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  5. "They are the workers."

"They are the workers."

Translation:Is iad sin na hoibrithe.

September 2, 2014



Popping in to say I've just now first encountered this sentence during a "Strengthen Skills" session and I've never seen any construction remotely similar to this before.


yup. likewise.


I think "Is iad sin" should be translated as "these/those are" rather than "they are"? Otherwise what is the "sin" there for? It seems the sentence could do without it. Am I missing something?


I agree. Isn't "iad sin" supposed to be "those" in Irish? Or does this sentence imply workers who are further away from us?


I was reading it as emphatic, i.e. 'THEY are the workers', but only because that was the only way my brain could make any sense of it. So that's probably completely wrong.


The emphatic THEY would be written as is iadsan na hoibrithe


Both my Irish grammar book and Gramadach na Gaeilge note that seo / sin / siúd can be used for emphasis (as can féin).


“These are …” would be Is iad seo … .


If 'she is a woman' translates to 'is bean i' why doesn't 'they are the workers' translate to 'is na hoibrithe iad'?


A definite word/phrase cannot directly follow the copula 'is' so a pronoun, agreeing with the word/phrase in gender and number, is placed between them:
'Is iad na hoibrithe iad' - 'They are the workers'
'Is oibrithe iad' - 'They are workers'


smrch: in your example above I wonder if there is a kind glide-vowel thing going on when people speak fast and say 'is oibrithe_iad' as in: iss ib rih hi_ad ? (I wish I knew the IPA, I speak English with an American Midwest accent).


If I understand what you mean by "iss ib rih hi_ad", you're correct.
In normal speech, a final unstressed vowel, like the 'e' of 'oibrithe' here, is normally elided when the following word begins with a vowel.
'Is iad na hoibrith' iad', 'Madr' an dalt' óig' ('Madra an dalta óig') etc.


Thanks smrch, your example of 'Madr' an dalt' óg' (Madra an dalta óg) is a good example, that answers my question.


I should have written 'óig' (masc. sing. gen.) in my example above. I've corrected it.


'Is iad na hoibrithe iad' - I've thought that this version is the correct one, but DL required just 'Is iad na hoibrithe'. So which one is correct?


Is iad na hoibrithe iad should be correct, but in Ulster Irish, it's just Is iad na hoibrithe.

"they're the elite of the army" - is iad scoth an airm iad
"they're the holders of the Cup" - is iad sealbhóirí an Choirn iad
"they're the band of the moment" - is iad banna na huaire iad

On the other hand, if I wanted to say "they're the workers, but I'm the boss!", I'd say Sin iad na hoibrithe, ach is mise an bas! or is iad sin na hoibrithe, ach ... or is iadsan na hoibrithe, ach ....


"Bas"? Is that a highly accented version of the English "boss"? Duo uses "ceannasai".


Highly accented? Bas isn't accented at all, and is a direct borrowing of the English "boss", which is itself a borrowing from Dutch.

Your boss probably doesn't have the word "boss" written on his or her business cards - ceannasaí is a more formal term, and could be used on a business card.


Duo just accepted "is iad na hoibrithe iad" from me today...


I'm trying to understand ... the rule is ... no definite article can follow the copula, right?


No definite noun or noun phrase can directly follow the copula, not simply those beginning with the article.
Examples would be: an fear, na daoine cliste, mo chat, Seán, Uachtarán na hÉireann, etc.


Thanks! I think I vaguely get it now.


Here. How about this.

So, I'm going to describe this in the way my class was taught. It'll be watered down, because y'know, we were first semester Irish students without much grammar knowledge. So, your word order is going to be VANTP.

V = verb

A = Indefinite nouns

N = Names

T = Definite nouns

P = Pronouns

So that's your general order. If you use a definite noun, a proper noun, or a name, you need to include the pronoun (é, í, iad, srl - note, after , these prefix an "h") before the first one.

So in your first sentence you have and indefinite noun (araicnid) and a definite noun (an damhán alla). So, putting these in order (A before T), you get Is araicnid an damhán alla. However, you need the pronoun before the definite noun. Since damhán alla is feminine, you use í. This giving you Is araicnid í an damhán alla.

Your second one you have a name (Pól) and a definite noun (uachtarán na hÉireann). So, putting those together, you get Is Pól uachtarán na hÉireann. Yet, you still need that pronoun. Is é Pól uachtarán na hÉireann.

Hope that helps explain it a little. And note, this is really basic, and barely scratches the surface of the copula.


this is much appreciated but in your examples and explanation, the pronoun is not at the end - which does not correspond to VANTP order. what am I missing? In irish wiki it says this - "Note that there must always be a pronoun between a definite noun and the copula. " I would assume then the same applies to names (with copula)


You don't have to have all the pieces of VANTP. The pronoun appears only at the end if you have a pronoun in the sentence. In "Pol is the president", you don't have a pronoun, so it only appears before the definite phrase. In this sentence (the one the discussion thread is about), they give an alternate way. See smrch's for the simpler way to do it.

And, yes, it applies to names, as in Is é Pol uachtarán na hÉireann.


Has "iad sin" been introduced somewhere?


At this writing, not to my knowledge — only the simplest uses of the copula were provided in the Tips and Notes of the Basics 1 skill.


My daughter has a taekwondo teacher who often asks his students questions the answers to which he has not previously taught them. The impression that gives is that he is asking them to read his mind. That is the impression I get on Duolingo Irish. I do not get that impression with Danish, Portuguese, or Dutch. It may be the idiomatic difficulties of the language, but it may also just be that the method for the other languages just needs to be altered, moved around, for Irish.


I wrote "Is iad na hoibrithe iad". I think it should be accepted. "Is iad sin na hoibrithe" = "They (predicate) are the workers (subject)". "Is iad na hoibrithe iad" = "They (subject) are the workers (predicate)".


Another possible translation (with na hoibrithe as the subject) would be Is iadsan na hoibrithe.


That's what I put and it should be accepted.


Oh, My God! I am getting crazy with this sentence: Is iad sin na hoibrithe, "They are workers". I am starting to understand the need of the second pronoun due to the definite noun. But where is the subject then? Why do we need sin? And why does oibrithe get an h prefix? I can't find anything about it in my notes. EDIT the following day: I have found the h-prefix issue in the Dates and Time skill: "If a plural noun starts with a vowel, a h is added at the start of the word after the definite article na (for example, ainmneacha: names, na hainmneacha: the names). No hyphen is used." EDIT: Reading the useful comments in Duolingo for the last mont, I think that the lack of subject could be a dialectal thing, but I am not sure. Every time I read this sentence my traslation would be: The workers are those. And the traslation of "They are the workers" would be: Is iad na hoibrithe iad.


Why "sin" . It was not " those are the workers"


It seems no one has answered yet. Why is "sin" in the above correct answer?


Why is iad needed twice?


In the case of Is iad na hoibrithe iad, the first iad is a subpredicate, and the second iad is the subject. The subpredicate is needed because the copula isn’t allowed to be adjacent to a definite noun.


"Is iad na hoibrithe" is accepted by duolingo as a correct solution.


why do they use the demonstrative "sin" ?


Does "iad sin" behave like an indefinite noun? That sounds weird, since it means "those", which is a demonstrative pronoun (maybe it's not the same in Irish?), and that clearly has to be definite (at least in my mind), yet if it behaves like an indefinite noun, the syntax of the sentence matches what I've been able to read about the copula...


Iad sin doesn’t require a subsubject iad to separate it from is, if that’s what you mean by indefinite noun behavior.

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