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Using the interrogative form in questions
Posted: 05 June 2018 02:11 AM   Ignore ]  
Comhalta
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Joined  2018-06-04

Hi guys - I hope you can shed some light on the following issue I’m having.

Obviously we use the dependent interrogative form when asking straight questions.

Example:
Chuaigh me ar scoil inné.
Ar ndeacaigh tu ar scoil inné?

Rinne mé mo obair bhaile.
An ndearna tu do obair bhaile?

But what about when a question word (such as cá, cad, cathain etc) is used?

Should it be:

a. Ca chuaigh tu inne?
b. Cá ndeacaigh tu inne?

Recently I saw the sentence: “Cad a rinne tu inné” but my instinct was that it should be “Cad a dhearna tu inne” because dhearna is the form used for questions.

Thanks in advance!
Eanna

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Posted: 05 June 2018 03:43 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Comhalta
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EDF - 05 June 2018 02:11 AM

Hi guys - I hope you can shed some light on the following issue I’m having.

Obviously we use the dependent interrogative form when asking straight questions.

Example:
Chuaigh me ar scoil inné.
Ar ndeacaigh tu ar scoil inné?

An ndeachaigh tú ...

Rinne mé mo obair bhaile.
An ndearna tu do obair bhaile?

m’obair bhaile,
d’obair bhaile

But what about when a question word (such as cá, cad, cathain etc) is used?

Should it be:

a. Ca chuaigh tu inne?
b. Cá ndeacaigh tu inne?

Recently I saw the sentence: “Cad a rinne tu inné” but my instinct was that it should be “Cad a dhearna tu inne” because dhearna is the form used for questions.

Thanks in advance!
Eanna

There’s no special “interrogative form” but an independent and dependent form (foirm neamhspléach agus foirm spléach)
Both occur depending on contexts, esp. depending on the word which they are following.
So both can occur in questions.


Independent forms occur in absolute position without any particle before them
Rinne sé ... = He made ...
But also following direct relative particle a
an rud a rinne sé = the thing that he made
Many wh-words require direct relative clauses:
Cad a rinne sé? What did he? (What is it which he made?)
Cé a rinne sin? Who did that? (Who is it who made it?)


Dependent forms depend on the particles before them:
question particle an/ar, used in yes-no questions
An ndearna sé ... = Did he make ...?
Ar ól tú ... = Did you drink ...?
conjunction go “that”, nach “that not”
Dúirt sé go ndearna sé ... = He said that he made ...
Dúirt sé nach ndearna sé ... = He said that he didn’t make ...
indirect relative particle a/ar
an fear a ndearna a mhac é  = the man whose son made it
an teach a ndearna sé ann é  = the house in which he made it
Cá ndearna sé é? = Where did he make it? (cá “where” is originally ca + indirect relative particle)
Cén áit a ndearna sé é? Where did he made it? (cén áit “which place” requires an indirect relative clause)

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Posted: 06 June 2018 11:40 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Comhalta
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To elaborate slightly on part of the excellent answer from Labhrás, if you’re looking to make sense of why “what” constructions use the independent and “where”/“when”/“why” questions take the dependent, it is because there is an implied (or sometimes not implied) prepositional relationship involved with the latter.  The analogy here is the difference in the English clauses like “the house which the man built” (here you could ask “what did the man build?” “he built the house” - there’s a direct object relationship between them), and those like “the house in which the man lived” (here you could ask “where did the man live?” “he lived in the house” - there’s now an indirect object relationship between them, signified by that preposition “in”).  So if you’re asking in Irish “Cá / cén áit a ndearna sé é” there is sort of an implied indirect object relationship with the place - you could think of it, in fact, like “(in) what place did he do it?”  Same with time and manner.  “when (i.e. at what time) did he do it?”, “why (i.e. for what reason) did he do it?”  Of course some of the use of the dependent is simply just .. because.  Like with “go” and “nach” and the other examples Labhrás gave.  In a sense, you simply have to know when to use it and when not.  But I find that especially with the interrogative clauses, it helps to have an understanding of why it works the way it does in those instances.

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Posted: 11 June 2018 02:32 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Comhalta
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Thank you both for your very helpful answers. Unfortunately the answers brought up a lot more questions so it took me a while ot go through them in detail. For example, I wasnt aware grammatically of the independent and dependent forms of the verbs. Working on that now!

Thanks again!

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Posted: 29 June 2018 02:52 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Comhalta
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Joined  2018-06-04

Having taken some more time to go through Irish grammar and then coming back to your answers, I found myself really able to understand them properly. Thank you so much! Invaluable!

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