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  5. "Tá air snámh."

" air snámh."

Translation:He must swim.

December 3, 2014



Where does the must come from?


The phrase Tá ar X Y means X must Y in Irish - though it's only one of a number of different phrases that can be used to mean "must". It's just an idiom, like tá X ó Y means "Y wants X"


Why is it "he" if there isn't any É or SÉ?


air = ar + é. The literally translation of this is "Is on him to swim" In Irish, however, the preposition ar used in this case means "must".


So is it a phrasal verb or a valency?


Phrasal verb. There's quite a few of them in Irish. Some with , others with other verbs. Also, i thought valency just had to deal with the number of arguments it took (including the agent, which is what separates it from transitivity), but wouldn't deal with the meaning of the verb per se.


I have to say, this voice seems to be new in the Audio files and it is VERY hard to understand her in short words such as 'air' ...


Yes that was a hard, if not impossible, one to decipher "air" seemed to be "air" brushed out. What I hear is "Ta ist snaw" .A heavy Dublin accent there I think ! I was listening to the Irish Language program on Radio Ulster and there was a guy speaking in a strong Ulster accent. I could only get the word" agus" which was repeated many times. Is there any equivalent to the Queens English in Ireland I suppose it would be called Uachtaran Gaeilge !!! If not has anybody got an enigma machine ??


A heavy Dublin accent there I think !

Have you every actually been to Dublin?


About six times in my life and have heard people like Ronnie Drew (GRHS) Bob Geldof and other famous ones talk on the media but I am probably wrong about that anyway !!! I find the audio on this course not always clear and I keep having to repeat it.It seems like whole words disappear from the text sometimes yet sometimes it is fine.Depends on the speaker I suppose !


There is only one speaker on Duolingo, as far as I'm aware. The recordings would have taken a considerable time to complete, so there are differences between the same word in different exercises, because they were recorded during different sessions, or at different times during a session, or because the words before and after a particular word might influence things somewhat.

As for Dublin accents, comparing Ronnie Drew to Bob Geldof is a bit like comparing chalk and cheese - they both have very different accents, and Geldof's, in particular, is not what most people think of when you say "a Dublin accent" - though strictly speaking, his London accent still retains recognizable features of one of at least 5 or 6 quite distinct accents that are from different parts, and different generations, of Dublin.

None of the accents that are typical of Dublin and it's suburbs pronounce "r" the way this speaker pronounces air.


Spot on Knocksedan! I couldn't have said it better myself. ;-)


Which word identifies "He" in this sentence?


air is "on him"

"I must swim" would be tá orm snámh, "you must swim" would be tá ort snámh, srl.


Can you say caithfidh sé snámh

  • 1341

You could, but it isn't entirely synonymous with tá air snámh, just as "he must" and "he has to" aren't entirely synonymous.


Why is the “mh” pronounced as a “v” in this sentence? I thought that broad mh would be pronounced as w. Is it because it is at the end of a word? Is it because the v is pronounced with the two lips for broad instead?

  • 1341

The expression of mh varies. In Donegal snámh is pronounced with a "w" sound, but in Munster and Connacht it's a "v". In other words with a terminal mh, like caitheamh it varies.


Can you get me back to my lesson please

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