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  5. "It is a sandwich, is it not?"

"It is a sandwich, is it not?"

Translation:Ceapaire atá ann, nach ea?

April 9, 2015



I am still struggling with the copula! Why would 'Is ceapaire é' not be acceptable for the first part of the sentence? Thanks!


Given the lack of context, Is ceapaire é, nach ea? should be just as acceptable as Ceapaire atá ann, nach ea?.


Would "Ceapaire is ea é, nach ea" be acceptable?


And what contexts would each be accurate for?


Yes im thinking "a sandwich is there, is it not?" ann = there. As opposed to é being = it. Also why not. "IS CEAPAIRE É"?


This ann is the masculine 3rd person singular prepositional pronoun for i:

It does not mean "there".


I thought that it would be '... nach bhfuil?' because of how they used 'atá'.


The fact that it's atá tells you that there is an implied (or elided) copula in the first clause ("is ceapaire é atá ann"), and therefore the tag is nach ea, not nach bhfuil.

You wouldn't use it for ceapaire, but you could say of a person and an office/occupation Tá sé ina Thaoiseach, nach bhfuil?.


Can anyone explain the difference between "Ceapaire atá ann" and "Is ceapaire é" please? Also, what is the meaning of 'ann' here?


A sandwich (which) is there vs. It is a sandwich. Ann, generally means 'there. But it varies somewhat. There is little difference in the two sentences you wrote - that is, no significant difference when translated to English, but in Irish it offers the speaker to begin with 'ceapaire'.

Also, I don't think it has the exact same meaning of 'there' in English. In Irish, you would say 'Spring is there' to express 'it is Spring'.

there, that is, 'in existence'.


The ann in this sentence is the prepositional pronoun "in it/him" - ionam, ionat, ann, inti, etc.

Aisteoir atá ionam - "I am an actor"
Dlíodóir atá ionat - "You are a lawyer"
Ceapaire atá ann - "It is a sandwich"
Feirmeoir atá inti - "She is a farmer"


I'm still struggling to understand when you need this kind of construction, and when you could go with either this or the straight copula (is aisteoir mé) ....


Aisteoir atá ionam is an emphatic form of Is aisteoir mé used in Donegal and Connacht. In Donegal this construction has even begun to replace the normal classification copula. You would use this structure when you wanted to emphasize that you're an actor, as opposed to a teacher or some other thing. This structure is not in common use in Munster however.

As for why this particular exercise seems to require Ceapaire atá ann... to the exclusion of any other construction I can't say. Both Is ceapaire é, nach ea? and Ceapaire is ea é, nach ea? would do just as well.


Thanks so much! Since I hope to get back to Donegal (went in the summer, but hurt myself and wasn't able to get to the Gaeltacht), this is very useful information!


And is that the emphatic version of 'Tá ceapaire ann', or is that not allowed?


Tá ceapaire ann would usually be understood as "there's a sandwich there" or "there's a sandwich in it" (cad atá i do mhála?).

So while the fronting involved in Ceapaire atá ann implies some emphasis, it isn't an emphatic form of Tá ceapaire ann.


Also in English "to be" is a verb but irish has bím and táim two verbs for to be and ironically no verb for to have when most languages these are the main two verbs you learn


bím and táim are two different tenses of the same verb.

There are plenty of languages that can say "have" without using a verb that can be directly translated as "have" - Russian being a prime example.


Is ceapaire é, nach ea . Definately the same thing .


Having posted "is ceapaire é, nach ea?", I have read the previous remarks and now feel I have a clearer understanding of the use of the prepositional pronoun (tks SatharnPHL).


Should "ch" in "nach ea" be pronounced as slender or broad?


This may be a silly question, but what is the "ae" exactly? And when can/should it be used


ae is the Irish for "liver".

ea is a 3rd person singular neuter pronoun (é is a 3rd person singular masculine pronoun, and í is a 3rd person singular feminine pronoun). ea is only ever used with the copula (is ea, an ea?, ní hea, nach ea, más ea, ba ea, gurb ea, gurbh ea etc). It's not easy to summarize when it is used but it is usually used with an indefinite predicate.


Thanks for your answer (I hadn't noticed my typo either) I guess it's one of those things I will get used to as I see more of it? Not sure is some dialects prefer to use it more in some phrasal forms than others


Why not Tá sé ceapaire, nach ea? ?


You can't connect two nouns in irish with that verb.


Is ceapaire é, ní hea?


No, "ní hea" is a negative statement. That says "it is a sandwich, it is not." You need the "nach" for the question "isn't it?"


what's wrong with "sin é ceapaire"?

  • 1534

so "is ceapaire é" is wrong?


My attempt at a more literal translation: "It's a sandwich that is there, is it not?"


I'm confused, for the clarification, would this phrase work in this case "Ceapaire is ea é, ní hea"?

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