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  5. "What is going on?"

"What is going on?"

Translation:Cad atá ar siúl?

June 6, 2015



When does one use é vs. atá?


Please correct me if I'm wrong here.

From my understanding, "Cad é" is when you are asking questions using the copula built into "cad", e.g. "what is it?". "Cad atá..." is for situations where you are not using the copula for your question and the copula is implied, e.g. "Cad atá ar siúl", which can be thought of as implying the "é", i.e. "Cad [é] atá ar siúl" meaning "What [is it] is going on", or more naturally "what [is it] that is going on".


Why is the word "atá" used? Isn't "bhfuil" used for questions?


There are two different type of questions in English and Irish. Questions about actions involve a verb - "do you eat cheese?" - an itheann tú cáis?, "Are you ready?" - An bhfuil tú réidh?, "Does this bus go to Cork?" - An dtéann an bus seo go Corcaigh?.

In English, these question either use "do" or they reverse the subject and verb ("I am" -> "Am I?"). In Irish they involve the interrogative particle an, or the interrogative form of the copula (which is also an).

Then there are "W" question - "who", "what", "why", "when", "where" and "how". In Irish, these are C questions - , cad, cén fáth, cathain, and conas. There isn't always a one to one correspondence, and different forms of questions may be preferred in different dialects, but, to answer your question, no, most questions do not involve bhfuil.


Except that a lot of the questions that we have been introduced to do involve bhfuil and I have never had a clear explanation on what the difference is between the two of them (bhfuil and atá) and this one is no different.


From *GnaG:

The interrogatives = "who", cad = "what", céard = "what", conas = "how" require a direct relative clause (atá).
The interrogatives = "where", cén fath = "why", cén chaoi = "how" , as well as the combinations with prepositional pronouns cé/cad leis = "with what", cé/cad air = "on what", etc. require an indirect relative clause (go/a bhfuil).


Cên? Cén, right?


Yes, it's just a typo - I must have been using my phone when I wrote that reply - I'm not even sure that I can type a circumflex on my laptop.


Cad atá ag tarlú could also be used here, an interjection to ask what's happening, what's up, what's going on, how someone is. Tarlaigh as a verb means to happen, to ensue, to arise, to occur. So, any Gavin & Stacey fans, or indeed any Welsh people would recognise "what's occurring" as meaning "what's going on" or "what's up?"


What is the purpose of "atá" in this sentence?


What is the difference between cad and ceard here?


Dialect; cad is more popular in Munster, and céard is more popular in Connacht.


So one or the the other is correct in any situation?


I tried Ceard and it was marked wrong but there was probably something else wrong in my sentence.


Apart from the issue of whether or not céard has been added as an additional answer for this exercise, note that ceard without a fada means an artisan or skilled tradesman, and is used in compound words such as ceardchumann - "trade union" and ceardlann - "workshop".


I thought "atá" had something to do with "you". What does it mean? And what does "siúl" mean?


Siul = walk atá = and (but it seems to be flexibly placed as a spacer in sentences needing lenitiion?)


ag siúl = walking, ar siúl = occurring / going on etc..


My thoughts exactly.


Immediately starts singing the Marvin Gaye song in Irish.

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