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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » Is vs Tá agus an Séimhu le an focla "an" « Previous Next »

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James (pool-63.50.55.8.rlgh.grid.net - 63.50.55.8)
Posted on Friday, December 13, 2002 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I know I've probably screwed that title up but I think you know what I'm trying to figure out.

I know that Tá is used to make a an affirmative statement in response to a question. I also know that it is used to make a statement. What I don't completely understand is how to know when to use Tá and when to use Is.

An bhfuil tú fuar?

Tá, tá me an fhuar agus tá me fliuch, freisin.

An bhfuil tú fliuch?

Tá, tá mé an fhliuch, is tumadóir mé!

In this case Tá expresses a temporary state while "is" represents a more permanent concept. This, I think I have.
However, why is it different in the following:

An bhfuil sé óg?

Níl sé óg, tá sé sean. Is seanathair é.

In this case, "sean" and "seanathair" are permanent states of being. (Unless someone has figured out how to get younger--If so, please share!) Then again, maybe I'm wrong about "Is seanathair é" altogether.

Ceist uimhir do:

When "an" is used as the article (as opposed to an enhancement, for lack of a better term, as in "an fhuar") does is demand an urú?

Mar sampla:

Tá cupán ag an mbord?

Tá an mbord beag. (Or would this be "Is beag an mbord?)

Go raibh maith agaibh, in advance.

Le meas,

James

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 08:18 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hey, I'll take a chance!

The verb "bí" is used to connect a subject with something ABOUT the the subject (adverb, adjective, subordinate clause, ...):

Tá sé anseo anois. (He's here now.)
Tá sé fuair. (It's cold.)
Tá an carr seo a bhí ag Mairtín. (This is the car Martin had.)

The copula "is" is (mostly) used to connect two nouns:

Is mé an dochtúir. (I am the doctor.)
Is dochtúir mé. (I am a doctor. -- note the difference in word order.)
Is é an dochtúir é. (He is the doctor. -- note the repetition of the pronoun.)
Is dochtúir é. (He is a doctor.)
Is dochtúir é Mairtín. (Martin is a doctor. -- note the "extra" pronoun.)

The third-person pronouns are repeated before a "definite" noun (an dochtúir, Mairtín).

The copula has other uses, but the main distinction between "bí" and "is" is that the first connects a noun with an adjective or adverb (or adjectivial or adverbial clause) and the second connects two nouns (or a noun and a pronoun).

In answer to your second question, it is the preposition "ag" that demands the urú when used with the definite article. An bord, ag bord, ag an mbord. Each preposition seems to have its own rules for this.

I hope someone who knows what they are doing will correct any errors I've made.

--Al Evans

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James (pool-63.50.55.141.rlgh.grid.net - 63.50.55.141)
Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2002 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat. Yet another useful summary that will go in my "book of knowledge."

Le meas,

James

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Edward Delany (p74-109.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.74.109)
Posted on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 07:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sé bhúr mbeatha a cháirde,


Al has got the essence of it there.

A more formal way of putting it is that TÁ always
introduces a statement of CONDITION:

Tá mé fuar/ I am cold
Tá sí óg / she is young

TÁ is used on its own to give a positive answer to a question about condition:

An bhfuil sé fuar? Tá. / Is he cold? He is. It is equivalent to ‘yes’ in English, for which there is no word in Irish. The question is posed as a query of FACT about the condition of the subject; “Is it(a fact that)cold he is? and the answer: It is(a fact that)(cold he is). All the preliminary information is contained in the query so there is no need to repeat it in the answer. All that is needed is a positive or negative response.

The negative answer being, of course, NÍL.

So, when you want to say something about the condition of the subject, or query the same, you would use TÁ and AN BHFUIL?

IS is a verb of classification and identification.

Is fear mise / I am a man (classification). An Irish speaker would never say “Tá mé fear” , it would be meaningless.

Is fear Seán / Sean is a man(classification).

Is ainmhí capall / A horse is an animal. So, what you are doing with IS is classifying, pointing out the SPECIES of the subject, in other words.

IS is also used for identification:

Is é Seán an fear/ SEAN IS the man (identification).

Is é Seán an múinteoir / SEAN IS the teacher(identification) (It is he SEAN WHO IS the teacher) (and no one else).

Is mise an múinteoir / I AM the teacher (and no one else).

I hope this clears up some of the mysteries of IS and TÁ.


Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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Al Evans (tbtm.org - 208.188.101.145)
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 08:19 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Edward,

I said:
> Is dochtúir é Mairtín. (Martin is a doctor. -- note the "extra" pronoun.)

But you said:
> Is fear Seán / Sean is a man(classification).

According to Ó Siahdail (Lesson 12), in regard to the third person, "The rule that in any copula sentence where the subject is definite,...it is preceded by the appropriate pronoun...holds good."

Is this a matter of different dialects, or is there something I'm not understanding?

Always trying to fill in the blanks! :-)

--Al Evans

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Edward Delany (p75-109.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.75.109)
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 08:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Al, a chara,

Thanks for that interesting query.

I haven't got a copy of Ó Siadhail to hand so I'm going to assume he qualifies this somewhere else in the book.

The confusion may arise as to the sense of the use of a personal name in the sentence "Is fear Seán". As the subject in this sentence, "Seán" is used in the sense of "a person" who happens to be named Seán and therefore, the subject is really indefinite.

In a classification sentence it is the PREDICATE which cannot be a definite noun or pronoun.

Your sentence "Is dochtúir é Máirtín" is identification. what you're saying here is that this particular Máirtín is a doctor, not any other person of that name, but, the one known to you. Therefore the subject is definite, but, the pronoun is put in for identification of the particular individual, not because of a "rule" following the Copula. In identification sentences the subject and the predicate both have to be definite.

The third important rule with the Copula is that the SUBJECT cannot come immediately after "IS" and this has given rise to the confusion that "IS" should be seperated from a definite noun by a pronoun. The use and placing of the pronouns is determined by the sense of meaning of the sentence and the information it is intended to convey, whether classification or identification and, additionally,
emphasis and ownership.

I hope this helps fill in some of the blanks, Al.


Beatha agus sláinte,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Éadbhárd, A Chara:

What--do you do this for a living or something?!? (He says with a smile and a chuckle!)

I sure do wish I had the time to spend in one of your classes. Thanks for that summary. Very helpful, indeed.

Secondly, and somewhat ashamedly, could you define a predicate for me? I know I should know this but I'm a product of the United States public education system---southern version, at that---any "plain english" explaination would be most appreciated.

Le meas,

James

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Edward Delany (p75-213.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.75.213)
Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Shéamais dhíl,

I'm glad to help whenever I can. It's not too difficult to understand once you look at it logically.

And, you might as well learn the terms “as Gaeilge” while
you’re at it.

The Predicate (An Fháisnéis) is the part of the sentence which conveys the information you want to give about the Subject(An tAinmní).

So, in the sentence “Is fear Seán”, “fear” is the predicate and “Seán” is the subject and the Copula (An Chopail),“Is”, is the link between the subject and the predicate.

When the verb in the sentence is transitive, that is, it passes on from the subject to something else like: “D’ith Seán úll / Seán ate an apple” , “úll” becomes the
Object (An Cuspóir).

Thanks for your remarks and interest.


Beatha agus sláinte,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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james (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 09:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

OK. See if I've got it right.


Tá mo pheata Bishop. Is madra é.

Bishop is my pet. Using Tá because it expresses the condition of being my pet.

He is a dog. Using the copula, Is, because I am classifying him as a dog.

"Pet" (peata) is the predicate because it conveys what I want to communicate about Bishop, the subject.

I don't see the need for the double pronoun in either of these examples and I'm not sure I understand how it/they are used.

Go raibh maith agaibh,

James

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Edward Delany (p74-224.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.74.224)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sorry, James, not quite there yet.

Your second statement "Is madra é" is correct as it is classification. Your first is identification of Bishop, the dog, as your pet. Not any dog but, this particular one named Bishop so, you must also use "Is" for this sentence!

Like: Is é Bishop, an madra, mo pheata/ Bishop, the dog, is my pet. The condition of the dog would be it's size, age, colour etc., something which belongs to it by it's nature, not it's ownership which is identification and must have "Is" as the introduction.

You can say: "Tá sé mór/beag /dubh/donn/bán /óg/sean" but, if you want to own it you must say "Is liomsa é/It belongs to me".

"Tá" can only link a substantive with a mode or characteristic not two substantives. So, "Tá Séamas fear" is impossible. It must be "Is fear Séamas", but, you can say "Tá Séamas ard/beag/mór/sean/óg/ etc. and you will be correct.

The extra pronouns are put in with "Is" in some sentences because the subject,if it is definite, cannot be placed directly following "Is".


Beatha agus sláinte,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

OK--I'm trying to put this in simple terms that my mind can grasp and retain. See if this is correct:

Tá capall i mo fhéarach. (There exists, in my pasture, a creature that is a horse--nature has determined that this creature is a horse)

Is liomsa í agus tá sí glas. (She is mine--I own her--and she is grey--nature has determined that she is this color)

Tá capall eile i mo fhéarach, freisin. Is liomsa í freisin ach tá sí dubh. (Same as above)

Tá sí an t-iníon as an capall glas. (This horse, because nature has determined it, is THE daughter, not A daughter among many but THE daughter of the grey horse)

In this last sentence I hesitated because I am identifying that this horse, and no other horse, is the daughter of the grey horse. But, her relationship with the grey horse an unchangeable fact of biological existence--hence, Tá.

If you could indulge me this one more critique I'll stop being a pest.

Go raibh maith agat,

Le meas,

James

P.S. What about the past tense? Tá being the present of Bí, is there a form of "Is" that indicates a past relationship? IE; She WAS my horse, but now she is someone else's.

Sorry--the questions just keep building on themselves!!!

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Jace Iversen (66.7.99.2)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 07:25 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hello, Edward,

After reading the above, I'm wondering if it is correct to say that 'is' is used when you have a predicate nominative (a noun or pronoun in the subject form that is identified with the subject of the verb), and 'ta' when you have a predicate adjective? The predicate nominative always seems to express equality between the subject and predicate noun, as in "It is I" It = I and I = It. He is my dog. He = my dog and my dog = He.

Thank you in advance,

Jace

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Edward Delany (p75-54.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.75.54)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 09:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

An-mhaith ar fad, a Shéamais, 99%!

You did everything right except the last one! If you are saying that someone or something is THE daughter then you are identifying and it must be “IS” ; “Is é sin an capall/ That is the horse”

Is iníon í den chapall ghlas. Just like when you said THE dog was YOUR pet.

The past tense for “Is” is “Ba”; “Ba liomsa í” “Ba chapall glas í” “Cér (Cé + ar) leis an capall? / Who owned the horse?” “Ba le Séamas í / Séamas owned her” , “Níor le Seán í / She did not belong to Seán”

{"Ba" aspirates the first word following which is aspirable).

Don't mind the questioning, it's necessary for learning.

Jace's question:

As above, "TÁ" would be used only for descriptive sentences of some state, condition or action of the subject. "IS" for classification or identification.

"It is I" = Is mé. "An tú san? / Is it you?" "Is mé / It is I. "An é tusa fé ndear é? / Is it you who is responsible for it?" "Is é / It is". "An" here is the interrogative of "Is".

I know this might be difficult for learners but, you must persist and eventually it will become instinctive which term to use.


Beatha agus sláinte,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162)
Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tabhair Guinness don fear sin, Edward! Is naomh é. Shíl mé go raibh greim maith agam ar an grámadach ach anois, tá fíor amhras orm. Is cuma, bainigí taitneamh as an teanga agus ná bris i smidiríní é. Tiocfaidh an t-eolas le
h-úsáid.

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Nicole (revenant.ucd.ie - 137.43.1.29)
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 01:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James a chara,

Going back to your earlier (and easier) query about "ag an" causing an uru - it might be useful to know that the following prepositions, when used with the definite article will cause an uru:

ag an
ar an
leis an
ins an
faoin
i

The last one "i" causes an uru without the definite article, and with it, "sa", causes a seimhiu.

Hope that's helpful.
Nicole

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James (209.48.182.219)
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Nicole, A Chara:

Thanks so much for that summary. Part of the difficulty with O'Siadhal is that all of the information is there, it's just scattered throughout the text, in small print, in parentheses, in footnotes---it's just not concisely presented.

Any summations that you and your fellow gaelgoiri can provide makes life so much easier. I take all of these, print them out and put them in my "little book of knowledge" under the appropriate heading. It makes for a quick reference when writing and the more I write, hopefully, the more easily I'll be able to speak.

Go raibh mile maith agat,

Le meas,

James

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Pól (server1.embryoninc.com - 66.152.218.225)
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

James, a chara:
I had a teacher who said
something that stuck with me:

“Reamhfhocal + an = uru, i gconai, i gconai.”

Adh mor. I admire your determination.
Slan go foill, Paul

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Jace Iversen (66.7.99.2)
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you, Edward.

Trying to learn in this way is a little like trying to dance, blindfolded, to music I feel but cannot really hear. I begin to see a little now, but still the music eludes me.

I appreciate your help and the opportunity afforded by these forums.

Jace

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Edward Delany (p74-144.as1.dbn.dublin.eircom.net - 159.134.74.144)
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 09:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Mar focal scoir, a cháirde,

As I'm taking a break for the holidays and I am not sure whether or not I'll be able to get to a computer where I'm staying, I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Nollaig shona agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhíbh go léir!

To give you something to chew on during the holidays, I thought I would put in a few idiomatic Irish phrases just to show the range of expression available in this language of ours which you are all very welcome to share and your learning of it I am glad to encourage. Rath ar an obair!


Beatha agus sláinte,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.


CORA CAINNTE ÉAGSÚLA / VARIOUS PHRASES

Cuirfidh seo d’obair ar aghaidh go mór / this will put your work forward very much.

Ní bhéinn gafa leis mar leabhar / I wouldn’t like it much as a book (I wouldn't be held by it as a book).

Fan fada leis an obair/ Take it easy/ Don’t hurry with the work.

Ná bíodh eagla ort, gheobhair thairis / Never fear, you’ll get over it (you will pass it by).

Tá scéal fuar agat bheith ag brath air / It’s no use depending on him (It’s a cold story you have if you depend on him).

Bhí sé go dian-mhaith chun dul igcóir a choda / He was always looking out for himself (he was really good at chasing his own share).

Cuir deallramh na hoibre ort féin / Pretend you’re working (Put the appearance of working on yourself).

Chuirfeadh sé in adharc gabhair tú / He would get you into trouble (He would put you in the horns of a goat).

Níl ann ach troid na mbó maol / It’s not worth bothering with (It’s only a battle of the hornless cows).

Dom lom deiridh ainneona a dhein sé é / He did it totally against my will (to the naked last opposition to me he did it).

Tóg do dhóthain agus breis ina theannta / Take more than you need (Take your share and more with it).

Bhí sé lasta suas le feirg / He was incandescent with rage (lit up with rage).

Bíonn sé ar an leath-imeall i gcónaí / He’s always on the sidelines (out of it/on the half-edge/ half-in half-out).

Táim ar an leath-imeall anseo / I’m sidelined here.

Maith linn é nó a mhalairt / Whether we like it or not (Us liking it or, the opposite)

Tugann sé cuireadh na ngealbhán chun arbhar na gcomharsana / He uses what others have as if it were his own (He gives the invitation of the sparrows to the neighbours crops)

Tá sé meastúil go maith air féin / He is quite fond of himself

Nuair a bheir sa Róimh, bí Rómhánach leofa / When in Rome, do as the Romans do
(When you take yourself to Rome, be Roman along with them).

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Phil (159.134.209.29 - 159.134.209.29)
Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 02:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The verb "is" and the verb "tá" are used to describe something.

If you want to use a noun to describe something, then use "is":

Is madra é

"madra" = noun

If you want to use an adjective to describe something, then use "tá"

Tá an madra dubh

"dubh" = adjective

-Phil

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james (209.48.182.219 - 209.48.182.219)
Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Go raibh maith agat, Phil. That makes things pretty easy to keep categorized in this feeble old brain of mine. "You done good" as we say way down South.

Le meas,

James

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Phil (159.134.209.75 - 159.134.209.75)
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - 04:41 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá fáilte romhat.

Not to boast, but I've never had any problem ever with Is Vs Tá.
There is one thing that I don't fully understand though:

Is maith an madra.

Obviously, "maith" is an adjective. Some people here would say that means "The dog is good".

Here's how I'd look at it:

Is maith liom an madra

"I like the dog"

Then get the saor-briathar:

Is maith an madra

"The dog is liked"

which alot of the time means "The dog is good".

Just for anyone there who doesn't know exactly how the saor-briathar works with "is":

Is éasca liom é a fheiceáil

"It's easy for me to see it"

Is éasca é a fheiceáil

"It's easy to see"

Is féidir liom feiceáil sa scéal go bhfuil sé bocht.

I can see in the story that he is poor.

Is féidir feiceáil sa scéal go bhfuil sé bocht.

It can bee seen in the story that he is poor.


I don't how exactly how it works. I don't have any documentation. I just kinda copped it one day that when you leave out "le Seán", that it's the saor-briathar.

So:

Tá an madra go maith.
Is maith an madra.

What's the difference??

Well, I would use "is maith an madra" to show that the dog is good and that it's an opinion held by many. "The dog is liked"

-Phil

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james (209.48.182.219 - 209.48.182.219)
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

saor-briathar? I'm away from my resources right now. You've lost me--Can you elaborate on what this is? It sounds like a grammar rule or a memory aid--educate me. I need all I can get.

Le meas,

James

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2003 - 04:15 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil
If it were "Is maith an madra é" it would mean
"He is a good dog", and is equivalent to "Is madra maith é".


I don't think you can leave "Is maith an madra" hanging like that, the sentence is incomplete.

There is usually more than one way to say a thing in any language

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Phil (159.134.209.196 - 159.134.209.196)
Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2003 - 01:57 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Saor-briathar
-------------

The person doing the action isn't revealed.

-Past Tense

Bhris Seán an fhuinneog.

Seán broke the window.

Briseadh an fhuinneog. (Note the absence of a 'h')

The window was broken.

Cheannaigh mé milseáin.

I bought sweets.

Ceannaíodh milseáin.

Sweets were bought.

-Present Tense

briseann -> bristear
ceannaíonn -> ceannaítear

-Future Tense

brisfidh -> brisfear
ceannóidh -> ceannófar

-Conditional (would)

(would break)
bhrisfeadh -> bhrisfí
ceannódh -> ceannófaí

-Is
(NOT SURE ABOUT THIS)

Is maith liom bia.

I like food

Is maith bia

Food is liked.

-

The saor-briathar is one of my favourite features of Gaeilge, one of the many that got me interested in it.

-Phil

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James (199.112.57.105 - 199.112.57.105)
Posted on Sunday, June 08, 2003 - 03:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I found this simplified explanation in Noel McGonagle's book "Irish Grammar."

Deir sé as bearla "In simple terms, the verb is (=copula)is used when we wish to say that a noun or pronoun is, or is not, another noun or pronoun."

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Phil (159.134.209.16 - 159.134.209.16)
Posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - 02:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Well I kinda figured that, seeing how I don't describe adjectives very much. But then again, purple is the new black.

-Phil

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