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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (July-September) » Archive through August 06, 2004 » The difference between 'Is ' and Tá sé « Previous Next »

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gearóid (80.58.36.235 - 80.58.36.235)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 06:47 am:   Edit Post Print Post

could someone explain in a simple way why and when Is is used instead of Ta sé

ie , Ta sé fuar - It is cold

Is maith liom - It is good with me ( I like )

why not Tá sé maith liom ??

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 07:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There is no simple answer, because tá and is are complicated.


However, this page may help:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~eofeasa/faqs/about_is_D.Milne.htm

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.241.145 - 213.94.241.145)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

To describe an object, and to do so by using a noun:

Is buachaill é
Is madra í
Is duine mé
Is banaltra é Seán
Is mise an ceannaire
Is é Seán an duine is sine
Is éan fiach
Is ainmhí capall

To describe an object, and to do so by using an adjective:

Tá mé beag
Tá an madra gortaithe
Tá an fhuinneog briste
Tá an leabhar an-eolasach
Tá madraí salach
Tá éin beag

---

Other uses of is:

1)

Is + le + person + object

I own the pen
Is liomsa an peann

Seán owns the dog
Is le Seán an madra

2)

Make verbs from adjectives, which work like:

"I find blank [adjective]"

Is maith liom an madra
I find the dog good = I like the dog

Is aoibhinn liom subh
I love jam

Is uafásach liom an leabhar sin
I find that book awful

3)

To define a characteristic of an object, ie. to say what kind of [blank] is [noun]:

Is mór an madra é.
It's a big dog.

Is fuar an lá é!
It's a cold day!

Is maith an fear é Seán.
Seán is a good man.
[Explicitly: The kind of man Seán is, is a good man ]

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gearoid (80.58.36.235 - 80.58.36.235)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

wow , great explanation of a difficult subject , thank you that has been of great help .

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Robin (66.87.137.230 - 66.87.137.230)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I get confused with this, as well. Fear na mBróg, is the "simple rule" of a permanent state being 'is' and a descriptive or temporary one being 'tá' oversimplified? Obviously, your further examples show exceptions./additions to this simple rule, but I've been using 'is' if you ARE something, and 'tá' if I'm describing things ABOUT something.

So, Is múinteoir sí -- She is a teacher, but
Tá sí múinteoir mhaith -- She is a good teacher.

Or have I misinterpreted things? Would the second sentence use 'is'?

Then again, I'm still getting confused as to whether something is 'at me' or 'on me'. :)

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Tomás (198.22.236.230 - 198.22.236.230)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Think of it this way, 'Tá' ALWAYS links nouns with adjectives and adverbs; 'Is', the copula (hence, the name), ALWAYS links nouns and pronouns together. As in the numerous examples cited above by Fear na mBróg.

Tomás

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Pádraig (4.153.212.152 - 4.153.212.152)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 06:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I can't get my head around Tá, Is, and Adverbs, but that business with (noun) (tá) (adj) and (noun) (is) (pron) makes that part a lot easier.

In English these constructions are respectively called predicate adjective and predicate nominative.

But what about Georóid's question: "Why not Tá sé maith liom?" That would conform to the noun/adjective guideline (predicate adjective.)

Also (and I'm starting to give myself a headache) why not "Tá mé maith leis (léi)?"

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Daithi (152.163.252.199 - 152.163.252.199)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 08:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

When we use the preposition "le," isn't it true that the construction is along the lines of something (or someone) to something (or someone) else? If so, that means that in the phrase "is maith liom" for example, maith is not an adjective but it's a noun. That is, maith means in this example "good" as in "The good that she did for her country."

I notice that very often in Irish, we're using nouns where we often find adjectives in English. I wonder if it's because prepositions are so commonplace and whenever you use a preposition, you are tying one noun to another. For example, Ta madra agam - obviously tying one noun to another. I can't think a how you could tie an adjective to a noun with a preposition.

So, that's my "theory" which I would be delighted to hear from this community as to whether it holds any water.

Daithi

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Pádraig (4.154.1.156 - 4.154.1.156)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 09:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'd like to get away from "maith" because I can't stop thinking in English. "Cad é mar atá tú?" I know the response, "Tá me go maith," makes "maith" adverbial. That means "maith" can be a noun (cf Daithi's post above), an adjective, or an adverb. Confused yet?

ocras = hunger (noun)
ocrach = hungry (adjective)

fuar = cold (adjective)


For some reason we can be cold, but we can't be hungry (?)

Tá me fuar agus tá ocras agam.
I am cold and hunger is at me.

Or is it acceptable to say Tá me fuar agus ocrach?

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Pádraig (4.153.219.78 - 4.153.219.78)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello, Robin,

So, Is múinteoir sí -- She is a teacher, but
Tá sí múinteoir mhaith -- She is a good teacher.

To my understanding your second sentence above is incorrect because it classifies "she" as a teacher and classification is a function of the copula, IS. The appearance of "maith" in the sentence doesn't change the function; it merely modifies the noun.

Also noun is being linked with pronoun; not with adjective, and this conforms to Thomas' guideline above.

A good teacher is she.

le meas,

Pat.

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Robin (66.87.137.230 - 66.87.137.230)
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ah -- the noun IS noun logic makes sense, and I see why my second sentence is wrong -- I'm still saying she is a teacher, I'm just qualifying 'teacher' with 'good' here.

Makes sense. I think. I'm sure there will be more questions. (meanders off muttering about hunger at me and why it works...)

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 04:18 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There is a special case where "is" and "le" are used together to modify the meaning of the intervening word.

So Is maith liom is correct, and means "I like".
Tá mé go maith means I am good.

BTW. It should be "Is múinteoir í"

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.243.105 - 213.94.243.105)
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 07:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Cá dtosóidh mé?!

a Robin,

I suggest that when you're describing something using a adjective, just use "tá", whether it's permanent or not. For example "That dog is small":

Tá an madra sin beag.

Stick with that.

As for using "is" with adjectives... well... first a few examples:

Is mór an rón é sin!
Is álainn an cailín í Aoife.
Is maith an fear é Seán.

Why would I say those as opposed to using "tá". I'll try to explain: The sentences that use "is" are full of enthusiasm. Note how the adjective is the first thing you hear. It's like changing:

Tá sé i gcarcair!

into:

Is i gcarcair atá sé!

It just fills the sentence with much more enthusiasm. I would translate the following as:

Is crann mór é sin! = That's a big tree!

Is mór an crann é sin! = That's a big bloody tree!

I just use the "is" form when I want to pack some enthusiasm into it.


Quote:

So, Is múinteoir sí -- She is a teacher, but
Tá sí múinteoir mhaith -- She is a good teacher.




First of all:

mé tú sé sí muid sibh siad ( I , you , he )

mé thú é í muid sibh iad ( Me, you him )

The second form is used with "is"; if you think about it, no action is being performed. So anyway:

Is múinteoir í = She is a teacher.

Tá sí múinteoir maith = NO NO. You've got a noun there, "múinteoir maith". To say "She is a good teacher.", you have two choices:

Is múinteoir maith í.

Is maith an múinteoir í.

The difference here is like saying "it" instead of a noun. For example, in English, you wouldn't start off a conversation with:

I saw it today

The person will just say "Define "it"!". Similarly, you wouldn't just say:

Is maith an múinteoir í

without it having being discussed at all that she is a teacher!


A Phádraig,


Quote:

Tá sé maith liom


That depends on the "language's definition" of "le". If you take "le" to simply mean "physically with", then your sentence is invalid. The meaning of prepositions is totally up to the duress of the language. Consider:

I am hungry.
Tá ocras orm.

"ar" in Gaeilge means "on", "physically on", and it makes no apologies for that. So how can one say "Hunger is on me.". It doesn't matter how. Prepositions simply can't be learned in a logical way, the only way to learn them is to see their usage. Replicate that usage yourself and with any luck you'll be understood in that language! So as for:

Tá sé maith liom.

"le" just isn't used like that in Gaeilge. Instead we have:

Is maith liom í.

I'm not even going to try to explain the formation of this sentence, ie. using "is" with an adjective; I suppose you could say it's an "idiom", http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/i/i0022000.html. Although that it no way takes away from its meaning once its digested by the brain.

A Phádraig,


Quote:

Tá mé fuar agus ocrach.




Tá mé fuar. No problem.

Tá mé ocrach.

You won't read nor hear that. I'll try to explain:

I am sad.
Tá brón orm.

That's a sad story.
Is scéal brónach é sin.

That's the best I can do! You use the noun with something that's living and has feeling, a person. You use "brónach" in a much more... mundane way. To say that a story is sad is not to say that it is literally "sad"; what you're trying to express is that it induces sadness in the reader. So say the likes of:

Tá brón ar Shíle.
Tá brón orm.
Beidh ocras air.

Tá an scéal sin brónach, nó, Is brónach an scéal é sin.

I find that story sad = Is brónach liom an scéal sin.

Long story short, don't say:

Tá Tomás brónach

That would be the equivalent to referring to a person as "it" in English.

--

Tá súil agam go gcabhraíonn sé sín!

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Pádraig (4.154.65.252 - 4.154.65.252)
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 08:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As for using "is" with adjectives... well... first a few examples:

Is mór an rón é sin!
Is álainn an cailín í Aoife.
Is maith an fear é Seán.

Why would I say those as opposed to using "tá". I'll try to explain: The sentences that use "is" are full of enthusiasm

A Fhear,

In a post to another thread I cited Christian Brothers in reference to the use of the copula to achieve emphasis. I'm guessing that we're talking about the same thing here; showing enthusiasm.

BTW, GRMA many thanks for your efforts to instruct and your patience with those of us who wouldn't make some of the mistakes we do if we were living with the language.

PAT

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.103.27 - 159.134.103.27)
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Even when I studied Gaeilge in school, they taught us all about is, but they never went into the realms of the likes of:

Is mór an rón é sin.

As such, I can't give you anything definite. But I can say that after reading it a lot and hearing it a lot, you just start to get a feel for what it means. By which I mean, the author of the sentence could've just said:

Is rón mór é sin.

But for some reason did not. All I can say is that the first thing we hear is the adjective, and after hearing a lot of sentences like that, and bearing in mind the alternative to them, it just seems to me that they have more "emphasis", more enthusiam.

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Pádraig (4.154.64.52 - 4.154.64.52)
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The lads that make the brandy seem to be saying that use of the cupola for emphasis allows for different word orders to emphasize different parts of the expression:

Is é Seán a chuaigh go Doire inné.
It is SEAN who went to Derry yesterday.

Is go Doire a chuaigh Seán inné.
It is to DERRY Seán went yesterday.

Is inné a chuaigh Sean go Doire.
It was YESTERDAY Seán went to Derry.

And so on and on

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Seán (4.154.64.52 - 4.154.64.52)
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 12:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Is mise Seán.

An ólann na leaideanna a mbranda?

Is as Dún na nGall mé!

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Celtoid (64.12.116.136 - 64.12.116.136)
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 07:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm no expert, but I think the simplist and best explanation is that "is" links or equates two nouns, and "tá" links a noun to whatever word represents a quality of the noun in question. In idioms of the sort "Is maith liom é.", the adjective is treated as a noun for emphasis.

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pangur ban (151.196.29.51 - 151.196.29.51)
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

How do I tell my cat she is beautiful? I've been using "ta tu go etc" in a wee song she likes me to sing to her. She's the one person on whom I can practice!
Go raibh maith agat, Pangur Ban

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.103.167 - 159.134.103.167)
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Cat, you're beautiful!

a Chait, tá tú go hálainn!

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Daithi (205.188.116.207 - 205.188.116.207)
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

As far as the examples given above for "is" used with adjectives, ALL of them still retain the basic noun-to-noun structure. For example,

"Is mór an rón é sin" still maintains its basic noun-to-noun structure with "Is rón é."
Although there's fronting of the adjective which causes a rearrangement of the words, we still have the basic structure, which without fronting (emphasis) would be:

Is [an] rón [mor] é [sin]

Can anyone provide an example where this isn't the case, that is, we have an adjective coupled to a noun, using the copula "is" but not using the basic noun-to-noun structure?

Or maybe I'm missing something?

Go raith maith agaibh,

Daithí

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Pádraig (4.153.208.84 - 4.153.208.84)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 06:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Someone (Aonghus, I believe) alluded to the following as idomatic in an earlier post:

Is maith liom.

To me, coming from an English perspective, maith is an adjective and the construction is that of a "predicate adjective."

It is good with me. (I like it.)

However, even in this case maith could be considered a noun.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 07:30 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maith is both an adjective of the first declension and a feminine noun of the second declension!

Beware the english perspective ;-)

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.104 - 159.134.102.104)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 08:13 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Could be considered a noun, Yes... but it isn't:

Is fuar liom
Is aoibhinn liom
Is iontach liom
Is uafásach liom
Is dúr liom
Is éifeachtach liom
Is beag liom
Is gaelach liom

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pangur ban (141.157.94.137 - 141.157.94.137)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 11:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Fear na mBrog,
That's what I was using till someone said it was wrong.
Go raibh maith agat,
Pangur Ban agus Caomh (mo chat) hope that's right!

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ach tá roinnt díobh mícheart:
Ní fheicim aon chiall le
"Is éifeachtach liom"
"Is gaelach liom"

"Is dúr liom"

Maith is both an adjective and a noun - just as "good" is in English. But I accept I muddied the point by pointing that out.

maith [aidiacht den chéad díochlaonadh]
agus
maith [ainmfhocal baininscneach den dara díochlaonadh]
rud maith, gníomh fónta; (le buíochas) (go raibh maith agat).

I just dislike attempted word for word translations of Irish to english - particularly of stock idioms like "Is something liom" or "Tá something orm" because they make the language look quaint and pictureskew (stet).

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.100.155 - 159.134.100.155)
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Consider:

I find that medicine to be very effective!

Do you think there's anything wrong with:

Is an-éifeachtach liom an leigheas sin!

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Betty OBrien (213.235.176.230 - 213.235.176.230)
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 06:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Fear na mBróg,
Nice name, what does it come from? Does it have a different meaning but "A man of a shoe"?

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.240.53 - 213.94.240.53)
Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 08:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Fear na mBróg, The Shoe Man

Or:

The Shoes Man
The Man of the Shoes

bróg = shoe
bróga = shoes
bróige = shoe's
bróg = shoes'

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 04:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post


Quote:

Is an-éifeachtach liom an leigheas sin!




The "liom" is superfluous.

The main things to note is that the idiom Is (noun or adjective) liom (something else) is that it is

a) used to express an emotion
b) usually changes the meaning of the noun or adjective to something more precise

Thus:
Is maith liom == I like
Is ait liom == I find it peculiar that
Is iontach liom == I wonder at
Is beag liom == I don't care for

I've checked that the construct is used both with nouns and adjectives in "Leabhar Gramadai
Gaeilge - Nollaig Mac Congail"

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dcarey (68.110.185.65 - 68.110.185.65)
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

what does is mise mean? also slan go foill

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Fear na mBróg (159.134.102.161 - 159.134.102.161)
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"Is mise" = I am

Is mise an ceannaire = I am the leader

Is ceannaire mé = I am a leader

Gaeilge "Is" loosely translates as English "Is".

"Mise" means "me" or "I", "mé" means "me" or "I". You use "mise" to attract attention to "mé".

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Antóin (159.134.180.107 - 159.134.180.107)
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

"Is mise" is also used at the end of correspondence before the signature. Roughly the equivalent of "I remain"

Slán go fóill = Goodbye for now.

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danny (68.110.185.65 - 68.110.185.65)
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 10:58 am:   Edit Post Print Post

thank you for your response to my questions. Is nise and slan go foill. Now please tell me how to pronounce is mise. slan go foill
danny

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Ed (24.185.210.123 - 24.185.210.123)
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Iss misha.

Slawn guh foal.

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dannyCarey (68.110.185.65 - 68.110.185.65)
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 05:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

What does agus mean?
How do you pronounce dublin in irish

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PAD (12.75.206.118 - 12.75.206.118)
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Agus is and. Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath, roughly blah klee or Dubh Linn, Duve Linn.

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sean orourke (68.110.185.65 - 68.110.185.65)
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

how do you spell and pronounce the national anthem and the soldiers song

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Jim,NuaEabhrac (130.156.27.75 - 130.156.27.75)
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Amhran na bhFiann =

My inexperienced pronunciation would be:

"awran na vian"

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Fear na mBróg (213.94.241.170 - 213.94.241.170)
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Print Post




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