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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (July-September) » Back to Basics « Previous Next »

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Bradford (24.220.0.48 - 24.220.0.48)
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 09:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

I am heading up a basic Irish class (talk about the blind leading the blind!). One of the first things the book we're using covers is telling someone your name.

They give the three usual ways to do this:

Bradford atá orm.
Bradford is ainm dom.
Mise Bradford.

OK, easy enough...

Then they introduce a concept regarding giving your name that I wasn't familiar with. It's explained as follows:

"The suffix sa implies a contrast with the person you are talking to, and is therefore an indirect way of asking for the other person's name. If other people are first to tell you their names, use the same phrase that they have used, plus the suffix."

I'm confused by a couple of things regarding this explanation.

1) If a person has already told you their name, why would you follow with "Bradford atá ormsa" when you already know the other person's name?

2) In the samples the book gives, they have the first person, and second person, and both using the sa suffix. This also doesn't seem to follow their explanation.

Can anyone put this whole sa thing into perspective so I can explain it properly?

Go raibh maith agat!

Le meas,

Bradford

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Jonas (213.243.190.222 - 213.243.190.222)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 02:57 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chara!

I do understand that you are feeling confused by that description, I guess everyone would. Still, much of it is right. Let me give you some examples:

a. Cé hé tusa? (not Cé hé tú?) for Who are you?
b. -Bradford atá orm
-Jonas atá ormsa (in reply)

What I wouldn't agree with in the description you've quoted is that "sa" is a way to ask for another person's name. In some phrases it can be thought of as having such a meaning, but not that often. "Sa" is used in a number of cases, few of which have anything to do with names at all.

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Aonghus (62.77.191.130 - 62.77.191.130)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 04:48 am:   Edit Post Print Post

but most have to do with emphasising what you've said

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Bradford (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Jhonas agus a Aonghuis, (is that correct in this case?)

Go raibh maith agat. It looks like I was confused for a good reason. I'll certainly make note of what you both said.

Le meas,

Bradford

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Larry (217.42.54.8 - 217.42.54.8)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 12:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Bradford, a chara,

The quick answer to your first question is that you wouldn't need to repeat their statement at all. I don't know which book gave you that, but the example quoted isn't a very good one. If, for example, you've just met two people and one of them has introduced themself, you could reply with "Cad is ainm duitse?" addressed to the person who's name you don't already know. This translates as "What is YOUR name?" - the emphasis being used to express "your". This example also shows that the suffix sa sometimes becomes se. Remember the general rule 'Broad with broad, slender with slender'

Mé >> Mise
Tú >> Tusa
Sibh >> Sibhse
etc etc

Good luck with your class.

Le meas,

Larry.

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