Shades of meaning of “Tá teach ansin”

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  • #36257
    ryan
    Participant

    Día dhíobh,

    I finally got my copy of Learning Irish. I was wondering about the nuance of meaning of this phrase from lesson two:

    Tá teach ansin.

    The translation given is “The house is there”. This may be something I should wait to get into until I’m more advanced, but I was wondering if the above could also be translated as “A house is there” as well. While we’re on the subject, what about “There is a house there”? Would that also be a valid translation, or would you say something different in Irish to express this?

    Go raibh maith agaibh!

    #41849
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    A Ryan, a chara,

    Well done! Looks like you’ve spotted a mistake there. 🙂 “Tá teach ansin” means “there is a house over there”. If you wanted to refer to a specific house, you would have to add the definite article “an”, i.e. “Tá an teach ansin” (“the house is over there”).

    Alternatively, you could also say “Tá teach ann”, which would mean “there is a house” or “a house exists”, without specifing the location. Hope this is of some help to you.

    Go n-éirí leat!

    #41850
    Lughaidh
    Participant

    “Ansin” isn’t really “over there” but simply “there”. Over there is further, in my opinion, and it is translated by “thall” or “ansiùd”.

    #41851
    aonghus
    Participant

    Lughaidh is right about the meaning of “ansin”, however the original correction is correct:

    Tá teach ansin

    is indefinite.

    And yes, it could be translated either as “There is a house there” or “A house is there” but I don’t see any difference in meaning in those two English sentences without there being further context!

    #41854
    Dáithí
    Participant

    “There is a house there”

    There there now, there is one too many there in that there sentence.

    #41855
    aonghus
    Participant

    There ain’t.

    (John, where James had “had”, had had “had had”. “Had had” had had the teachers approval)

    #41858
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    Lughaidh is right about the meaning of “ansin”, however the original correction is correct:

    Tá teach ansin

    is indefinite.

    And yes, it could be translated either as “There is a house there” or “A house is there” but I don’t see any difference in meaning in those two English sentences without there being further context!

    I’m not sure I’ve grasped the distinction you want to make, Ryan, but in Irish there is a difference of meaning between “tá teach ansin” or “tá teach ann”. The former implies that there is a house and it’s located ‘there’, not ‘here’, while the latter emphasises the fact that a house exists, but gives no indication as to its exact location.

    When I used ‘over there’ in my previous post, I meant the mid distance (‘ansin’), not ‘further away’ (‘ansiúd’).

    #41860
    ryan
    Participant

    Go raibh maith agaibh! Funny how a simple little sentence can have several things to teach me. When I said “There is a house there” I think I was too tired when I posted (so it was redundant). I meant more like “A house exists there”, which still isn’t the best English. The other examples in Learning Irish which had “Tá…” seem to be translated as “There is…”, so it makes more sense to me at this point in my learning to think of it as “There is a house there” (in the sense of “a house exists in that location” as opposed to “there is a house way over there”).

    I’d learned about “ann” and “ansiúd”, but thanks for the reminders as it’s all still new to me. I hadn’t come across “an” or “thall” yet, so thanks for that too.

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