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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2006 (July-August) » Tá versus atá « Previous Next »

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Daniel_Ó_haireachtaigh
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Username: Daniel_Ó_haireachtaigh

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 02:31 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I have another complete beginner's question I hope somebody will not mind answering.

Thus far I've seen both "tá" and "atá" used for the present indicative form of "be." In one older grammar, only atà was used.

Is there a technical difference between the two or is it merely a question of which word flows better within a sentence? Maddeningly I've seen both used withing the same sentence without a word of explanation as to why one was preferred in one instance while the other was better suited elsewhere.

Thank you!

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Marioberti
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Username: Marioberti

Post Number: 24
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 06:19 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

a (that, who, which) + tá (am, are, is) > atá

tá an litir ar an mbord = the letter is on the table
tá an litir a scríobh é ar an mbord = the letter (that/which) he wrote is on the table
sin é an litir atá sé a scríobh = that's the letter (that) he's writing

RELATIVE PRESENT FORM OF BÍ:
atá mé / atáim
atá tú/sé/sí
atáimid / atámuid
atá sibh/siad

sin í an bhean atáim ag lorg = that is the woman I am looking for

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Odwyer
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Username: Odwyer

Post Number: 192
Registered: 05-2006


Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 06:40 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Why do you need an "a" before "scríobh"?

Ceartaígí mo chuid Ghaeilge, le bhur dtoil!

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 69.141.185.36
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 09:39 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

quote:

Why do you need an "a" before "scríobh"?

As Marioberti points out, the Irish partcle a is the equivalent of the English particle that. Both are used to introduce relative clauses.

The sentence
The letter that he wrote is on the table.
is a complex sentence. It is the combination of two simple sentences.
The letter is on the table.
and
He wrote the letter.
In English you can combine these sentences into a complex sentence where the former is the primary clause (sentence) and the latter is the secondary clause (sentence). The link is the relative particle that.
The letter that he wrote is on the table.
The primary clause is in red and the secondary clause is in blue. The secondary clause is secondary because it modifies the subject of the primary clause. It tells you something about the letter.

You can do the same kind of thing in Irish. The difference is that Irish has two types of subordinate clauses; one causes the verb to be lenited while the other causes it to be eclipsed. Since scríobh can be neither be lenited or eclipsed, we do not have to worry. So the Irish becomes
Tá an litir a scríobh sé ar an mbord.
You will note that Marioberti used the accusitve form of the pronous é when the pronoun is actually the subject of the subordinate clause. So I think it should be , the nominative form.

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Lúcas
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Username: Lúcas

Post Number: 262
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 09:42 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Sorry, forgot to log on. I am the guy who made the above attempt to answer Odwyer's question.

Mise le meas,

Lúcas
Ceartaigh mo chuid Gaeilge, mura miste leat .

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Odwyer
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Username: Odwyer

Post Number: 199
Registered: 05-2006


Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 12:19 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

OK I understand. Thanks very much!!!

Ceartaígí mo chuid Ghaeilge, le bhur dtoil!

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 1196
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 01:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

In the other sentence, "a" is the indirect speech form of "ag", e.g.:

Táim ag scríobh litreach -- I'm writing a letter

Sin an litir atá mé a scríobh -- That's the letter I'm writing.

Fáilte Roimh Cheartúcháin
Ceartaigh rud ar bith atá mícheart -- úsáid phrásaí go háirithe.

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 65.161.188.11
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 02:41 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"Táim ag scríobh litreach -- I'm writing a letter"

Kind of like ... "I'm a'writin' a letter" ... ?

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Mac Léinn na Gaeilge (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 198.175.154.212
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 03:01 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Kinda of like, from the Twelve Days of Christmas,

Geese A-laying
Swans A-swimming
Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
Lords A-leaping

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Odwyer
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Username: Odwyer

Post Number: 206
Registered: 05-2006


Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 03:04 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Or "I'm at writing a letter?" But I like "I'm a-writin' a letter" more.

(Message edited by odwyer on August 28, 2006)

Ceartaígí mo chuid Ghaeilge, le bhur dtoil!

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Caitrionasbcglobalnet
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Username: Caitrionasbcglobalnet

Post Number: 201
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 03:57 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Before we go 'a wandering' too much off topic, cute and all as it is...
let's revisit some examples:

Tá an litir a scríobh sé ar an mbord.
The letter that he wrote is on the table.

In the examples that Lúcas wrote, a corresponds to the English ‘that’ in the sentence.

So Fear na mbróg’s
‘Sin an litir atá mé a’ scríobh.’ could be translated as
That's the letter that I am writing.

The a before in atá here is ‘that’
and the second a is a shortened form of ag that is necessary for the ‘ing’ form as in ‘writing’
(ag scríobh).

This brings us back to what Marioberti concise explanation of atá:
a (that, who, which) + tá (am, are, is) = atá

Maybe the confusion was with the example
‘Sin é an litir atá sé a scríobh’
That's the letter (that) he's writing.

In this sentence the first a = that,
while the second a = a short form of ag.
It’s often written with an apostrophe to show that the g is left out.

Ní neart go cur le chéile,

Caitríona

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Caitrionasbcglobalnet
Member
Username: Caitrionasbcglobalnet

Post Number: 202
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 04:02 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

This brings us back to what Marioberti concise ...
should be
This brings us back to what Marioberti gave as a concise..
Pardon my English briste.
Gabh mo leithscéal,

Caitríona

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Odwyer
Member
Username: Odwyer

Post Number: 208
Registered: 05-2006


Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 05:30 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

quote:

‘Sin é an litir atá sé a scríobh’



What is the é for then? Assuming that the literal, word for word translation I have is correct: "That it the letter that is he writing"

(Message edited by odwyer on August 28, 2006)

Ceartaígí mo chuid Ghaeilge, le bhur dtoil!

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Maidhc_Ó_g
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Username: Maidhc_Ó_g

Post Number: 253
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 07:11 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The 'é' is needed there to my understanding because the third person pronoun must be repeated when used with the copula if it's the subject. In this case 'that' is the subject.

'Sin an litir í atá sé ag scríobh. That's the letter he's writing.

PS. I think 'litir' describes a single letter character, and nóta is for a letter one sends to another person - mar sampla "nóta grá" - love letter.

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Caitrionasbcglobalnet
Member
Username: Caitrionasbcglobalnet

Post Number: 204
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 08:03 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Here's my take on it:
We're using the copula and
Is é sin got simplified to Sin é.

We talked about the copula once before in terms of defining something or the copula as an equals sign.
Is dalta mé. Mé = dalta.
We also said it answered the question, 'What is it?'
In this case we're a little more specific and it answers
What is that?
We define what the thing/person is with the answer.

In English you'd say:
That is my book.
That is my wife.
Those are my children.
In the English version you have 'that' and the verb 'to be'.

In Irish you say:
Sin é mo leabhar.
Sin í mo bhean.
Sin iad mo pháistí.
Our Irish version gives us 'that' and the copula form of 'to be' because we're defining
and the gender in the singular form.

Now if you were answering What type of ...is it?
you'd use 'Tá' to describe them.
Tá mo leabhar buí. or Tá sé buí.
Tá mo bhean álainn. or Tá sí álainn.
Tá mo pháistí craiceálta. or Tá siad craiceálta.

It's also possible to define them with the adjectives.
But you're still answering the questions,
What is that? or What are those?

Sin é mo leabhar buí.
Sin í mo bhean álainn.
Sin iad mo pháistí craiceálta,

Caitríona

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Caitrionasbcglobalnet
Member
Username: Caitrionasbcglobalnet

Post Number: 205
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 - 08:07 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

In case we insult anyone I should say that it's probably better to ask Who is that? or Who are they? when referring to people unless your eyesight is gone and you can't make out whether it's a thing or a person ☺,

Caitríona



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