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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (January-June) » Niggling question -- preposition « Previous Next »

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

This is such a minor question it hardly seems worth posting about, but it's been bugging me for two days, so....

In Ó Siadhail, the "Text" for lesson 18 (page 85 in my book) includes a sentence that starts:

"Ní raibh Fraincís ná Rúisis aice mar ábhair ar an meánscoil...."

I would have expected "...ag an meánscoil...".

Is this a typo, or what?

I can make an argument that "ábhair ar an meánscoil" is sort of like "gruaig liath ar an seanfhear", i.e. considered as sort of permanent feature. But it seems like a lame argument:-)

Thanks in advance for any elucidation!

Al Evans

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Seosamh Mac Bhloscaidh (1cust56.tnt16.nyc9.da.uu.net - 63.38.56.56)
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

No, it's no typo. "Ar scoil" means at school. "Ar an scoil" is also said. Ar (an) aifreann/ at mass; ar an aonach/ at the fair.

Also, Tá siad ag dul ar scoil. They are going to school.

As I'm sure you know, prepositions are wily creatures, especially going from one language to another. There's variation between dialects too. With direction, I would expect "Tá siad ag dul chun na scoile" from some one from Donegal. "Ag" is sometimes used for direction in the dialect in Learning Irish -- I wouldn't be surprised by "ag dul ag an scoil" from someone from Conamara.

"Ar" is sometimes used where we say "in" in English: bric ar an loch, alt ar an nuachtán, bainne ar an tae.

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 05:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks, Seosamh.

Of course, I'm wondering why in the world I didn't look in the dictionary before asking here:-)

Al Evans

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Seosamh (1cust57.tnt12.nyc9.da.uu.net - 67.192.250.57)
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 07:02 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

It wouldn't have been as fun. Almost everything is in the books. If everyone rooted around those books until they found the answers we wouldn't have nearly as much exchange of info. and opinions.

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