"There is little between them."
Translation:Is beag eatarthu.
I’m not sure — both seem to be used. The English-Irish Dictionary provides as examples both Is beag eatarthu, translated there as “There is not much difference between them”, and Tá easaontas eatarthu, translated there as “There is friction between them”.
For this sentence, I would have expected beagán to be used in the translation rather than beag.
EDIT: Perhaps is is used when an “equality” comparison is involved (e.g. ”little between them“ suggesting that they’re quite similar), and bí is used when such a comparison is not involved (e.g. describing the existence of the abstract noun “friction” between them).
I went with "Tá beagán eatarthu" thinking it meant "they have little (they don't have much) between them (between the two of them). After reading the discussion here, I'm not sure whether that would be correct for that meaning or not (it is marked wrong.)
Does "Is beag eatarthu" mean "There is little difference (there is not much difference) between them"?
This sentence is simple, and yet confusing.
The problem here is that you need the preposition ag to say "have" in Irish (níl mórán acu - "they don't have much"), so "have between them" can't easily be directly translated, you really need to rephrase it for clarity, and that's further complicated by the fact that "between the two of them" also uses acu - idir an bheirt acu, so idir an bheirt acu, níl mórán airgead acu sound clunky. Níl mórán airgead ann idir an bheirt (acu) sounds a bit better to me, but it isn't exactly the same meaning.
While I'm at it, I'll point out that the NEID suggests níl mórán eatarthu (using níl, the opposite of tá, not is) for "there's little to choose between them".
You can say "Is beag X" meaning "X is a little thing"
Is beag an difear atá eadarthu = The difference between them is a small thing = They are similar
However just saying "eadarthu" without a noun attached to it seems unnatural to me, I think this sentence is slight Béarlachas.
Given the total lack of context in the given English sentence, the above statement can be an answer to any of the following questions.
How similar are they? As a couple, is there a lot of furniture in their possession? Is there a lot of sand (physically) between Paul and Michael?
I believe the correct Irish response to the first situation is as given above: Is beag eatarthu. But what is the correct Irish response for either the second or third situation? I'm assuming it would be different. And would Tá beagan eatarthu be a correct Irish translation for the response to any of the above situations?
Let me see if I get this difference. "There's little stuff between them." meaning "If Paul and Michael pooled their stuff together, there still wouldn't be more than a little stuff". Whereas "There's a little between them." would mean "There's a small amount of stuff physically between them." The translation of the first case would be Is beag eatarthu. The translation of the second case would be Tá beagán eatarthu. Do I have that correct?