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  5. "They are only lawyers."

"They are only lawyers."

Translation:Níl iontu ach dlíodóirí.

January 19, 2015



Is Ní ach dlíodóirí iad not possible?


No. The in Ní dlíodóirí iad is the negative form of the copula. For "am/are/is only", you need the negative form of - níl ach.


English dialect construction 'nobbut' ie naught but, helps me to understand this


I don't understand the use of Nil in front of the sentence. You are stating what they are not what they are not.


It's the common Irish structure for saying "only" (or in this case "just"). Níl ach cúpla focal Gaeilge agam. "I only have a few words of Irish.", i.e. "I only speak a little Irish." Níl ach trí euro i mo phóca. = "I only have 3 euros in my pocket."


In other English dialects, think of it as “They are nothing but lawyers” — you’re still stating what they are, despite the negating “nothing”.


In my dialect of English, that phrase "nothin but...." has a very negative implication. Is that the same here, in this irish sentence?


The point is that the way to say "only" in Irish is to use nil ach, and, for those who have difficulty in recognizing that "only" is in fact a negative term, thinking of it as "nothing but" might help. Irish doesn't differentiate between "You're only lawyers" and "You're nothing but lawyers".


If you speak Southern American English, it'd be something like 'They aren't but lawyers.' It's just a better generap English translation that's given.


Why can't you say, "Níl ach amhainn dliodóirí" (maybe that needs an "iad", but I'm asking about Níl ach amhainn"...


But you did just say "Níl ach amhainn dliodóirí".

Your problem is that nobody has any idea what "Níl ach amhainn dliodóirí" is supposed to mean - "Níl ach amhainn" just doesn't make any sense in Irish.

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