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  5. "We are only boys."

"We are only boys."

Translation:Níl ionainn ach buachaillí.

July 15, 2015



Could somebody please explain the structure of this sentence?


Níl is the negative form of . Ionainn is i + muid. Ach means “but”, and buachaillí means “boys”. Put together, a literalistic translation is “There aren’t in (i.e. anyone among) us but boys” = “We are only boys”.


Go raibh maith agat :)


what is wrong with taimid ach amhain buachailli? (i'm dutch, sorry)


It is word soup as far as Irish is concerned, a random collection of words that don't mean anything in particular when used together.

Ach generally means "but". Ach is used with níl when you want to say "only", and it is used with amháin when you want to say "except" (but sometimes "only" and "except are interchangeable in English).

only is a negative adverb, and you use nil, not to express that in Irish.


So "Táimid ach buachaillí" would not be acceptable?


What about Ní ach buachaillí muid?


No, you can't use the copula to say "only/merely/just".

You're trying to turn Is buachaillí muid into an "only" statement, but the positive form of this exercise would rely on a non-copular structure like buachaillí atá ionainn or táimid inár mbuachaillí.

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