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This page pertains to UD version 2.

cop: copula

In Irish, there is a distinction between the substantive verb `to be’, which inflects for tense, mood and person as per all Irish verbs – and the copula is, which only has two tensed forms - present/future and past/conditional.

, as a verb, uses separate particles in negative and interrogative constructions. Is (copula) uses its own forms in these constructions. See the table below for more information regarding different forms of the copula.

The order of elements in a copular construction is usually as follows: copula, predicate (new or focussed information), and subject. See root for further information on how the root is identified in a copular construction and examples of the copula-predicate-subject structure.

cop is used to link the copula verb is and its predicate. See xcomp:pred to see how the verb is linked to a predicate.


Equative construction

Is múinteoir é ‘He is a teacher’

Is múinteoir é \n is teacher him
cop(múinteoir, Is)

Idiomatic expressions

Ba mhaith liom gan fanacht ‘I would not want to stay’

Ba mhaith liom gan fanacht \n Be good with_me without staying
cop(mhaith, Ba)

Cleft constructions

Is iad a bheidh ina gcomhaltaí de na coistí sin ‘They are the ones who will be members of those committees’

Is iad a bheidh ina gcomhaltaí de na coistí sin \n Is them who will_be in_their members of the committees those
cop(iad, Is)

Ownership constructions

An leatsa é?Is it yours?’

An leatsa é ? \n Is with_you it ?
cop(leatsa, An)

The various forms of the copula, which occurs in the both present and past tenses and in the conditional mood are labelled ‘cop’.

  Present tense/Future tense Past tense/Conditional mood
Affirmative is ba / b’
Negative níor / níorbh
Interrogative an ar / arbh
Negative Interrogative nach nár / nárbh
Dependent gur/gurb gur / gurbh
Negative Dependent nach nár / nárbh

NOTE: Other forms of the copula such as the copula in the form of a relative pronoun in the past tense or in the superlative (‘ab’) and contracted copula forms (‘Sé/’Sí/Seo/Sin) also bear the label ‘cop’. The copular conjunction ‘ná’ is currently treated as either ‘mark’ or ‘cc’.

cop in other languages: [bej] [bg] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [et] [eu] [fi] [fo] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gsw] [hy] [id] [it] [ja] [kk] [kpv] [myv] [no] [pcm] [pt] [ro] [ru] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [urj] [vi] [yue] [zh]