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  5. "Bíonn sé ag caitheamh tobac."

"Bíonn ag caitheamh tobac."

Translation:He smokes tobacco.

December 7, 2014



the term 'ag caitheamh tobac' is generally used to refer to 'smoking' without saying 'smoking tobacco'. Do people agree that this should be accepted?


Since tobac is in that term, isn’t “tobacco” already being said?


I am going to have to agree with /aisinim here.


He is smoking tobacco is more accurate, isn't it. Can't really put He does be smoking tobacco.


No, Bíonn sé ag caitheamh tobac does not mean "He is smoking tobacco", which would normally be understood as meaning he is doing it right now, and is tá sé ag caitheamh tobac in Irish. Bíonn sé ag caitheamh tobac means "He smokes".

You would use Bíonn sé ag caitheamh tobac arís in a sentence like "He is smoking again", talking about someone who had given them up, but has started to smoke on a regular basis again. When used in that context "smoking" doesn't mean that it is happening right now, just that it is a regular occurrence.

And it isn't necessary to translate the tobac. The Irish for "smoking" is caitheamh tobac.


Ah, I think I get it. English has the habitual sense in "He swims" (regularly) ie "He is always swimming". I guess Irish would say "Bíonn sé ag ól an t-am ar fad" where English could say "He's always drinking" or "He drinks all the time" to achieve the same meaning.


More or less. snámhann sé is also considered a habitual sense of "he swims".


So this is what I thought, but now the correct response is listed as "He smokes tobacco". Should I report it?


"He smokes tobacco" implies that it is something that he does habitually - it is a good translation of the explicitly habitual "bíonn sé ag caitheamh tobac".

Contrast that to "bíonn sé le do mháthair" (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4315044). Translating that as "He is with your mother" does not capture the habitual sense of the Irish "bíonn", whereas "he does be with your mother" does capture that sense (at least for those of us familiar with the Hiberno-English "does be").

  • 2647

His does be??


Typo. It should be "He does be," to indicate habitualness.


"He smokes tobacco" was the answer it gave me. (Drag and drop, so I couldn't use "does be") Shouldn't that be something like "Caitheann sé tobac" instead?


I was thinking exactly the same thing.


Wouldnt it be he does be smoking tobacco. Other examples (several) have been translated does be

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