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  5. "Tá brón air."

" brón air."

Translation:He is sorry.

September 12, 2014



Does Irish distinguish sorry from sad?


I have been wondering the same for a while now.


Differently to how most emotions work in irish "Ta brón ar" usually means he is sorry, "tá sé brónach" (he is sadness essentially) is the more common way of saying someone is sad. This can be done with other emotions "athasach" and "eaglach" for example, theyre usually a very expressive form though, "tá eagla ar" usually means hes scared whereas "tá sé eaglach" would usually mean overcome with fear. With "brón" these two forms have a particular distinction, but ejth most other emotive language theres very little distinction, but the "Tá _ ar" form is more commonly used


The adjectival forms (brónach, áthasach, eaglach, srl.) are usually only used as attributive adjectives (an fear brónach - "the sad man", amhrán brónach - "a sad song"). When English uses an emotion as a predicative adjective ("the man is sad") Irish generally prefers to use the noun construction tá brón ar an bhfear.


Is "air" pronounced the same as "ar"?


Broad vs. slender R - one sounds like a "normal" spanish R (broad) and one sounds like more of a "hissing" R that doesn't really exists in most languages we study (slender)


Is Tá brón air equal to Tá brón aige?


Tá brón aige is incorrect. With emotions, you use ar, not ag.



  • air = on him
  • aige = at him


  • Tá brón air = He is sorry (sorrow is on him)
  • Tá teach aige = He has a house (a house it at him)


how come when you look at the words it says “is sadness on him” thats a lot different then “he is sorry”


"is sadness on him" is just word-for-word translation. Irish syntax is different to English. It's VSO https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verb–subject–object


so, literally, "there is sorry on him"?


More like "There is sorrow on him" (brón is a noun, not an adjective).


Could it be: "he must be sorry", because of the idiomatic meaning of "tá...air"? It would make little sense though, being an obligation.


You are confused about two structures using tá and ar: "Tá ar+X VN" where X is a subject and VN is a verval noun means "X must V", while "Tá N ar+Y" where N is a noun and Y is a noun means "N is on Y" ,and in the particular case of Y being a subject and N a feeling (like sadness or joy), it means that "the feeling N is on Y" which will be further and correctly translated in "Y is A" where A is the adjective correspinding to the feeling N.

Examples : Tá air snámh = He must swim. Tá brón air = Sorrow/Sadness is on him = He is sorry/sad.


Thank you! That is the clearest differentiation I have read.


Can I say "On him is sadness"


In dialect - but probably not in translation


I am confused. Firstly, the tips say that + ar mean obligation. Secondly, brón is a noun, not an adjective, so why it is translated into adjective in English?


Because in Irish emotions are on you I am happy = happiness is on me He is sorry/sad = sorrow is on him

It's a nice way to look at it, i think, especially with negative feelings, as they are on you rather than an actual part of you.


Would one say "I am sorry" like "There is sorrow at me" or is that certain terminology only used when referring to someone other then one's self?

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