"He was a doctor."
Translation:Ba dhochtúir é.
Yes. However, ba is also the conditional mood of the copula. And it's more likely to be interpreted as that without context.
Anyone know why it is you can't say, 'Bhí sé ina dochtúir' for this question? Thanks!
There is a difference in meaning between:
Ba dhochtúir é
Bhí sé ina dhochtúir
However the English sentence here could be both, so either is acceptable.
"Ba dhochtúir é" implies that being a doctor was a permanent state of his. "Bhí sé ina dhochtúir" is more temporary; it could mean "He was a doctor (at the time, but wasn't one later)", and it could also mean "He became a doctor".