Think of it as being a variant of is that's only used in combination with certain structures. So an ea? means "an" + "is", except that "an is" is impossible - you have to say an ea?.
It's similar to how you say tá sé for "he is", but an bhfuil sé for "is he?": The tá changes to bhfuil there and you just have to learn it. In the same way, is changes to ea after an.
Good to know. I was looking at the translation for this and thinking that it's pretty poor, seeing as we know that there are two ways to express the verb to be in Irish. It really ought to be explained whether this is "Is it" as in is or "Is it" as in bí.
I guess that's what the discussion is for ...
can someone shed a little light on pronunciation for this? i'm always hesitant to trust duolingo's pronunciations and usually check new words with forvo, but i'm getting two different sounds. "ea" on forvo by itself sounds like how duolingo has presented it, but "an ea" on forvo has more of a "anyea" sound, as if the e is slenderizing the n. can anyone give me the proper pronunciation?
Forvo is just a website where any random person can upload a sound file - there's no reason why anyone should be mischievous and upload misleading sounds, but there's no guarantee that they're any good either.
There's no indication where in Ireland Siobhan7 is from - maybe that's a reasonable pronunciation where she's from, but it won't be normal everywhere - "slenderization" doesn't occur across word boundaries. The Duolingo pronunciation is the way I would say it.