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  5. "Do you want a razor?"

"Do you want a razor?"

Translation:An bhfuil rásúr uait?

July 24, 2015



Correct me if I'm wrong, but "Taistaionn" is used when you mean "need," and "Ta" is used when you mean "want" in conjunction with "uait" etc., correct?

i.e. "Taistaionn an fear uait" = "You need the man" and "Ta an fear uait" = "You want the man"



In some dialects teastaigh ó can only mean 'need'. In others, it means 'need' or 'want'. bí ó can only mean 'want' in most cases (sometimes it's just a colloquial issue). And bí ag iarraidh is often used for 'want'.


Can someone explain why "ba mhaith leat" is not acceptable here? It's what I learned in school, if I'm remembering right anyway.

  • 1449

"ba mhaith leat" means "you would like" - a statement, not a question.

The question form, "an maith leat?" means "would you like?" which isn't the same as "Do you want?" or "Do you need?", even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. This is clearer if you remember that "Is maith liom uachtar reoite!" means "I like ice cream", it doesn't mean "I want ice cream".


Ah yeah, that makes sense. I'd still feel comfortable saying "ba mhaith leat" in conversation instead of "an bfhuil ... uait" anyway, the latter sounds too formal to me. Probably just because it's not what I grew up with :P

  • 1449

"ba mhaith leat" isn't a question, it's a statement (and a rather odd one, because you are making a definitive statement about someone else's preferences - "ba mhaith liom"/"I would like" is more likely).

If anything "an maith leat rásúr?" is far more polite/formal than "an bhfuil rásúr uait?"

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