1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. "An bhfuil tú ag obair faoi l…

"An bhfuil ag obair faoi láthair?"

Translation:Are you working at the moment?

February 18, 2015



Should 'Are you working now' be considered correct?

  • 1148

Wouldn't "now" be "anois"? An bhfuil tú ag obair anois?


Apparently not. They're still marking it wrong a year later.


would have thought so


Is there any way that the audio can be slowed down, please? Not only is it very quiet but the speed on this sentence means I can't work out how to pronounce the words.


While it's technically feasible, it would be up to the engineering staff at Duolingo to implement such a change, and it doesn't seem likely that doing so would be a priority for them. The people who are responsible for the actual Irish course have no way to make such changes - they only control the written text, the audio (which is already a special case, as it is recorded, rather than using a text to Speech engine) is entirely the responsibility of Duolingo HQ.


Thanks. It is possible on the Italian and German courses so it shouldn't be that difficult , still I am enjoying the course.


The Italian and German courses don't use recorded voices, they use a computerized speech-to-text engine - it is possible to tell the computer to speak more slowly, and to say each word individually, it just needs one or two input parameters to be modified. That's not the case with a recorded sentence, such as the sentences on the Irish course.


Great info, Knocksedan, go raibh maith agat!


Try teanglann.ie as a sublimentary web site.


Wow, no kidding that's quick! I can barely grab it. I'm assuming that if you were in Ireland and hearing Irish speakers, they would be speaking that fast. I kind of like hearing it like that. To me it seems a little more of the "real deal"! Lately I have checked out some Irish related subjects online with native speakers in conversation. Just natural everyday sentencing.To be honest it was blazing fast to my untrained ears, especially the Dublin citizens.It shows you how far we all have to go if you want to learn more of this difficult and challenging language! I'm just trying to forge forward in progress and not get too bummed out about it. haha!


As a hearing-impaired individual really trying, the speed at which she speaks is really disheartening.


Agreed! I have poor hearing and unless I can see someone speaking (lips) then I have a hard time with the audio. This one is worse than most.


I was marked wrong for 'Are you working presently?' Is that not correct?


The NEID suggests that it would be an acceptable translation.


I would still say that at the minute is correct as a real translation


"does the gerund here mean are you 'occupied' , or 'employed', or either?"


Just as in English, the exact interpretation can depend on the context.


Is there a different way to say 'Are you still working?' I assume 'still' has its own specific word.


'An bhfuil tú ag obair go fóill?' or 'an bhfuil tú ag obair fós?'. If you mean 'are you still working?' as 'are you still in work/employment?' I think you could say: 'an mbíonn obair agat go fóill?


what's the literal translation of this?


You can look up the individual words in a dictionary, if want, but An indicates that this is a question, bhfuil is the dependent form of the verb , ag obair is the equivalent of the gerund in English, so "working" rather than "at work", and faoi láthair means "currently"/"at the moment"/"at present"

  • 1629

Hi Knocksedan :) I thought that for the gerund, we use ag + [verbal noun]. But obair is a noun, not the verbal noun of oibrigh, which is oibriú. Please could you explain that ? I'm confused now. I answered “Are you at work at the moment ?”, and it was considered incorrect


obair is a little bit unusual in that respect. If you look at the end of the definition of obair in the FGB, you will see that it says:
6. (Used in manner of vn., intransitively, with ag) (a) (Of person) Ag ~, at work, working. Ag ~ ar an talamh, in oifig, working on the land, in an office.

ag oibriú has the "functioning" meaning of "working" - tá an t-inneall ag oibriú but tá an t-innealtóir ag obair.

There's some more discussion of this in "The remote is working" and Níl an tIdirlíon ag obair

  • 1629

Thank you very much for the detailed answer. I read scilling's explanations in the links you provided too. So, I think that "at work" should be an acceptable answer in this exercise, shouldn't it ? Are there other verbs that have the same kind of particularity ? And is it possible to ask the same question with ag [some location], for example An bhfuil tú ag scoil faoi láthair ? ?


No, "at work" shouldn't be an acceptable answer, because the English question "are you at work at the moment?" means "are you at your place of employment?" - you could be eating your lunch or other wise not actually "working", and the Irish phrase an bhfuil tú ag obair faoi láthair? means "are you doing some actual work at the moment?"

While you can do a literal translation of ag obair to "at work", you will not be effectively communicating with other speakers, because Irish speakers will automatically translate just about any ag <verb> phrase to "<verb>ing", and any English speakers will default to understanding "at work" as "at your place of employment".

  • 1629

No need to apologize :) Thank you so much for your patience and dedication in answering questions, it's touching and fantastic !

  • 1629

Thank you, I understand the difference now :) But what about the school example ? Is it grammatically correct ? (I had to answer to your comment above, not the latest one, because the "Reply" link doesn't appear. I'm not sure why, maybe it's because there cannot be too many nested levels of comments)


gabh mo leithscal.

An bhfuil tú ar scoil faoi láthair ?

For attendance at an event, you use ar - ar scoil, ar a shochraid, ar an aifreann.


Can you say " Are you presently working?"?


How would you ask “Are you busy at the moment?”

It’s almost the same thought, but my question deals with asking a person who is at work if they can spare a few minutes. (I do hope that makes sense!)


An bhfuil tú gnóthach faoi láthair?


"do you work at the moment" Most languages would allow this to be an equivalent translation. Not so in Irish? Why not?


Irish distinguishes, as does English, between present habitual (do you work, an oibríonn tú) and present on-going (are you working, an bhfuil tú ag obair). Many other languages do not make this distinction, e.g. French, German.


If a non-English speaker wants to learn more about this, they may have more luck searching for "present progressive" or "present continuous", rather than "present on-going".


There is some speculation that English may have picked up the distinction between the habitual present and the present progressive from contact with Celtic languages, because it didn't get it from the other languages that influenced the development of English, but whatever the reason, it is a feature that English and Irish share, even though many other languages don't make the distinction, so when translating between Irish and English, the distinction must be maintained - translate the habitual present to the habitual present, translate the present progressive to the present progressive.

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