliúla mó é?" is that "Is an fear cáiliúla mó é" doesn't make any sense.

You can't have an next to the copula is. cailiúla is a plural or a genitive form of cailiúil, and there's nothing in your sentence to make it plural or genitive. I have no idea what role is supposed to be playing.

Sometimes you can see how someone arrived at an error, but this sentence looks like a mishmash, with stuff just thrown in at random. That's why I asked if you were serious. I can't see how you would have come up with that suggestion based on the other exercises on Duolingo. If you can explain why you thought the sentence worked, I might be able to give a more helpful answer.

June 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickCal941063

I am at a loss for a explanation since the app doesn't give explanations for syntax either, but i will try my best.

I did accidently use the plural form of famous there. The word was just introduced in this lesson and I got the plural and singular forms mixed up. But as far as I was aware, the most famous man can translate as an fear cáiliúla mó. I have seen mó used before, perhaps not Duolingo, meaning most. And I think I am right for adjectives following the noun. As for using Is and é, I don't know how to justify it, I'm not a linguist. I have seen basic sentences like Is fear é before, so I used the syntax I have seen in the app. Using the bí verb felt wrong so I avoided it.

I had not seen the double IS used before with the second IS meaning MORE before this question. I think this is also the first superlative I have seen in Irish.

June 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

The superlative form of mór is is mó, and it generally means "biggest", but if you want to say "he has the most money", you say tá an méid is mó airgid aige - "he has the biggest amount of money". "Most of the people" is an chuid is mó de na daoine (the biggest share of the people). In both of those examples, is mó is qualifying a noun.

The "most" in "most famous" isn't an adjctve - it's an adverb that is modifying an adjective, but even if it was an adjective, can't be used as an attributive adjective on it's own, and to form the superlative form of other adjectives, you use is with a genitive form of the adjective (the first person feminine genitive). So is cáiliúla - "most famous", is blasta - "tastiest", is troime - "heaviest", etc - isn't involved. It might be tempting to think of is as meaning "most" in this case, but it doesn't really, you need the whole phrase.

You have seen is fear é - "he is A man", which classifies "he" as a man, but this is "he is THE man" which identifies "he" as the man. The structure of classification sentences and identification sentences is different, and specifically, the definite article cannot come next to the copula is.

This isn't a "double IS", any more than a sentence with two ans is a "double AN" sentence. It's just a sentence that happens to have two entirely unrelated uses of is. You can say Tá an fear is cáilíula ag teacht - "the most famous man is coming, with just one is*.

is doesn't mean "more" (níos cáiliúla is "more famous").

That means that is mó can mean "biggest" when applied to a noun, bu

cáiliúil is already an adjective, so "most" isn't an adjective in "most famous".

I'm still surprised that you took a bunch of stuff that by your own admission you didn't really understand, threw it all together, and then were surprised that it was wrong.

June 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenSpark5

When do you use cailula rather than cailiuil?

June 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1194

cailula is the singular feminine genitive form of cailiúil, the plural nominative form of cailiúil, and the plural genitive form of cailiúil for strong plurals.

So you'll use cailula whenever you need the singular feminine genitive form of cailiúil, the plural nominative form of cailiúil, or the plural genitive form of cailiúil for strong plurals.

In practical terms, that means that you'll use cailula for the comparative (níos cailula - "more famous"), the superlative (is cailula - "most famous") and in most cases of plural attributive adjectives (na daoine cáiliúla - "the famous people").

June 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenSpark5

Great, thanks. I have a feeling I am never going to get the hang of that but at least now I have a chance.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OisinKinsella

In an earlier lesson there was another é at the end? What is the story here??

September 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheilamartina

Ta se an fear is cailiula, would this not work?

March 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knocksedan

Just leave out the adjective cailiula for a moment.

You can't say Ta sé an fear - you are linking a pronoun () and a noun (fear), so you have to use the copula - Is é an fear.

The adjective is just a decoration on the noun, it doesn't change the grammar that makes this a copular sentence.

March 6, 2017
Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.