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  5. "Níl ceachtar agam."

"Níl ceachtar agam."

Translation:I have neither.

November 22, 2014



Once again, by studying Irish, I keep learning a lot about English. I suppose by now I shouldn't be surprised that doesn't keep not happening.


No matter what foreign language you study, you always end up learning more about your own. Grammatical principles really aren't taught much in general education (certainly not in detail) and so learning a foreign language involves learning these principles.


If ceachtar means neither, then is this double negative grammatically correct in Irish? This sentence translates literally as "I don't have neither", which is bad English.


Ceachtar really means “either”, but it’s understood as “neither” when negated. This sentence is literally translated as “I don’t have either”, but it’s understood as “I have neither”, much as the English equivalents are.


Aha. So the Irish does not actually contain a double negative then. Thanks.

From memory, I think that the DL dictionary hint listed it as not either but neither. Indeed, just looking up at the top of this page again, I see that the official translation is "I have neither". That has exactly the same meaning as "I don't have either" but is grammatically different.


And how would you say " neither have I"?


The simple answer is Ná mise, which is essentially "Nor me" or "Me neither".

The more complicated answer is that "Neither have I" is ambiguous in English.

"John hasn't been to Spain" - "Neither have I"
"Deirdre hasn't eaten breakfast" - "Neither have I"
"Deirdre hasn't been eating breakfast" - "Neither have I"
"This guy doesn't have any money" - " "Neither have I"

The various perfect tenses in English are often just translated as the past tense in Irish, but you might have to restructure the sentence entirely in some cases. And you would usually repeat the actual verb in Irish (Níor ith mé ach oiread), not just the auxiliary "have". In the case of the possessive "have", it's a bit complicated by the the fact that "I" isn't the subject of Tá airgead agam, so you would have to say something like Níl airgead ar bith agam ach oiread If Ná mise wasn't enough.


"Like this facility, I don't exist." --The Operative


I answered correctly but was marked wrong


Then you probably did not answer correctly. Next time, make sure to include the full text of your exact answer in your comment so we can help you see any typos you might have missed.


'I haven't either' is surely the same as 'I have neither'!

[deactivated user]

    "I haven't got any money!"
    "I haven't either!"


    I have neither of them - WRONG!

    [deactivated user]

      You're right - it IS wrong!

      Níl ceachtar agam - "I have neither"
      Níl ceachtar acu agam - "I have neither of them"


      The hont sats either but only neither appears on the selection list??


      The 'Níl' makes 'either' into 'neither,' at least as one possibility and that happens to be the one the app is looking for.

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