"I am a boy."
Translation:Is buachaill mé.
Bí (tá is a conjugation of bí) is used mainly to express a state, and is is used mainly to express a characteristic. Since being a boy is a characteristic of someone rather than a state of someone, is is used for a statement like Is buachaill mé.
I don’t know how far you are into studying Spanish, but the difference between is and bí in Irish is akin to the difference between ser and estar in Spanish.
'When I type my Irish answers for the English words I often get a note that warns me to watch the accents. So there it starts. Since I am only now beginning to hear the differences in pronunciation I was getting the correct letters but not adding the correct accent.. Thanks for advising the name of the accent designation!
If I wanted to say 'I am the boy' or 'I am the man' would we still be using the copula 'is', or would it be possible to say 'Tá mé an buachaill,' 'Tá mé an fear'? If not, how does one use the definite article in this sort of sentence. I don't know why but 'Is an buachaill mé' sounds odd. Sorry if I'm wrong or over thinking things, but I'd be grateful if anyone could help. I'm still not sure how to use the copula.
Yes, the copula would still be used: either Is mé an buachaill or Is mé an fear if the complement is to be emphasized (e.g. I’m the boy rather than, say, the walrus), or Is mise an buachaill or Is mise an fear if the subject is to be emphasized (e.g. I’m the man rather than, say, that Martian over there).
Use of the copula is complex enough that the Gramadach na Gaeilge site has a page dedicated to it.