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  5. "An bhfuil taos fiacla uait?"

"An bhfuil taos fiacla uait?"

Translation:Do you want toothpaste?

December 7, 2014



There is no word for any in the Irish sentence, but it is correct in the English, since this is exactly the meaning of the Irish sentence.


I was wondering about that! So, this sentence can also be translated "Do you want some toothpaste?", or "Do you want any toothpaste?"


How would you change this question to mean “Do you need toothpaste?”

I’m thinking in terms of going to the store to buy stuff, and calling my wife to see if she needs for me to buy some...


You wouldn't change it. "need" and "want" are fairly interchangeable in that case - your wife wouldn't be confused if you asked her if she wanted you to buy some toothpaste.


If one truly needed to make a distinction between needing and wanting, how would that be done?


There are half a dozen different ways to indicate a need or a want or a lack. There are differences in usage between dialects, and, just as in English, context can play a role too. You've encountered words and phrases like riachtanach, is gá, ní mór that all imply degrees of necessity, and phrases like de dhíth ar generally imply that the need or want is serious. You can look at the NEID entries for "need" and "want" to get some idea of the variety of situations that these words can be used, and the overlap in both Irish and English.

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