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  5. "Is maith liom uisce a ól."

"Is maith liom uisce a ól."

Translation:I like to drink water.

September 9, 2014



I did "I like water to drink" and they said it was wrong. Why?


i was wondering too.


Could this also translate to "I like drinking water" - or would that be... "is maith liom bheith ag ól uisce".. ?


For “drinking” rather than “to drink”, you’d need Is maith liom a bheith ag ól uisce. — luckily, the genitive for uisce is also uisce.

EDIT: Added a bheith — thanks to AnLonDubhBeag and galaxyrocker for the correction.


Surely there is no difference in meaning between 'I like to drink water' and 'I like drinking water'?


In English, “I like to drink water” uses an infinitive, and describes which liquid is enjoyed; but “I like drinking water” uses a gerund, and describes which act is enjoyed. The Irish distinction is similar, but it uses two different structures of verbal noun phrases to distinguish their meanings.


I disagree. Either of those sentences could specify which liquid is enjoyed, or which act is enjoyed, depending on where the stress falls and the context in which the statement is made, e.g. 'My brother likes drinking beer, but I like drinking water'; 'I like to drink water, but I also like to make water'. It is even harder to see any difference in the case of intransitive verbs, e.g. 'I like swimming' versus 'I like to swim'.


Colloquially, they are frequently used interchangeably, but the distinction nonetheless exists. The absence of an object with the infinitive/gerund differs in that “I like to swim” is specific to my participation in swimming, while “I like swimming” is more general; it could refer to my participation, or it could refer to e.g. my enjoyment of watching swimmers compete in the Olympics.


I'd say "Is maith liom a bheith ag ól an uisce" for your second sentence.


I believe you'd need a bheith there. As far as I know, ag x can't directl follow the Is x le structures.


Ól has a bit of a related false friend in Swedish (the first language I learned with Duolingo); the Swedish word for beer is öl. I often have to stop and think "Do I like to drink beer or water?" when my brain is trying to make sense of the sentence.


For this is "Is maith liom a ól uisce" incorrect? does the infinitive always go after the object?


If there's an object, yes. It also takes a and lenites. Otherwise, you just use the verbal noun.


Why is "I like water to drink" not correct for this sentence? Although someone else asked this question I did not find an answer to it in the discussion.


The "to drink" in that sentence is really "for the purpose of drinking", rather than the infinitive. (corrected as per EPDgaffney below)

Is maith liom uisce le hól, (or, in Connacht Is maith liom uisce le n-ól).

"we had nothing to eat or drink" - ní raibh blas ar bith le hithe ná le hól againn


Knocksedan meant 'to drink' there. Just in case it throws anyone. I'm kind of an idiot so probably not.


What kind of word is a in this sentence? Is it a pronoun or a conjunction?


According to the Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, it's a preposition that is used to connect a preceding noun ("uisce") or pronoun with a verbal noun ("ól") - "Uísce a ól" is one of the examples that they use.



Better answer than mine. Forgot it was a verbal noun. So preposition it is.


But what kind of connection is it? At first glance it looks like a ól is an embedded clause describing a purpose uisce might be used: water [[ to drink ]] like for example a property [[ to let ]]. And it seems that uisce is the subject of this sentence, something like * Water to drink is good with me. On the other hand, the entry in the dictionary suggests that uisce is the object of the infinitive a ól just put before it, while in English it would follow the verb: to drink water.


I am sorry, but you both confuse me, since you explain the Irish verbnoun by means of an English infinitive and EPDgaffney by means of an English gerund. It does not matter much in this sentence, because I like to drink water and I like drinking water mean the same (in the variety of English I use). But after other verbs there is a difference for example: I drove here to drink water and I drove here drinking water.

The verbal noun is used when translating the English infinitive ("uisce a ól") and the English gerund ("I am drinking water" - "táim ag ól uisce").

The gerund is not relevant to this particular exercise - you would have to say "is maith liom a bheith ag ól uisce")


It's the same concept but in Irish it's expressed using a verbal noun. To understand it easier, think of something like, 'I like drinking water.' As an above discussion points out, the word 'drinking' in this context is not precisely equivalent to 'to drink', but it's close enough to work for this purpose.

So: 'I like drinking water.'

Now we just need to make one more logical step and take the word 'drinking' here, which is a gerund, which is almost but not quite the same as, a verbal noun, and use it as a true verbal noun. The distinction is that gerunds (what we use in English) can still act as verbs to a degree, which is why we can have them take objects, as in the above phrase.

So, to make it function as a verbal noun, I'm going to approximate what we want to say: 'I like water for drinking.'

The last thing to do is to discuss the use of 'for' in that example. To Irish this (to reverse an old Irish expression), we want to replace 'for' with a preposition that essentially marks the verbal noun as functioning the way our English infinitive does. Let's use a made up word, 'gan': 'I like water gan drinking.'

Now the English sentence can more easily be mapped to the Irish one and vice versa.

I realise maybe that was a weird way of explaining it, so I hope it makes sense. Maybe someone else will help.


I think you might be over-thinking this.

"uisce a ól" means "to drink water", it doesn't mean "water to drink".

"Táim ag dul go dtí an teach tábhairne chun beoir a ól" - "I'm going to the pub to drink beer"

In English, the object comes after the infinitive verb, ("to drink" + "water") in Irish, there is no infinitive, and the object comes before the verbal noun, with the preposition "a" between them - "uisce + "a" + "ól", and this corresponds to the infinitive + object in English.

"Is fuath leis an carr a thiomáint sa trácht" - "he hates to drive the car in traffic"
"It wasn't easy to paint the house" - "ní raibh sé éasca an teach a phéintáil"

To say "there is water to drink in the jug", you use a different preposition - "ta uisce le nól sa chrúiscín", or "a chair to sit on" - "cathaoir le suí uirthi".

(There may be different ways to say this in certain dialects).

*drink - drive


Sorry, I'm not sure was that for Randy or myself but I knew all that. I think your explanation is probably a lot clearer than mine, though. I, too, hate to drink the car in traffic.


I am sorry, but you both confuse me, since you explain the Irish verbnoun by means of an English infinitive and EPDgaffney by means of an English gerund. It does not matter much in this sentence, because I like to drink water and I like drinking water mean the same (in the variety of English I use). But after other verbs there is a difference for example: I drove here to drink water and I drove here drinking water.


No more reply link for your newest comment, so, unfortunately, this is what I'm doing. Anyway:

The best way to think of it is that in Irish, a + verbal noun is equal to to + infinitive in English. It's just expressed differently.

The one thing to remember, which Satharn explains, is that the a + verbal noun construction applies in this context, but when the English sentence uses the infinitive to mean 'for the purpose of', the preposition in Irish for that is le.

So, you have in English: I like to drink water. and I want water to drink.

The first one uses a ól as in the Duolingo sentence we've been discussing. The second one uses le nól and can be rephrased a number of ways, like 'It is water that I want to drink', or 'I want water so that I can drink it', and so on. One thing that you can't do without changing its meaning is 'I want to drink water'. If you understand the difference between 'I want to drink water' and 'I want water to drink', then you understand the difference between Irish 'a ól' and 'le nól'.

For most things, it'll be a + verbal noun.


Should this be a hól? Lentition?


No, a ól is correct. (The prefixed H is not lenition; a leniting H always follows a consonant.)


Why is "bheith" needed in the second phrase for, "drinking water"?


Because in Irish you can't have ag x following an Is y le structure. It's not a gerund, and can't act as one like in English.


Is fearr liom fuisce a ól. ;-)


I wrote:- I like to drink water. the response was: Correct solution: X I like to drink water. ALSO This question gives an irish sentence, and tells me to write this sentence in irish.


Nobody reading the Irish discussion forums can do anything about technical issues like this. Take a screenshot showing your answer and the expected answer, and submit a bug report(https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug) with details of what platform you are using.

You can also post the same details in the Troubleshooting forums. https://www.duolingo.com/topic/647

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