1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "If you are, she is."

"If you are, she is."

Translation:Má tá tú, tá sí.

September 20, 2014



Lóts óf fádás ón thís óné, fólks.


Má ta sibh, tá sí - almost a tongue twister


One FADA missing!! Lol!


That's why I went with "tú". Like a festival of fhada.


Why "tá" and not "is"?


Is is a copula, so it requires a complement.


Could you rephrase that for us boneheaded folk? Thanks.


A copular sentence associates a subject with a complement (a characteristic of the subject), e.g. “I am the walrus”, where “I” is the subject and “the walrus” is the complement, making “am” copular in that sentence. The sentence “You are” has no complement to associate with its subject, so “are” is not copular in that sentence. (In a sentence like “You are smart”, though, “are” would be copular, since the complement could be an adjective.) Since is is the Irish copula, one can’t say Má is tú for the complementless “If you are” — one would need to say Má tá tú for “If you are”.


Thanks a lot, I think I'm getting it now.


This is not a complete sentence anyway, and needs a context we don't have. It could be understood as "If you are (happy), she is (happy)", or as "If you are (a woman), she is (a woman)". Are you saying that we can't express this last sentence using "is" unless "a woman" or another predicate is explicitly mentioned, or that if it's not explicitly mentioned we would use "tá" instead even in this meaning?


It is a complete sentence if “are” and “is” are understood in their “exist” sense. An explicit predicate is not needed when answering a copular question, e.g.

Are you the doctor?, an tú an dochtúir?, I am, is mé.

from the EID.


Would it be ma ta tu an ean, ta me an ean? (sorry for my lack of accent marks, i have no idea how to make them on my keyboard.) As in if you're a bird, i'm a bird


Because that sentence has a complement, its structure would depend upon whether the addressed person being a bird was a permanent characteristic or a temporary state, and whether the possibilty of that person being a bird was considered likely or not by the speaker:

  • likely characteristic — Más éan tú, is éan mé.
  • unlikely characteristic — Dá mb’éan tú, b’éan mé.
  • likely state — Má tá tú i d’éan, táim i m’éan.
  • unlikely state — Dá mbeifeá i d’éan, bheinn i m’éan.

The characteristic sentences use is (más = + is ; ba is the conditional form of is, becoming b’ before a vowel sound), and the state sentences use (bheifeá is the conditional form of tá tú, and bheinn is the conditional form of táim). The likely sentences use (which lenites present tense verbs, except for and deir ), and the unlikely sentences use (which eclipses).

My examples above presume that the speaker’s “birdness” would exactly mirror that of the addressed person; if that wouldn’t be the case, then the second half of each sentence would need to be altered to reflect how birdlike the speaker would deem himself to be according to the particular condition of the addressed person.

The way to make accent marks on your keyboard depends upon which operating system your computer has.


I'm no native (far from it) but I gather it should be má is tú an éan, is mé an éan, considering that when you use the verb to be to define what or who someone is it's the "is" forms you should use.

The "tá" forms are for states (so I guess if you said the same sentence with beautiful or strong etc. it would work).

I hope I haven't misled you...


I was tempted to say Más tú, is ea í, assuming an implicit predicat. (If you are a human, so is your daughter. I am an owl, what does it make her? If you are, so is she...)


On my mobile phone the options to click on to create the sentence din't have the right words. D'oh!


Shouldn't at least part of this sentence be in the modh coiníollach? "Má tá tú, bheadh sí."?


With , neither part needs to be in the conditional (as the English sentence also shows). With , the first part would need to be either in the conditional or the past subjunctive, and the second part would be in the conditional.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.