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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » 1999 » Help with grammar---mas e do thoil e « Previous Next »

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Lisa O'Rourke (essex.neo.rr.com - 204.210.198.14)
Posted on Monday, October 04, 1999 - 02:15 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I study with a small group that meets weekly in Akron OH. We use the Buntus Cainte books and tapes. We have a question about the use of the use of the verb "to be" when using Ce'n
Why Cen fath ar thainig tu? but Cen uair a thainig tu? and Cen luach ata air?
Thanks Lisa O
Buntus Book 2 Ceacht 67

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Roibeárd de Búrca
Posted on Friday, October 08, 1999 - 08:50 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Lisa,
I'm sure that there is a typo in Buntús Cainte. I believe the correct form is 'a tháinig'. At least there should be no difference between the two questions. The 'a' refers to "fath" and "uair", the same way that the 'a' in atá refers to "luach" in the third question.

The first two questions refer to past tense "did you come" the third question is present tense "What is the cost?"

Roibeárd

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Lúcas
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 1999 - 10:22 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Lisa,

I think Roibeárd is right. It must be a typo. I listened to the tape and I heard her say "ke:n fa: ha:n-ig tu:," which is what I would expect for "Cén fáth a tháinig tú? The sound of the relative particle 'a' drops out because it is preceded by a long vowel. I would expect to hear something else if 'ar' was after 'fath,' probably "ke:n fa:r."

As I understand it, the rule about Irish word order comes into play here. Whenever the normal word order is violated, i.e., verb, subject, and predicate, the second part of the sentence must be a relative clause, e.g., "Tinn a bhí mé." (Literally, sick that was I.)

The same is true for questions. The interrogatory pronoun (adverb) begins a sentence and therefore must be followed by a relative clause, e.g., "Cén fáth a tháinig tú?" (Literally, What reason that came you?) The only exception I know about is when the question is about a measure or amount of something. Then the relative substantive, i.e., 'atá,' can be dropped if you like. So you can say, "Cén aois atá sé anois?" Or, you can say "Cén aois anois é?" (How old is he now?)

Lúcas

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Aonghus
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 1999 - 02:46 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

As an Irish speaker I have no problem with cén fáth ar tháinig tú. (Why did you come?) It's what I'd say. But I don't know the reason, which is why I didn't answer this message yet.

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Lisa (essex.neo.rr.com - 204.210.198.14)
Posted on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 02:13 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Dia duit,
Just wanted to say, "go raibh maith agat" for the answers. We have talked to a few native speakers, and they agree with Aonghus even in that they don't know why. Lisa

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