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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (October-December) » "ag" or "a"? « Previous Next »

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mario (62.101.126.233 - 62.101.126.233)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

wonder why "chuaigh mé ag obair" and "chuaigh mé a chodladh"?!

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mario (62.101.126.233 - 62.101.126.233)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

while walking out my dog I had another small doubt, similar to the previous one I had a few minutes ago: " braon bainne atàim ag iarraidh" or "braon bainne atàim a iarraidh"?
go raibh maith agaibh

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.159 - 67.235.185.159)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

It strikes me off-hand as
1. I went to work. (The place.)
2. I went to work. (The task at hand.)
Your following post strikes me as - well the first one, to me, comes off a bit backwards. I'd go with, "Tá mé ag iarraidh chugam braon bhainne." I'm asking for a drop of milk. (chugam- for me.)
The next one, "Tá mé a iarraidh chugam braon bhainne." I'm asking her for a drop of milk.
I'm not sure. That's just off the top of my head.
-Maidhc.

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.91 - 67.235.185.91)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Hmm. Surprised that noone came back at this one. Ok. I'm pretty sure about my first two answers. But, my last one should be more like," Tá mé a iarraidh braon bhainne uirthi chugam."
I'm not sure if the third one is wrong or not. I just completed the statement. The last one completes the verbal noun phrase. (The more I look at my previous post, the more confused I get as to what kind of silly thing I might've said in my third answer.)
-Maidhc.

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Dawn (66.19.56.114 - 66.19.56.114)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 10:37 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Doesn't "Chuaigh mé a chodladh" mean "I went to sleep"?

Maybe ag is used instead of a in the first sentence because the following word begins with a vowel?

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.78 - 67.235.185.78)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 09:26 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hahaha. Yep. You're right about the sleep part, a Dawn. But, I'd asked something of this sort not too long ago. I'll have to look it up in the archives. It's definately about the verbal noun.
-Maidhc.

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Larry (217.42.54.25 - 217.42.54.25)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

chuaigh mé ag obair - I went working. Ag obair = verbal noun.

'a' never becomes 'ag' in front of a vowel.

Le meas,

Larry.

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Nicole (217.173.98.215 - 217.173.98.215)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

As I understand it the difference in the two constructions is roughly as follows:

Tá mé ag déanamh (rud éigin) : I am doing/making (something)

Tá mé á dhéanamh : I am doing/making it.

As for "ag dul a chodladh", this is a more unusual construction, undoubtedly because the notion of "going to sleep" is a bit different than going to work, going shopping etc. - it's more passive (as in the English construction "falling asleep"). As far as I understand, this is not a construction which is broadly applicable to other verbal nouns.

As for "iarraidh":

Tá rud eigin ag iarraidh uaim (I want something)

Tá sé á iarraigh uaim (I want it)

Is this what you were asking? I can't stay at the minute to give more detailed explanations, but will get back soon.

Mise le meas,
Nicole

Nicole

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Cáit (192.19.195.27 - 192.19.195.27)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas gave this explanation of 'ag' v 'a' some time ago. I think it explains things pretty well...

_________________________

The problem is that, of course, English and Irish are not very similar in their structures. What in English becomes a question of using "to sow" (infinitive) or "sowing" (verbal noun) is in Irish a question of both word-order and particles. Note that the verb stay the same, in both cases a verbal noun is used.
1."ag"+verbal noun when English uses a verbal noun.
2."a"+verbal noun when English uses the infinitive.
I should point out that the first of these two rules is true in most cases, whereas there are many other ways to convey the English infinitives. Unfortunately (for the learner) these different cases are not different variants that are equally correct. It depends. If I explained it all here.. well, this message would be much to long ;-)
Don't worry about it, once you start to speak Irish more often it will come naturally. I never ever start to think about which forms to use these days, but just like you I was trying to get them into my head a few years ago. They'll come to you too.

On to the examples:
1a. He would like TO SOW sead.
"to sow" is in the infinitive.
1b. Ba mhaith leis síol A chur.
Infinitive in English, A+verbal noun in Irish.

2a. He is SOWING sead.
"sowing" is a verbal noun.
2b. Tá sé AG cur síl.
Verbal noun in English, AG+verbal noun in Irish

In the same way
3a. He would like TO OPEN the window.
"to open is in the infinitive.
3b. Ba mhaith leis an fhuinneog A oscailt.
Infinitive in English, A+verbal noun in Irish.

4a. He is OPENING the window.
"opening" is a verbal noun
4b. Tá sé AG oscailt na fuinneoga.
Verbal noun in English, AG+verbal noun in Irish


The difference is that in Irish the noun (sead, window) has to be in the genitive in sentences like this, that is why we get "síl" (genitive of síol) and "na fuinneoga" (genitive of an fhuinneog). As you may know, "ag" also means "at". What we're actually saying in 2b and 4b is "He is at the sowing of the sead" and "He is at the opening of the window".

Then to answer your questions:
1. Not only it "ag" the usual way to translate "ing-phrases", it it THE way to do it. I hope I've managed to explain why.

2. Yes, it is absolutely incorrect to say either "Tá sé an síol a chur." or “Tá sé an fhuinneog a oscailt.”. I hope I've managed to explain why.

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.219 - 67.235.185.219)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Ó Siadhail lessons 15 and 22 cover the usages of 'a' and 'ag' with verbal nouns. Too much to type right now.
Agus, a Larry,a chara, You've contradicted yourself in your own explanation. "Chuaigh mé ag obair." The 'g' is just not pronounced before consonants.
This 'progressive' construction is actually the first covered.
-Maidhc.

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Larry (217.42.54.25 - 217.42.54.25)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 01:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Mhaidhc, a chara,

I'm confused.

>>>"Chuaigh mé ag obair." The 'g' is just not pronounced before consonants.

Which consonant are you referring to?

L

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.106 - 67.235.185.106)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

According to Ó Siadhail, "The 'g' in ag is pronounced only before a vowel. It is usually broad bfore a, o, u, eg. 'ag ól', and slender before e, i, eg. 'ag imirt'."
Mind you that this is in Cois Fhairrge. So according to Ó Siadhail, in the sentence,"Feicim fear ag siúl ar an tsráid.", the 'g' in ag would'nt be pronounced. It would simply sound like 'uh'.
-Maidhc.

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Larry (217.42.54.25 - 217.42.54.25)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 02:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Mhaidc, a chara,

I didn't, or I certainly didn't mean to, imply anything about pronunciation - merely pointing out that 'ag obair' is the correct form of the verbal noun.

I hope this has cleared up any misunderstanding in my initial post to this thread :)

Le meas mór,

Larry.

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Maidhc Ó G. (67.235.185.252 - 67.235.185.252)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

No offence taken, a chara. But, I only pointed out that in your first posting on this thread, you said, "'a' never becomes 'ag' before a vowel."
This was just after you said,"Chuaigh mé ag obair..."
On looking at this, I now think this may've been a misunderstanding on my part as to what you were trying to say in your first posting between what is written and what is pronounced.
Gabh mo leithscéil, a chara.
Le árd mheas,
Maidhc.

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Larry (217.42.54.25 - 217.42.54.25)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Mhaidhc,

Maith go leor, mo chara :)

L

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Dawn (66.19.56.190 - 66.19.56.190)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Maidhc,

TYI says the same thing about the pronunciation of "ag", but the speakers on the tapes will pronounce the "g" before a consonant. Is it a different dialect? I wish I had a program where the pronunciation on the tapes was consistent with the the descriptions in the book, or at least where all of the speakers used the same pronunciaton. It would be sooooo much easier!

Dawn

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Jonas (213.243.176.35 - 213.243.176.35)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 07:11 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dawn, a chara!

If my memory serves me right, my first post ever to you pointed out that TYI is not a particularly good book for Learning Irish ;-)

(You're doing surprisingly well with it, though. I wonder what achievements you could accomplish with Learning Irish...)

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Jonas (213.243.176.35 - 213.243.176.35)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 07:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Accidental typo (No-one will believe me...)

I meant to write "... that TYI is not a particularly good book for learning Irish."

No product placement was intended in that sentence ;-)

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Dawn (66.19.56.190 - 66.19.56.190)
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 08:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

LOL

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