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  5. "Tá úll ag an mbuachaill; tá …

" úll ag an mbuachaill; á ithe."

Translation:The boy has an apple; he is eating it.

December 29, 2014



"Tá sé á ithe" = he is eating it? Or "It is being eaten"??


Both! This is one case where it's ambiguous.


Because of se meaning both he and it, I guess. Is a verbal noun sort of like an event at which both the subject and object are present, rather than an action that the subject is taking towards the object?


A verbal noun is just a noun. It's the use of certain prepositions or particles that changes it to a progressive or infinitive meaning.


The function of á confuses me.


I was going to (sarcastically) suggest that the function of á was to fulfil some rule, but that I had no idea what the function of the rule was.

But then it struck me that the subject of the verbal noun is in the genitive, but you can't put é into the genitive. Just as Cat an fhir becomes a chat when you replace the noun "the man's" with the pronoun "his", Tá sé ag ithe úll becomes tá sé á ithe when you replace the noun "apple" with the pronoun "it".

I don't have any source to back this up, but it actually makes a weird kind of sense.


It's completely correct, that is the explanation.

Tá sé á ithe = He is at its eating = He is eating it

Tá sí á h-at féin suas = She is at her own puffing up = She is puffing herself up

(Here you see the typical "h-" for feminine possession)

It really stems from the fact that the verbal noun is a noun.

Tá sé á dhéanamh is really "He is at its making".

Every verbal noun is still a valid noun:

Tá déanamh breá ag na bróga sin.

This is a general rule across the language that things that take the genitive as their object, use the possessive for pronominal objects.


Is the verbal noun always lenited (if possible) or does it depend on the maskuline "á" which belongs in some way to "sé"? Reading my question I can only hope it does not sound too strange and can be understood - somehow.. ;-)


Normally you have ag <verbal-noun> <noun>, and the noun is in the genitive. If you replace the noun with a pronoun, you restructure the phrase to á <verbal-noun>. If the pronoun was é, then you lenite the verbal noun, if the pronoun was í, you don't do anything, and if the pronoun was iad, you eclipse. If the pronoun was , the structure is do mo <verbal-noun>

These are the same patterns that you use for the possessive a, and the same goes for verbal nouns that start with vowels - masculine doesn't do anything, feminine gets a h-prefix and plural gets an n-prefix.


Go raibh míle maith agat. I have been doing these sentences several times today and it is somehow a real challenge to me, especially after I got a few exercises using passive progressive. I tried to make as much as possible out of all comments.


Weird The fine making is at those shoes


Tá ceist agam. Cén fáth nach é "tá sé é á ithe"???


There are a couple of other sentences that discuss á in a little more depth:
Táim á dhíol
Táim á ghlaoch
táim á úsáid

Á is a complex little beast, and will require some thought and practice!


So you can have you apple and eat it!


Where is the it? Should be : he is eating.


The "it" is in the á.

Tá sé ag ithe - "He is eating"
Tá sé ag ithe an úill - "He is eating the apple"
Tá sé á ithe - "He is eating it"

This is explained in some detail in the earlier comments.

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