1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "An t-am."

"An t-am."

Translation:The time.

December 23, 2014



Curious if someone can provide some details as to how/why "t-am" translates as time. Haven't seen any words formed like this thus far in the Irish section and couldn't find any details here or online.


am is time. the t- is there because it's a masculine noun beginning with a vowel following the definite article.


but why is it "t-am" and not "tam"?


Orthography and convention. Basically, you use a hypen between it if lowercase, and none if uppercase.

An t-am, but an tAontas Eoprach


Do it would be "Morris Day agus an tAm"?


could someone please explain lowercase and uppercase?


THIS IS WRITTEN IN UPPERCASE. this is written in lowercase


Interestingly enough the terms come from the old days of the printing press, more commonly used letters used for everything (abc) were kept on the lower shelf, capitals or letters used less comonly (ABC), were kept on the upper shelf, the lowecase and the uppercase.


The hyphen is used between the "t" and the noun beginning with a vowel to make it clear that the "t" is a marker indicating that the noun is masculine. There is no Irish word "tam".


Just wondering, how would you ask someone 'do you have the time?' Would it be: An bhfuil t-am agat?


Without a definite article, An bhfuil am agat? means "Do you have time?" (to do this for me)

An bhfuil an t-am agat? - "Do you have the time?". Just as in English, it can mean "Do you know what time it is?" or "Do you have enough time to do that task?"


Go raibh maith agat!

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.