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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (July-December) » Is there a general rule for forming plurals? « Previous Next »

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ursulaamy (k2a162-243.k2access.net - 209.170.162.243)
Posted on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 09:59 am:   Edit Post Print Post

or have I opened a Pandora's box?

Le meas,


Ursula

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sure!

The back of Mícheál Ó Siadhail's _Learning Irish_ has about three pages of 'em!

:-):-)

--Al Evans

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (proxy-server3.ul.ie - 136.201.1.52)
Posted on Friday, November 08, 2002 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ursula, a chara,

It's also worth looking in the search facility to the left of your screen here. The following is from a search on the word 'plurals'. I'm just giving you the relevant part of that message :


While those rules can help to understand plurals, it is best to just forget them. That is, forget about declension when you cross into plural. Just think about two things : Weak and Strong!
For genitive in plural, we mostly, look to what we call 'strong'/tréaniolra and 'weak'/lagiolra plurals.

Weak means that it cannot maintain its plural form in plural genitive. It reverts to another form. (which happens to be singular!) Strong, of course, can keep its plural form through any mayhem of case.

Now, you don't have to remember the Strong plurals! Howcome? Just remember that there are two weak plurals; the narrowing of consonant type, like carr > cairr, and the addition of a final '-a' type :

...+a (as in 'fuinneog' > 'fuinneoga' = windows)

...iC (as in 'cairr' = cars)

Hence :

fuinneoga = windows;
plabadh fuinneog = slamming of windows;
plabadh na bhfuinneog = the slamming of the windows.

cairr = cars;
luas carr = speed of cars;
luas na gcarr = the speed of the cars.


You don't have to learn the others. You know if they're not weak, then, (difficult, isn't it?), yes, they're strong and can maintain their plural form :

na ceachtanna = the lessons;
foghlaim na gceachtanna = the/ learning of the lessons.

etc.

Some of us like to allow irregularity into the system, if it's there already in areas of speech, so, if JP has more than one carr and I'm describing JP as such :

JP na gcarr = JP of the cars;

or, if I'm into strong plurals today, to accomodate a listener :

JP na gcarrannaí = JP of the cars.

Both are fine.


Go n-éirí an Ghaeilg leat

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