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  5. "Tá fonn air dul abhaile."

" fonn air dul abhaile."

Translation:He wants to go home.

April 6, 2015



So many ways to say 'want''... I hadn't seen this one before, given all the other possible ways (uaidh, teastíonn....uaidh, tá sé ag iarraidh,..), is this one in use? Or does it have a shade of meaning different from the other (more common?) ones?


I would translate this one more as "He desires to go home."


Is this used when there is a want to do something? Drive, fly or swim for instance rather than a need for an object or thing.


Yes, it’s used — a literal translation of Tá fonn air would be “A desire is on him”.


How would this differ from 'is mian leis...'? Would it be that 'Tá fonn air dul abhaile' - He desires to go home. 'Is mian leis dul abhaile' - His desire is to go home?


By meaning, yes, since more literal translations of Is mian leis dul abaile could be “He owns a desire to go home” or “A desire is with him to go home”. The FGB seems to prefer “wish” over “desire” in this construct.


"He wishes to go home " This was marked incorrect.


"he would like to go home" was my contribution but afách bhí sé mícheart


He would like translates to ba mhaith leis


"Tá fonn air" is probably very close to the French "il a envie de". In this instance, the English language does not allow for subtlety.


You can even say "il désire" in that case.


I put "he feels like going home" - marked wrong


He feels would be mothaíonn sé


He has a yearning to go home - marked incorrect.... yearning / desire / want ......on him... Very little obvious difference to me in this context anyway.


Duolingo isn't testing you in your comprehension of Irish, or your English vocabulary, it's teaching you a basic but functional vocabulary in Irish. In that basic vocabulary, fonn is taught as desire, and rendered as "want" in this sentence, because it's a better idiomatic sentence in English.

The contributors didn't go through a thesaurus and add every possible translation to every exercise. You can request that they add alternative translations, but really, is it worth their or your effort in this case?

Note that, while the NEID lists both thúthain and fonn under "yearning", the FGB doesn't include "yearning" in it's definition of fonn.


I think also that the meaning of "want" in English (at least in the US) has drifted from the meaning "need" and "lack of" over toward the idea of "desire". We read in literature but rarely say "they are in want of x" when we can more commonly say "they are in need of x". The sentence "Tá ríomhaire uaim" expresses that the computer is "wanted" not because of desire so much as because it is "needed" (for not being here, i.e. "at me" or "have"). Tá fonn orm ríomhaire níos fearr ach níl ríomhaire uaim. "I desire a better computer but I don't need a computer" is more understandable than "I want a better computer but I don't want a computer." Tá súil agam go raibh sé cabhrach.


I would have thought it would be "Tá fonn air a dul ahbaile"?


You can use a as a preposition between a noun and a verbal noun (leabhar a léamh - "to read a book", litir a sheoladh - "to send a book"). But you can't have a preposition after a prepositional pronoun, as far as I know, so I don't think you would use a in this case. (In fact, I'm not sure that I can think of a way to use dul in that kind of construction).


I was looking at examples in Progress in Irish, but maybe I didn't understand the purpose of "a".

Maybe I have it now. Would "Tá fonn air léamh" be "He wants to read", and "Tá fonn air leabhar a léamh" be "He wants to read a book"?


It's actually a bit more complicated than that.

"He wants to read" is Tá fonn léimh air ("a desire of reading is on him", to be crudely literal). But when the verb is qualified in any way, it will all go outside the fonn ar phrase - Tá fonn air leabhar a léamh.


Oh man...I guess léimh is the genitive case ? The more I learn the more I know I don't know! But thank you for the explanation, it makes sense.


'Fonn' can mean desire and relates to how you feel so He feels like going home should be accepted


How about Tá uaidh dul abhaile? This can also be translated as 'want', right?


Why is there so many ways of saying 'want'?

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