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  5. "Even when it is open."

"Even when it is open."

Translation:Fiú amháin agus é oscailte.

July 9, 2015



struggling to understand this sentence at all.


Fiú amháin is an idiom - it means "even" in Irish, but you can't translate the individual elements to get that meaning. Fiú amháin agus é oscailte is just the construction that is used in Irish when you want to say "Even when it's open".

(I should add that "even" in that context is an idiom in English too - the answer to the question "why do we use a word that means flat or smooth in that context?" is just "Because!" :-) )


The use of "even" in that context in English isn't idiomatic. Even just has several standard denotations.


Agreed. The hints for this sentence just made me even more confused. Which is sort if a trend in this course....


It’s more a clause than a sentence; completing the sentence could clarify the clause, e.g. “Even when it is open, the window doesn’t allow a breeze to enter the room”.


Or, more likely during lockdown, 'Even when it's open you can't get in!'


As far as "agus" goes, I had to think about how Irish speak in English. They often will say things like "and me sitting there". Ar a laghad, tá seo mo smaoineamh!


Can someone please explain what's going on in this clause? What tense or form is oscailte in? What is agus doing there? What does this literally mean?


Oscailte is an adjective
Oscailt is a noun
Oscail is a verb

Agus is used for "when" in some constructions. The NEID gives examples where the conjunction "when" is used to indicate during the time that or given the fact that.

I'm not sure why you think that it doesn't literally mean "Even when it is open". Fiú amháin means "Even", agus means "when" in this context, é means "it", and oscailte means "open".


Thank you for your answer. It clears a lot up. But I should point out I didn't say it doesn't literally mean any one thing or another. I asked what it literally meant.

However, beyond that, that still leaves questions. In the English, "it" is the subject of the clause, and "is" is the verb. And then "open" is an predicative adjective, as there's no way in English to use most (maybe all?) attributive adjectives with a pronoun. You can have an "open door" but not an "open it". Is that different in Irish? If not, then there are problems. The word é means "it" but it's not nominative, right? It's the object form. What is é the object of, then? That would require a verb. Is there a implied? And then, what's the subject? Or is the é there just to anchor the oscailte in a way we never need to do in English, so that the clause is supposed to mean "even when open" leaving any question as to the subject for the main clause, and thus removing the need for the verb in the dependent clause altogether?

[deactivated user]

    All very worthy questions! I am not a linguist but here is an attempt at giving a literal explanation. Note that agus can also mean "in addition to". Taking the phrase to be fiú amháin agus é ar oscailt which I think is more natural, we have:

    One worth in addition to it being open meaning that the fact of it being open doesn't enhance its worth or its ability to bring about some desired effect.

    Taking a scenario like scilling's above, you might say to me: Nár oscail tú an fhuinneog? To which I might reply: Ní bhogann an t-aer fiú amháin agus é ar oscailt. Or maybe transposed: Fiú amháin agus é ar oscailt ní bhogann an t-aer.

    See fiú, amháin, agus


    There's an implied in clauses of this type, ...agus é (a bheith) oscailte. It's very rare to see the a bheith explicitly expressed.


    Thank you! I couldn't put my finger on what was bothering me. The verb is missing!


    Come to think of it, Latin languages do something similar. They even leave out "when" and just tag the adjective onto the adverb. Eg "Même ouverte, la fenêtre..."


    So my guess was: "fiú nuar a tá sé ar oscailt". Is it very wrong?

    [deactivated user]

      nuair a bhíonn instead of nuair atá but it is still marked wrong.


      Where is the verb in this sentence?


      There are two ways to approach that question. You can take the verb out of the English caluse - using scilling's example above “Even when it is open, the window doesn’t allow a breeze to enter the room”, you could also write this as “Even with it open, the window doesn’t allow a breeze to enter the room”. There is no verb in “Even with it open".

      Alternatively, you can say that there is an implied in this usage of agus é.

      You can see from the examples above that many of them use the ag + verbal noun present progressive verb forms (agus é ag rith, agus é ag súil), which normally require as well (tá sé ag rith, bhí sé as siúl). The remaining examples don't use ag + verbal noun, but you can still replace agus é with tá sé or bhí sé to create stand-alone statements - agus é fluich, agus é ina pháiste, agus é faoi dhiansaothar, agus é croíbhriste.

      agus + pronoun is a common structure that typically doesn't mean "and" in English (though Hiberno-English is quite comfortable with "and it wet" or "and him heartbroken", adopting the "literal" translation from Irish).


      If you check out Irish literature that uses dialect (Séamus ó Grianna, Padraic Pearse ...) you find characters using phrases that are English renderings of Irish idioms. Somehow, I've found seeing them helpful in remembering the Irish .... just a suggestion for those interested in the literature.


      Yes, thanks for the authors' names. I am reminded of some of Synge's plays. I love his turns of phrase.


      While I agree ...agus é oscailte is more natural, I’m unclear why ...nuair atá sé oscailte_ or ...nuair a bhíonn sé oscailte would be incorrect.


      Agus = And/While, think of it that way. Think of it as "while it is open", and not "when it is open".

      Just think that there is a larger difference in Irish between "when" and "while". "When it is open" = Clunky/wrong, "when it opened" = Good "while it is open" = works.

      nuair a d’oscail sé = When it opened, and its perfectly fine.


      I honestly can't explain why, but I think it might be fiú nuair a bhfuil.


      Good discussion here. I think it's easiest to just look at this exercise as a chance to practice using "agus é" in place of "when it is."


      Assuming that 'agus' contains an implied copula,one might expect to see " ... is oscailte é. " So why 'é' before 'oscailte' ?


      You have just demonstrated that agus doesn't have an implied copula.

      You don't use the copula when you are using an adjective like oscailte to describe a noun - is oscailte é doesn't make any sense, "it is open" is tá sé oscailte.


      Could you say instead "Fiú amháin nuair a tá sé oscailte"?


      Shouldnt the answer for this be "Fiú nuair atá sé oscailte" or something that can be translates a little easier? I took irish for like 15 years and couldnt do this...


      Where does "agus" come in here? I understand "fiu amhain" but why is "agus" replacing the verb here?


      'agus' can mean when in some contexts, like this one.


      It seems to me an idiom something akin to say "They still didn't score and the goal was wide open".


      That may be an idiom in English, but this isn't an idiomatic usage in Irish - agus has more than one meaning, and particularly when it is followed by a pronoun, is more likely to mean "when", "while" or "as".

      "He was picking blackberries as he walked along the lane" - Bhí sé ag baint sméara dubha agus é ag siúl síos an bóithrín
      "It's lashing rain, and you can't pick blackberries when it's wet" - tá sé ag stealladh báistí, agus ní féidir sméara dúbha a bhaint agus é fluich

      here are a couple of examples of sentences with agus é from the NEID:
      "he was baulked as he ran in" - stopadh é agus é ag rith isteach
      "he admitted it under interrogation" - d'admhaigh sé é agus é á cheistiú
      "she saw him when he was a baby" - chonaic sí é agus é ina pháiste
      "he collapsed breathlessly" - thit sé agus é faoi dhiansaothar
      "he went away broken-hearted" - d'imigh sé agus é croíbhriste
      "he was caught cogging (copying)" - rugadh air agus é ag cóipeáil


      Can anyone explain how I would know when to use fiú and when to use fiú amháin?


      Thought: people would likely find this easier if the english version was given as "Even while it is open". It means the same, but I think people know "agus=while" from constructions like "Ná léamh agus tú ag tiomáint=don't read while you are driving", but they associated "when=nuair a".

      Not that it is necessarily Duolingo's job to make this exercise easier, but just a thought.


      "you'd need to watch when you're running there" - níor mhór duit a bheith cúramach agus tú ag rith ansin

      "new languages can be difficult to learn when you're older" - bíonn sé deacair teangacha nua a fhoghlaim agus tú níos sine

      "care is necessary when you're doing this" - is gá aire a thabhairt agus tú á dhéanamh seo


      I put "Fiú nuair atá sé ar oscailt* which looks fine to me. Is this wrong?

      [deactivated user]

        Fiú agus é ar oscailt is more natural. See item number 4 here for examples of using agus in the same context as here.


        Even though I had noted the "correct" translation many months ago I forgot it this time and put down Nuair atá sé ar oscailt fiú thinking of the construction Níl sé leathlán fiú in FGB. While the given translation does make complete sense, I still wonder if the effort above is so wrong. Moreover, what governs the presence, or absence of amháin in sentences expressing "even"?


        If I didn't have the jumbled sentence to guide i would have probably have answered 'Fiú amhain agus a bhfuil sé oscailte.' Would that be acceptable?


        this seems to be lacking a verb?


        This sentence doesn't need a verb in Irish.


        I notice elsewhere that 'agus' is sometimes substituted by 'is.' I'm wondering if it helps to see 'agus' here implying the verb 'is' (or 'when is') to make it a sentence. Works for me :)


        agus is pronounced is or 's in the same way that "and" is pronounced "'n" in English ("fish 'n chips", etc).

        This has no connection to the copula is.


        If this is an idiom and help is not in the hints, where can one go to find a list of the more commonly used idioms? It's frustrating when trying a new section to have lots of unintroduced items added with no help.


        I've read the comments below but I still don't see why this sentence uses the expression fiu amhain. The other examples in this lesson just use fiu to mean even. And amhain on its own means except. Which is kind of an opposite meaning of 'even' something happening as it implies a lack of something 'except Tuesdays. Rather than 'even on Tuesdays.'
        Are there any alternative ways of translating this sentence? Ones that follow the structures of other examples in this lesson?


        amháin on its own means except.

        This is not true. The first meaning of amháin that most people learn is "one". It is also used to mean "only".

        ach amháin is "except". In fiú amháin, amháin can be considered an intensifier, emphasising the uniqueness that "even" implies.


        Why "oscailte" and not "oscailt"?


        Nuair a oscailte fiú é That's my best attempt.. Any pointers anyone?

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