Grammar questions.

Latest post 01-08-2017 10:56 by Dale D. 6 replies.
  • 01-04-2017 9:25

    • Ryboss47
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    Grammar questions.

    Alright, time to get started on this year.

    I'd also like to note that I discovered the other night that "deir" is not lenited simply because the rule for "abair" is the d-initial forms of the verb are immune to lenition.

     

    As I was studying last night, some questions arose as always:

    1.  Tá teach ag Seán.  Why is "ag" not inflected to "aige"?  In this sentence, Seán is indeed the third-person singular masculine noun that ag is associated with.

    2.  Cén freagra a thugann Seán?  I was thinking, in English the literal translation would be "What is the answer Sean gave?"  In terms of English, "tugann" is past tense.  In terms of Irish, it's rendered a present tense form of tabhair.  Why is that?  Is it because in terms of Irish it's perceived as "What answer did Sean give?"

    3.  "ina" has a consonant in between a slender and broad vowel.  What's the big idea here?!?! Who's "ina" trying to fool??

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  • 01-04-2017 19:36 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    Haigh, Ryan.  Some good questions.

    1.  The prepositional pronoun "aige" means "at him."  You would not say "Seán him has a house" or "Him Seán has a house".  Pronouns, by their very nature, refer to someone who has already been referred to.  Now, if you said, "Seán is ainm dó.  Tá teach aige." that would be correct.  "His name is Seán.  He has a house."

    2.  Actually, "thugann" is the past tense form of "tabhair".  Usually when a verb beginning is lenited, it is the past tense form.  When it doesn't, it is usually an irregular verb so it morphs differently than regular verbs.  Tabhair is irregular, but that includes past and present tenses, and the past tense form is actually the lenited version of the present tense.  The leniton is not caused by the "a" particle in this case, but is an indication of verb tense.

    3.  Ah, the "ina" question.  You will find this kind of broad-to-slender crossover any time you have a compound word, which is essentially what "ina" is.  "Ina" is a form of the preposition "i" (in) combined with the possessive adjective "a".  The "n" is added to unite them.  Please look up "i" (in) in the Teannglann.ie Irish-English dictionary.  It will show you all the forms "i" will take in various uses and combinations, including all the prepositional pronoun forms.

    You will note this same broad/slender crossover in many Irish compound words.  For example, "bunreacht" is the Irish word for "Constitution" and it comes from the Irish words "bun" meaning "base" and "reacht" meaning "law"; when compounded it means "basic law" which is one way to define the word "constitution".  The two words are simply shoved together, and no broad-slender consideration is given, or needed.  The same can be found with many words beginning with "comh-" which is actually a prefix, but does not force a change in spelling of the word it gets attached to:  "comhdhéan" "constitute", "comhlíon" "fulfill".

    Any time you see what looks like a spelling rule violation, look for the compound word factor.  There are some other exceptions, "anseo" being the one that immediately comes to mind, but I have read somewhere that the evolution of that word created the spelling violation where one previously did not exist.

    I hope those items are helpful to you.....

    Dale D 

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  • 01-05-2017 1:04 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    Regarding number 2 above:

    I have rechecked, and "thug" is the past tense for "tabhair", so I may be incorrect in my assertions on that item.

    Maybe a more correct translation would be, "What answer does Seán give?"  Probably not a common use in English but ok in Irish?

    Dale D

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  • 01-06-2017 19:40 In reply to

    • Ryboss47
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    I definitely over thought the literal translation, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing; it's keeping me on my toes about every aspect.  However, I did overlook a simple translation that you gave.  "What answer does Seán give?" or "What is the answer Seán gives?" makes so much more sense to me now.  Thank you for all of your input.

    I currently don't have any novels as Gaeilge but I plan to order some one day, my first two in mind being The Hobbit and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on Amazon.

    This got me thinking how quotes would be translated, or rather what comes after or before them.  "[Quote]-said Ryan."  In novels and stories, both written and spoken, would this be translated using the past tense form?  "[Quote]"-dúirt Ryan.  Something along the lines of that?  Or "Ryan dúirt"?  I'm not positive how this would work with the VSO syntax.

     

     

    I also want to start learning verbs by incorporating them into sentences.  Very simple sentences though.  The first I'd like to start with is "tabhair".  Come to think of it, even in English I don't often use "give" in the present tense that often unless it's a command.  When I use "give" it's usually future tense...I've been sitting here trying to think of some examples to have translated and simply can't come up with anything.  A Dale, you are much more experienced.  Would you be able to come up with examples for:

    -tugaim

    -tugann 

    -tugann sé, sí

    -tugaimid

    -tugann siad

    -tugann sibh

     

    I'm not worried about any dialectal forms of the words right now, I figure I'll get there when I get there.

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  • 01-07-2017 0:53 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    Haigh, Ryan.

    i have seen "duirt" both before and after a quote or dialog, but I think the predominant placement is ahead of the name--"quote," duirt Ryan.  I have also seen "arsa" used for "said".

    It sounds like you have some pretty heavy duty novels you want to read, but I would suggest you consider something a little lighter to start.  I do not know if you are familiar with "The Little Prince" but I bought the Irish version, "An Prionsa Beag" and it was very pleasant to read, the Irish idioms were very well executed, and it was very fun to read.  It is well enough above the "children's book" level, but directed at that audience, so it is an easy read, both in English and Irish.

     

    i will think about the verbs conjugation you asked about and see if I can come up with some ideas.

    Slán!

    Dale D

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  • 01-07-2017 23:23 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    Haigh, Ryan.

    I just thought of one present tense application for "tabhair" although I guess, technically, it uses the imperative mood.

    I had decided while still in Ireland that, when I was ready to get married, I wanted to propose in Irish, then translate for effect.  When I asked a couple of young men who were studying Irish how one would propose in Irish, they first looked in their dictionaries, and one of the suggestions from the dictionary I had was "Bí sásta liom is pós mé."  (Be satisfied with me and marry me.)  Well, I was very disappointed, because that seemed more like begging than romantic.  Then one of the guys said, "Tabhair dom do lámh" would be the correct way to propose in Irish.  It means "Give me your hand" literally, but means, of course, "Give me your hand (in marriage)."  So, if you are ever in the mood to propose marriage, you might consider that one, and translate if necessary.

    I will try to think of some other things for "give" but I have to run right now....

    Dale D

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  • 01-08-2017 10:56 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Grammar questions.

    Haigh, Ryan.

    Here's one that seems right:

    Tugaim corrlach trom dó.  "I give him long odds."  (Literally I give long odds to him.)

    The same might apply with "permission" -- "cead".  "Tugaim mo cead duit."  "I give my permission to you."

    One interesting thing I found out about "tabhair" from reading up on it on teannglann.ie is that it has three principle definitions and several subdefinitions:

    1. Give, a: grant, bestow, provide, confer, contribute.

            b: voice, express, present, deliver, impart, administer

            c:  assign, allot; pledge, show; cause, occasion

            d: wage, engage in

            e: lead or pay out (as a cable or string)

            f:  yield as produce

            g:  spend, devote (time, life)

            h:  Suffer loss of

            i: give way, fail

    2. Take  a: carry, convey, escort

            b: cause to go

            c: enable to go

            d: perform, execute, make

    3. Bring a: bring them here

            b: cause to come

            c: enable to come

            d: bring about, cause, compel

    All of these are given with usage samples so you can see how they are employed.  "Tabhair" is used directly for uses like "bring":  "tabhair anseo iad" bring them here, and similar constructs.  I have noticed that many Irish verbs are highly complex in their definitions, and using a one-word definition like "give" will fall short of explaining all the uses.

    I hope this is not clouding the issue with too many facts, but looking through the definitions, especially of verbs, seems to be a really useful exercise in learning how to say a variety of things in Irish.

    Dale D

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