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  5. "An ndíolann sibh cáis?"

"An ndíolann sibh cáis?"

Translation:Do you sell cheese?

September 12, 2014



"Is this the cheese shop?" This would have been a great opportunity to learn the names of a lot of different sorts of cheese. All of which would, of course, be sold out.


Not to mention an Irish bouzouki playing. Would “Walpoling” translate as ag Walpoleith?


Then we would learn to say "curtail" as well. I can say "Tá an t-éan sin marbh," but then, that is a different skit.


Well they might have some camembert, but as a matter of fact it's probably very runny.


If you say no, I'll shoot you.


This is the most important sentence I've learned so far, says me, the woman who smuggled 5lbs of cheese back last time she went to Ireland


mmmmm . . . did you get the porter kind? that stuff is heaven.


"Not much of a cheese shop, is it?"


Do ye sell cheese? Ye? Really?

  • 1306

Ye bring the plural of you in some forms of English (including in Ireland)


In practical terms, would I use the plural form of "you" when addressing a store employee (i.e. "Do all of you here at the store sell cheese"), or would I use the singular "you" since I would be talking to a single person?


In practical terms, the individual person handling the transaction doesn't own the cheese that you want to buy, he is acting on behalf of the shop. Just as you would ask "do they sell cheese there?", English speakers who retain a "plural you" in their spoken dialect do ask "do y'all sell cheese?" or "do yiz sell cheese?" or even "do you guys sell cheese?". Unless you are going from person to person trying to find the one employee who holds the key to the cheese cabinet, you don't actually care whether the individual that you are talking to sells cheese, just that cheese is sold on the premises.

Of course, that makes the autonomous an ndíoltar cáis anseo? an option, but it does require a qualifier lo locate it in place or time, whereas it's implicit in "do you sell cheese (t/here)?"


Go raibh maith agat!

[deactivated user]

    Why is there a "n" here?


    When you turn a statement into a question by putting the interrogative particle an in front of it, you eclipse the verb (if the verb starts with a letter that can be eclipsed).

    Béiceann do mháthair - "Your mother yells"
    An mbéiceann do mháthair? - "Does your mother yell?"
    Canann tú - "You sing"
    An gcannan tú? - "Do you sing?"
    Díolann sibh cáis - "You sell cheese"
    An ndíolann sibh cáis? - "Do you sell cheese?"

    [deactivated user]


      While I'm not thrilled to discover yet another place where I have to eclipsis, I appreciate the clear explanation.

      I've been working on Irish for about a year, and still get mixed up about eclipsis and lenition. They're starting to click, though.


      Where does the "an" come into this translation? That's what confused me, so I put "do you sell the cheese."


      "An" is used to change the sentence to question form. There's no direct translation of the English "do" in Irish, so this is about as close as it gets.


      Actually, Irish might be a little bit more straightforward than English in this particular case. Which is the verb in the question "Do you sell cheese?" - "do" or "sell"? If "do" isn't a verb in this case, and just serves as an interrogative participle to turn the sentence "you sell cheese" into a question, then it is exactly equivalent to an, which just sits in front of the simple statement díolann sibh cáis and turns it into a question.

      It's in the response to the question that English and Irish diverge, because English uses the same response for all verbs ("we do", whether the question was about selling or reading or eating, etc), whereas Irish responds with the same verb that the question was about, díolaimid if the question was about selling, itheann sé if the question was an itheann sé cáis, canaim if the question was an gcannan tú.


      No. The cheese stands alone.


      DL accepts "Do y'all sell cheese."


      In French, the plural "you" (vous) is used to adress one person when you want to be polite, for instance when addressing a stranger. Does Irish have the same? In this case, can "sibh" also mean polite singular "you"?


      No, sibh and other plural forms are not used to address a single person in Irish.


      Thanks, as always. You always reply quickly and thoroughly, and that is much appreciated :)


      'Are you selling cheese?' Is marked incorrect. 'Sibh' = Are you / do you. How would I write 'ndíolann' in the continuous 'selling', to match my incorrect answer? Thank you


      Díolann sibh cáis - "You guys sell cheese"
      An ndíolann sibh cáis? - "Do you guys sell cheese?"

      Tá sibh ag díol cáise - "You guys are selling cheese"
      An bhfuil sibh ag díol cáise? - "Are you guys selling cheese?*


      Go raibh maith agat. As always, you have made my study much easier.


      In your hints an...sibh means are... you. So when I translate as Are you selling instead of Do you sell it seems unfair to mark as incorrect ☹️


      It would be unfair to mark it as correct, because that might leave you with the mistaken impression that An ndíolann tú cáis? means "Are you selling cheese?".

      The hint probably came from an exercise that started with an bhfuil tú because English is a bit inconsistent about how it turns a Sentence into a question.

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