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  5. "What is your question?"

"What is your question?"

Translation:Cad é do cheist?

November 23, 2014



They are really saying, What is it, your question? That's just how they say it. 'Is' is hidden in 'cad'.


Please validate if my understanding is correct.

With the question word "cad" you use the relative clause "atá" or "a + verb" in the question form if the affirmative form of the same sentence requires "tá" or "verb", respectively. And you do not use the relative clause in the question form if the affirmative form of the same sentence requires the copula "is". Instead the copula is considered to be hidden within "cad" somehow and you just use "é/í" after "cad" depending on the gender. So,

  • Affirmative form is "Is mo cheist é" hence "Cad é do cheist?"

  • Affirmative form is "Tá ... aici" hence "Cad atá aici?"

  • Affirmative form is "Ólann sí ..." hence "Cad a ólann sí?"



A bit of annoying is that you have to deduce the grammar rules by yourself every time without having a possibility at least to check right away if you have inferred them right. Maybe it is a good learning strategy for simpler languages like Norwegian with a lot of examples, but the strategy certainly carries unnecessary difficulties along for the languages with a complex grammar structure. Duolingo should have written more within the Tips and Notes this time. Instead the course creators are forced to do it in the comments over and over regardless. The difference is that it becomes difficult to find those explanations when you need them among the tonnes of irrelevant comments


Perhaps you could join the good people at Duo Lingo and lend your expertise to what appears to me to be a less than simple undertaking


Why not 'cad ata do cheist'? Like 'conas ata tu'?


Because you don't need the relative clause. You're asking whay it is, and a copula is implied.


OK! Sneaky copula again!


I got marked wrong when I included the copula. Should I report that if I get it wrong again, in this case? Being marked wrong because I didn't leave the copula as implied seems off, to me, but grammar can we weird like that sometimes.


Perhaps implied wasn't the best word. Invisible is better. You shouldn't generally include it, unless the second bit requires it (Céard is fearr leat?


Looks like my reply disappeared. Thank you for the response. To further clarify, is this true for all three major spoken dialects?


As far as I know, yes. The copula is invisible.


Thank you for this explanation; I've found it very helpful. Go raibh maith agat.


Hi all -- could someone with more expertise provide a link or explanation as to why (and in what other situations) the copula would be omitted here? I'm kind of used to this in Russian, but this seems to be the only sentence in the Irish course so far where it's missing...


Would it be possible to say: 'Cad í do cheist?'


No — the é in Cad é … ? is epicene.


You just taught me a great word, thank you


Ceist is feminine. Should it not be 'Cad í do cheist?'


I ask the same question. And, why not 'ea' instead of 'é'?


Why is the e required here?


Because the copula (which is invisible here) can't come before a definite phrase without a pronoun.


"Cad a bhfuil do cheist?"


No. There is a copula include in cad, so at best you have translated "is" twice.

Even if you did need to use , you would use the direct relative form atá, not the indirect a bhfuil.

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