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  5. "Are they legal?"

"Are they legal?"

Translation:An bhfuil siad dleathach?

February 22, 2015



dlíthiúil is wrong?


So, unlike English, Irish has two words that can cover "legal". There's dleathach, which means "allowed by law." Then there's dlíthiúil, which means "relating to law" or "required by law". Source. However, without context, both should be accepted.


So the latter is more like "juridical"?


Trying to understand the difference here.

In the previous exercise, "An rud nua é?" means "Is it a new thing?" As someone pointed out in the comments, "bhfuil" can't be used because it's an identifying sentence. Is there something about this sentence that makes it non-identifying? Would it have to be something along the lines of "Are they legal people?" for it to be considered identifying?


"legal" is an adjective. daoine is a noun.

Ignoring the interrogative for a moment, you would say tá said dleathach - "they are legal", but you use the copula to categorize a noun, so is daoine iad - "they are people". Qualifying daoine doesn't change that - is daoine dleathacha iad.

To turn these into questions, you use the interrogative form of (an bhfuil) and of is (an), so an bhfuil said dleathach? and an daoine dleathacha iad?.


So then the difference is the presence of the noun, correct? If "rud" was removed from my other example, it would become, "An bhfuil sé nua?" for "Is it new?"


Yes. "is it a thing?" and "is it a new thing?" are both copular questions, but "is it new?" is not a copular question, and uses the verb (an bhfuil).


Go raibh maith agat! That makes much more sense now.


Thanks, that helps a lot with the difficult concept of copula! So I will use this memo:

What is it? Answer: noun (predicative) => copula.

What's it like? Answer: adjective (attributive) => no copula.


I can't see how you derived your "memo" based on the previous comments.

For a start, tá siad dleathach obviously doesn't involve the copula, but it also doesn't use an attributive adjective.


Life is not easy: Why is this adjective not in plural form after siad?

"An bhfuil siad dleathacha?"


EDIT: Tips & notes for colors

Plural nouns

An adjective that follows a plural noun has its spelling changed to the plural form of that adjective. If the noun ends with a slender consonant, the adjective is also lenited.

EDIT 2: Google finds 50 cases of "siad dleathach", but only one case of "siad dleathacha", so the later is apparently wrong


Because predicate adjectives are not declined for number in Irish; only attributive adjectives are. In this exercise’s translation, dleathach is a predicate adjective, not an attributive adjective.


Siad isn't a plural noun.


Is there a reason it's "siad" and not "iad"?


iad can't be the subject of an active verb, and an bhfuil is the present tense interrogaive form of the verb .


I'm still confused: Why is dleathach not declined? It is attributive, isn't it?

Is it because there's a pronoun rather than a noun?


dleathach is a predicative adjective in this exercise.

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