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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (July-September) » 2003 (July-September) » The Genitive, an and de « Previous Next »

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Clare (195.93.34.13 - 195.93.34.13)
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 08:28 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi everyone,

I'm running into some confusion with 'Teach Yourself Irish.'
I'm sorry that I don't have any examples with me at the moment, but stuff like 'bun an staigre' (bottom of the stairs), 'teach michil' (Michael's house, which is a given for me) , weekend, which uses the genitive, and Mary's house (Teach de Mhaire?) are really confusing me.
Could anyone clarify with me when to use either the genitive, an, or de?

Go raibh maith agaibh,

Clare

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Antóin (159.134.180.56 - 159.134.180.56)
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Oh! Clare, the dreaded tuiseal ginideach/Genitive.

I'm afraid I'm not competent to give an explanation, but I'll just refer to the examples you gave above.

'bun an staighre' (the bottom of the stairs),
"The bottom of the stairs" When translating a phrase such as this the initial "the" = "an" is not used in the Irish translation. Because words such as "staighre" have the same form in the nominative case as in the genitive (possessive) case, you have to interprate the meaning from the word order and the context.

'teach michil' I think that should be "teach Mhicíl" Michael's house. Proper nouns (names of people and places) are lenited (initial letter followed by 'h') when in the genitive. Michíl is the Genitive (possessive) case of "Mícheál)

Mary's house (Teach de Mhaire?) Are you sure of that? I'm think it should be "Teach Mháire". Are you confusing it with some name like "teach de Barra" where "de Barra is a family name.

"Bottom of the stairs" "Michael's house/house of Michael". Forget about the "of" when translating, "de" in those cases would be incorrect. The meaning is conveyed in Irish by the genitive and/or the word order.

Weekend = Deireadh seachtaine. Literally "the end of the week". "Seachtaine" is genitive of "Seachtain"

Hope this may help.

Slán

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Jonas (213.243.177.78 - 213.243.177.78)
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I agree with Antóin on this one, "Teach de Mhaire" sounds like talking English with Irish words. Teach Mháire or Tigh Mháire, depending on your dialect. I think Antóins explanations are very good so I hope it became clearer.

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Clare (195.93.34.13 - 195.93.34.13)
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 09:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hiya antoin,

Sorry about the examples, I remembered them as best i could off the top of my head.
Your reply was very good, thanks- but I still don't understand when to use de, for example.
I'm certain I've seen constructions like bun an staighre in TYI- I know I've seen Bun an halla? Bottom of the hall? Is this a peculiarity with Munster Irish maybe, or am I imagining things?

Thanks :)

Clare

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Dawn (66.19.56.150 - 66.19.56.150)
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 10:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Clare

I use TYI myself. I believe what Antóin was saying is that "bun an staighre" is sufficient. You wouldn't say "an bun an staighre", for instance.

As for de vs. genitive, I will be as interested in the answer as you. :)

Dawn

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 07:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

DE: there is no simple answer, this is quite a hardworking word!
From an Foclóir Beag (italics interspersed by me)

de [réamhfhocal]
a léiríonn scaradh agus araile (illustrates separation etc)(bain di é; scoir sé den obair);
greamú, leanúint agus araile (sticking, following etc) (ceangail den chrann é; ná lean den chaint sin);
suíomh (Place) (taobh thall den abhainn);
bunús (Origin) (duine de na Gearaltaigh; earraí de dhéantús na hÉireann);
ábhar, líon (material, amount) (déanta d'adhmad; lán de dhaoine);
cineál (type) (amadán de dhuine, a leithéid de lá);
cuid (Part) (an chéad lá den mhí; duine díobh);
modh, meán (way, means) (éirí de léim, briseadh de thaisme é);
méid, oiread (amount) (ní raibh sé de chiall aige fanacht);
mar iarthagairt (maidir liomsa de; ní fearr liom rud de);
cúis, fáth (reason) (dá bhrí sin, dá bharr sin);
fad aimsire (length of time) (de shíor, de ghnáth);

de + a4 = dá4; de + an = den; de + ar = dar3; de + ár2 = dár1; de + ar3 = dár2.


Foirmeacha
de [réamhfhocal, an tríú pearsa fhirinscneach uatha ]
di [réamhfhocal, an tríú pearsa bhaininscneach uatha ]
díbh [réamhfhocal, an dara pearsa iolra]
dínn [réamhfhocal, an chéad phearsa iolra]
díobh [réamhfhocal, an tríú pearsa iolra]
díom [réamhfhocal, an chéad phearsa uatha]
díot [réamhfhocal, an dara pearsa uatha]

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clare (195.93.34.13 - 195.93.34.13)
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus,

Please translate that into English for me...please with a cherry on top? lol..
That book looks very good, but i could never read it.

Thanks,

Clare

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Oliver Grennan (217.155.45.123 - 217.155.45.123)
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 09:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

It's from an online dictionary

http://www.csis.ul.ie/focloir

It's worthwhile finding out the meaning of the grammatical terms (réamhfhocal = pronoun) as it's totally useful for learning how to use words properly.

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Aonghus (159.134.62.108 - 159.134.62.108)
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 04:59 am:   Edit Post Print Post

réamhfhocal pronoun
inscne gender
firinscneach masculine
baininscneach feminine
iolra plural
uatha singular
an chéad phearsa the first person (I, we)
an dara pearsa the second person, (you, you)
an tríú pearsa the third person (he, she, it, they)

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Maidhc Ó G. (65.128.204.249 - 65.128.204.249)
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 05:27 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Clare, a chara,
"Learning Irish", By Mícheál Ó Siadhail gives this about 'de' in lesson 24. "The basic meaning of de 'off'.
Tá an cota ag titim den chathaoir.
The coat is falling off the chair.
Bain dhiot do chóta.
Take your coat off.

The secondary meaning of de 'of'.
Tá cuid na daoine sásta.
Some of the people are content.

After certain words used partitively 'de' corresponds to'of', e.g. cuid den bhalla 'a part of the wall', piosa de lá 'aportion (bit ) of the day', goleor de na rudaí 'a lot of the things', ceachtar den bheirt 'either of the two people', níos den am 'more of the time'. SOmewhat similarly: buille de maide 'a blowof the stick', peictiúr de dhuine 'a picture of the person', a leithéide d dhuine 'his type of person, such a person'.

'Ag' is used instead of 'de' to refer to the plural, e.g. go leor dhe 'a lot of it', but go leor acu 'a lot of them'...

Ní ann ach amadán de dhuine. He is a fool-like person. (lit. a fool of a person).
Similarly: ginn d'fhear 'a wedge of a man', i.e. a stocky, well built man', gliogar de cathaoir ' a crock of a chair, i.e. a rickety, unstable chair'.
Níl sé d'am agam caint léi. I have not (the amount of) time (required) to talk to her.

'De' is used with certain abstract nouns to express ' the required amount of, the necessary, by way of'. Similarly: d'fhoighid ' the necessary patience', de spás 'the necessary period of time', d'ádh 'the necessary luck'.
Tá mé tuirseach den chaint. I am tired of the talk.

'De' corresponds to 'of' after certain adjectives. Similarly: bréan de 'fed up', cinnte de 'certain of', lán de 'full of'.
Tá siad ag déanamh amadán de Mháirtín. They are making a fool of Martin.
'De' corresponds to 'of' after certain verbs. Similarly: Síleann siad a domhan de Mháirtín. They think the world of Martin.
Bhí sé ag goil pósadh de léim.He was going to marry suddenly. (lit. 'of a jump.')

'De' is used in some adverbial phrases to express a sudden movement or sound. Similarly: de phlump'with a bang', d'iarraidh amháin 'in one go'. (lit. 'with one try.')

Whew! It looks like 'de' is used just about as many ways in Irish as in English.
I hope this helps some. Also, I'd definately put "An Foclóir Beag" on your favorites list. It is an Irish to Irish dictionary, but after 2 or 3 words, you'll start to get accustomed to the layout and instead of trying to decifer your regular dictionary for the odd verbal noun and such, a quick glance'll do ya. It really does help alot.

-Maidhc.

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