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  5. "Itheann Pól arán."

"Itheann Pól arán."

Translation:Paul eats bread.

December 23, 2014



Is "itheann" the second- and third-person version whereas "ithim" is the first-person? I'm having trouble figuring out when I'm supposed to use "ithim" versus when I'm supposed to use "itheann."


If it helps, in some dialects you can use itheann any time, with the proper pronoun. Otherwise, you use ithim for first person singular, and ithimid for first-person plural, then itheann and the pronoun fro the rest.

Unless you want to learn Munster Irish, that is.


So, "Róisín eats" would just be "itheann Róisín," right?


Not exactly. 'Ithim' is a 'synthetic form,' combining ('synthesizing') the verb and pronoun into a single word; in the case of 'ithim,' that 'm' at the end is the first-person singular pronoun, 'mé,' which becomes simply 'm' when synthesized with the verb. The 'analytic' form (the form that keeps the verb and pronoun separate) is 'itheann mé.' That analytic form is more common in some dialects, but I have read that the synthetic form is the 'official' standard.

Same goes for the first-person plural: the synthetic form is 'ithimid;' the analytic form is 'itheann muid.'


Does this sentence translate to mean Paul eats bread in the present tense (is observed to be eating bread now) or that Paul (can) eat bread, i.e. Paul is not on a no-carbohydrate diet?


more as Paul habitually eats bread

  • 1589

Is there much difference in "Paul eats bread" and "Paul is eating bread"? I only ask because in so many of the other languages--these two are usually framed in the same context.


Yes. Irish, like English, has a distinction between 'Paul eats bread (habitually, generally, etc)' and 'Paul is eating bread'. Some linguists even theorize that the English progressive developed from contact with the Celtic languages (I disagree with that analysis, though, as similar developments are found in non-standard dialects of other Germanic languages, so it seems to be a natural development). To say the latter you would say Tá Pól ag ithe aráin, using the genitive (literally translates to 'Paul is at eating of bread')


I put “Paul is eating bread”, which was not accepted. Is there a specific gerund?


Irish doesn't have a gerund, but it uses a verbal noun to express the present progressive. So, 'Paul is eating bread' would be Tá Pól ag ithe aráin


How would you say "I am eating bread".

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