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Supplemental Notes on Using the Defective Verb “IS”

Making sense of MacLaren’s Lesson 18 : Using the Defective Verb “IS”

Nota Bene :– This is my third attempt to figure this out. Hopefully, this time, I’ll make it to the end of the list without getting seriously confused (again).

I’m going to start by describing the different types of sentences possible in the simplest terms.

1) pronoun subject and definite noun object
2) noun subject and definite noun object

3) pronoun subject and indefinite noun object
4) definite or proper noun subject and indefinite noun object
5) indefinite noun subject and indefinite noun object

6) definite noun subject and adjective


I’ve arranged them in this fashion for clarity’s sake. My clarity, that is.

The first two :–
          1) pronoun subject and definite noun object
          2) noun subject and definite noun object

Each have only one form in use. One “register”, if you will. To my mind, that makes them first as … well, it’s not intrinsically confusing.

The next four are forms that can be expressed in one of two ways; one way that is commonly heard and seen and is considered “low” or common and another – a high register, formal, “Shakespearean-type” language that is very rarely heard these days. For some reason, though, it’s the second that gets all the attention and then – after the explanation, the learner is warned to not use it!

Line items 3 through 6 all use the defective verb introduce a relative clause that contains the subject of the sentence. All four use the preposition ANN.

The three line items grouped together :–
          3) pronoun subject and indefinite noun object
          4) definite or proper noun subject and indefinite noun object
          5) indefinite noun subject and indefinite noun object
… put the preposition ANN (or prepositional pronoun of ANN) in the clause proper. The preposition is used to indicate the subject of the sentence.

Something that all the everyday forms of usage of the defective verb “IS” have in common is that the verb is followed by a pronoun (or in the case of line item 6, something that approximates a pronoun, to wit, the prepositional pronoun ANN = “in it“).

Before I start, some basic ground rules :–

Is is often contracted to ‘S before a vowel, a vowel sound, and the word mise.

Bu is often contracted to B’ when followed by a vowel or vowel sound

– The second person singular is TU (not “thu”) when it directly follows any form of the defective verb IS.

Cha
          — becomes Chan before a vowel or vowel sound
          — lenites words following it which begin with b, f, m, p, c, or g

An becomes Am when followed by a word beginning with b, f, m, or p

– It would be a good idea to review the prepositional pronouns of ANN before we start. To wit :–

Singular
annam = in me
annad = in you/ thou
ann = in him
innte = her
Plural
annainn = in us
annaibh = in you
annta = in them


Without further ado … Let’s begin – with the common, often used, everyday forms.

1) pronoun subject and definite noun object
This is the simplest.
          VERB + (emphatic) pronoun SUBJECT + definite noun OBJECT

Examples :–  
  ‘S mise an dotair.
B’ esan an ciopair.
Is ise an tidsear.
Cha mhise an gille.
Cha bu tusa an tuathanach.
Chan iad na daoine.
Chan e am fear.
An iadsan na gillean?
Nach bu sibhse na h-iasgairean?
Thuirt i gur bu tusa am fear.
Thuirt e nach ise an tè.
I am the doctor.
You were the shepherd.
She is a teacher.
I was not the lad.
You were not the farmer.
They aren’t the men.
He is not the one.
Were they the lads?
Weren’t you the fishermen?
She said that you were the one.
He said that she is not the one.

2) noun subject and definite noun object
This one is also fairly simple.
          VERB + e + name SUBJECT + def noun PREDICATE

You notice that masculine pronoun stuck in there? Get used to it, you’ll be seeing it a lot.

Examples :–  
  ‘S e Calum an dotair.
B’ e Iain an ciopair.
Chan e Seumas an tuathanach.
Nach e an gillean seo na daoine?
Cha b’ e Mòrag agus Peadar na tidsearean.
An b’ e Pòl an gille?
Nach e Donnchadh an t-iasgair?
Thuirt i gum b’ e Peadar am fear.
Thuirt e nach e Sìne an tè.
Malcolm is the doctor.
John was the shepherd.
James isn’t the farmer.
Weren’t those lads the men?
Sarah and Peter weren’t the teachers.
Was Paul the lad?
Isn’t Duncan the fisherman?
She said that Peter was the one.
He said that Jane isn’t the one.

It is possible to substitute in a gender or number specific pronoun for the e, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary.
Examples :–
          Cha b’ iad Mòrag agus Peadar na tidsearan.
          Thuirt e nach i Sìne an tè.


There now, that was simple enough. Now is where it gets a … bit … complicated.

For the next three line items, the pattern is
          VERB + e + PREDICATE + a tha + form of preposition ANN + SUBJECT

That’s it. That’s all the confusion. Doesn’t look all that complicated, though, does it?
          VERB + e + PREDICATE + a tha + form of preposition ANN + SUBJECT

3) pronoun subject and indefinite noun object
Here is where you need to use the prepositional pronouns. Ready?

Examples :–  
  ‘S e dotair a th’ annam.
B’ e ciopair a th’ ann.
Chan e tuathanach a th’ annad.
Cha b’ e tidsearan a th’ annta.
Chan e daoine a th’ annainn.
An b’ e gillean a th’ annta?
Nach e iasgairean a th’ annaibh?
Nach b’ e iasgair a th’ annaibh?
Thuirt i gum b’ e fear a th’ annad.
Thuirt e nach e tè a th’ innte.
I am a doctor.
He was a shepherd.
You aren’t a farmer.
They weren’t teachers.
We aren’t men.
Were they boys?
Aren’t you fishermen?
Weren’t you a fisherman?
She said that you were one.
He said that she isn’t one.


So what happens if we toss in proper nouns?

4) proper or definite noun subject and indefinite noun object.
Here, instead of the prepositional pronouns, you use the preposition itself, which takes the form of ann an (ann am when followed by a name beginning with b, f, m, or p) and the form of anns an/ anns am/ anns a’ for definite nouns.

          Is + e + PREDICATE + a tha + {ann an/am or anns an/am/a’} + SUBJECT

Examples :–  
  ‘S e dotair a th’ ann an Calum.
B’ e chiopair a th’ ann an Iain.
Chan e tuathanach a th’ ann an Seumas.
Cha b’ e tidsearan a th’ ann Mòrag agus Peadar.
Chan e daoine a th’ anns na caileagan sin. .
An b’ e gille a th’ ann an Pòl?
Nach e iasgairean a th’ ann na gillean?
Nach b’ e iasgair a th’ anns an Donnchadh?
Thuirt i gum b’ e fear a th’ ann an Peadar.
Thuirt e nach e tè a th’ ann an Sìne.
Malcolm is a doctor.
John was a shepherd.
James isn’t a farmer.
Sarah and Peter weren’t teachers.
Those girls aren’t men
Was Paul a lad?
Weren’t the lads fishermen?
Wasn’t Duncan a fisherman?
She said that Peter was one.
He said that Jane isn’t one.

Oh cool! All you have to do is replace the prepositional pronoun of ANN with the proper form of the preposition itself and the noun. That was MUCH easier than I was expecting!


5) indefinite noun subject and indefinite noun object
Now that we’ve dealt with definite noun SUBJECTS and pronoun SUBJECTS (which are sort of definite by definition … which sounds like a tautology but isn’t), let’s look at what happens when both the subject and the object are indefinite.

Same form as with definite subject and indefinite object (except that the form ANN takes is simpler) :–
          VERB + e + PREDICATE + a tha + ann an/am + SUBJECT

Examples :–  
  ‘S e iasg a th’ ann am breac.
Cha b’ e iasg a th’ ann an iolaire.
An e cat a th’ ann an iolaire?
Nach bu cù a th’ ann am bradan?
Thuirt iad gur b’ e cat taibhse.
Thuirt i nach bu cù madadh-allaidh.
A trout is a fish.
An eagle was/ would be not a fish.
Is an eagle a cat?
Wouldn’t a salmon be a dog?
They said a ghost was a cat.
She said that a wolf isn’t a dog.


6) definite noun subject and adjective
The common usage of the defective verb “IS” to express a sentence that contains a definite noun subject and an adjective, like the other common usage forms discussed in line items 3 through 5, contains a relative clause using the verb “A BHITH” and it employs the prepositional pronoun “ANN”, meaning “in it”, but … in this instance, the prepositional pronoun follows the defective verb.

          VERB + ann + adjective PREDICATE + a tha + definite noun SUBJECT

I suppose you could think of it as “in it is {the adjective} that {the subject} is”.

Or maybe not. However you rationalize it, the pattern (once again) is :–
          VERB + ann + adjective PREDICATE + a tha + definite noun SUBJECT

Examples :–  
  B’ ann mòr a bha am bradan.
Chan ann beag a tha an t-iolaire sin.
An b’ ann mòsach a bha an cat?
Nach ann luath a tha an t-each?
Thuirt e gur ann mall a tha an cù.
Thuirt i nach b’ ann crùbach a bha a’ bhò.
The salmon was big.
That eagle isn’t small.
Was the cat furry?
Isn’t the horse fast?
He said that the dog is slow.
She said that the cow wasn’t lame.

That doesn’t really seem all that difficult to understand, so why am I having such a hard time with the defective verb?


Well, in the interests of completeness, whether I want to or not (which I don’t); here are high register forms of the defective verb “IS” – with the common forms for comparison. (And so I don’t get confused again.) (I hope.)

3- redux) pronoun subject and indefinite noun object

Examples :–
High Register Form English Common form
Is dotair mi.
Bu chiopair e.
Cha tuathananch thu.
Cha bu tidsearan iad.
Cha daoine sinn.
An bu ghillean iad?
Nach iasgairean sibh?
Nach bu iasgair sibh?
Thuirt i gum b’ fhear thu.
Thuirt e nach tè i.
I am a doctor.
He was a shepherd.
You aren’t a farmer.
They weren’t teachers.
We aren’t men.
Were they boys?
Aren’t you fishermen?
Weren’t you a fisherman?
She said that you were one.
He said that she isn’t one.
‘S e dotair a th’ annam.
B’ e ciopair a th’ ann.
Chan e tuathanach a th’ annad.
Cha b’ e tidsearan a th’ annta.
Chan e daoine a th’ annainn.
An b’ e gillean a th’ annta?
Nach e iasgairean a th’ annaibh?
Nach b’ e iasgair a th’ annaibh?
Thuirt i gum b’ e fear a th’ annad.
Thuirt e nach e tè a th’ innte.

5- redux) indefinite noun subject and indefinite noun object

Examples :–
High Register Form English Common form
Is iasg breac.
Cha b’ iasg iolaire.
An cat iolaire?
Nach bu cù bradan?
Thuirt iad gur bu cat taibhse.
Thuirt i nach cù madadh-allaidh.
A trout is a fish.
An eagle was/ would be not a fish.
Is an eagle a cat?
Wouldn’t a salmon be a dog?
They said a ghost was a cat.
She said that a wolf isn’t a dog.
‘S e iasg a th’ ann am breac.
Cha b’ e iasg a th’ ann an iolaire.
An e cat a th’ ann an iolaire?
Nach bu cù a th’ ann am bradan?
Thuirt iad gur b’ e cat taibhse.
Thuirt i nach bu cù madadh-allaidh.

6- redux) definite noun subject and adjective

Examples :–  
Bu mhòr am bradan.
Cha bheag an t-iolaire sin.
An bu mhòsach an cat?
Nach luath an t-each?
Thuirt e gur mall an cù.
Thuirt i nach bu chrùbhach a’ bhò.
The salmon was big.
That eagle isn’t small.
Was the cat furry?
Isn’t the horse fast?
He said that the dog is slow.
She said that the cow wasn’t lame.
B’ ann mòr a bha am bradan.
Chan ann beag a tha an t-iolaire sin.
An b’ ann mòsach a bha an cat?
Nach ann luath a tha an t-each?
Thuirt e gur ann mall a tha an cù.
Thuirt i nach b’ ann crùbach a bha a’ bhò.

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MacLaren’s GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SEACHD DEUG, part 3 – Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS

Lesson 17, part 3 – The Defective Verb IS

Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gu bheil mi a’ tuigsinn an gnìomhair gaoideach IS nas fheàrr a-nis. Uill, tha mi ‘n dòchas gu bheil mi a’ tuigsinn e nas fheàrr. Chan eil an dòigh nas shìmplidh a bha taisbeanta anns an leasan seo an dòigh às ceirte a chleachdadh an-diugh agus do bhrìgh sin, bidh mi a’ cur seachad ùine air thuigsinn ciamar a chleachdadh an gnìomhair gu dòigheal.
{I think I am understanding the defective verb IS better now. Well, I HOPE I’m understanding it better. The simpler way that was shown in this lesson isn’t the most correct way to use it today and for that reason I will be spending more time on understanding how to use the verb properly.}

Cleachdaidhean

166. Leugh a-mach na seantansan seo. Cuir Beurla orra agus leugh iad a-mach (anns a’ Ghàidhlig) a-rithist fhad ‘s a tha thu a’ smaoineachadh dè tha iad a’ ciallachadh. Ath-sgrìobh na seantansan (anns a’ Ghàidhlig fhathast) anns an leabhar-sgriobhaidh agad.

1. An e seo cù?
2. Seo cù.
3. An e sin cat?
4. Sin gual.
5. Nach dubh gual?
6. Is e gual.
7. Càit’ a bheil an gual?
8. Is tusa Calum.
9. An e seo Iain?
10. ‘ S e.
* 11. A bheil e na fhear? Tha.
* 11. An esan an fear? ‘S e.
12. Am mi an gille?
13. Bu mhise an gille?
14. Is e Calum an tuathanach.
15. Nach ciobair e?
16. An e saor e?
17. Is e.
18. Am fear gille?
19. Is i mo mhathair agus is e m’ athair.
20. Seo a’ chearc.
21. An eun cearc?
22. Is e.
23. Is fuar an là seo.
24. Cha bu tu an saor.
25. Nach bu cearc i?
26. Ged nach cearc e is eun e.
27. Is e seo an rìgh.
28. Is mise an rìgh.

* {N.B. concerning sentence # 166-11 :– This is an example of the use of the augmented form of the preposition ANN. I added in the second sentence as meaning the same at the first.}


167. Cuir Gàidhlig air na seantansan seo agus sgrìobh iad anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agad. Leugh a-mach na seantansan anns a’ Ghàidhlig.

1. Thoough it is a dog it is swift.
2. Is a trout a fish?
3. A bird is not a fish.
4. A hen is a bird.
5. This is a hen.
6. That is a cat.
7. Yonder is a dog.
8. It was the boy who was here.
9. Is this the boy?
10. That is John.
11. Is it not Malcolm?
12. If it was the boy who was here last night he is not lame.
13. I am the man.
14. You are not the man.
15. He was the boy.
16. Was it not the hen that he had?
17. It was not the boy who was here.
18. John is a man.
19. A trout is a fish.
20. That is the king.
21. This is the man.
22. These are the horses.
23. John is the king.
24. Is this coal?
25. Is not coal black? Continue reading

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Notaichean air an Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS

Notes on the Defective (or Assertive) Verb IS

{The following are personal notes, made as I tried to understand the implications of MacLaren’s lesson #17. Many of the examples are taken from the TAIC lesson #19.}

The verb A BHEIL denotes a qualified existence; in relation to time, place or some qualifying condition.

The defective verb IS :–
1. expresses a simple assertion, connects A to B
2. denotes simple existence; independent of any other condition

{That’s all well and good but … What does it MEAN?}


The defective verb IS is used for :–

1. Identification

Present Past
‘S mise Calum. = I am Macolm Bu mhi Calum. = I was Malcolm.
‘S ise mo phiuthar. = She is my sister. B’ ise mo phiuthar. = She was my sister.
‘S esan am fear. = He is the man. B’ esan am fear sin. = He was the man.
An e do chù? = Is it your dog? Am b’ e do chù? = Was it your dog?
{‘S e} Sin mo thaigh. = This is my house. B’ e sin mo thaigh. = This was my house.

2. Classification

Present Past
Is iasg breac. = A trout is a fish.
Chan iasg iolaire. = An eagle is not a fish.
* Is saor am fear. = The man is a carpenter/joiner. Bu shaor am fear. = The man was a carpenter/ joiner.
* Is banaltram am boireannach seo. = This woman is a nurse. Bu bhanaltram tè seo. = This one (female person) was a nurse.

* Personal attributes and professions are more commonly expressed idiomatically using the preposition ann with the assertive verb. {Nota Bene :– Such information can also be expressed using “A BHEIL” with the augmented form of the preposition “ANN” but I’m not going into that at this time.}
‘S e saor a tha anns an fhear. = The man is a carpenter/ joiner.
‘S e banaltram a tha anns a’ bhoireannach seo. = This woman is a nurse.

In this idiom, the past tense is expressed using the verb A BHITH in the clause.
‘S e saor a bha anns an fhear. = The man was a carpenter/joiner.
‘S e banaltram a bha anns a’ bhoireannach seo. = This woman was a nurse.

PREPOSITIONAL PRONOUNS of ANN
Singular Plural
annam annainn
annad annaibh
ann
innte
annta


3. Emphasis
Is brèagha an là. = It’s a beautiful day.
Is mòr am balach e. = The boy is big.
Is furasta a’ cheist sin. = That question is easy.

When it’s an adverbial or adjectival clause being emphasised, the clause is introduced by the particle ANN rather than a pronoun. Notice that the assertive verb IS is used in the present tense in each case; the tense of the statement is indicated by the verb A BHITH in the clause and NOT by the assertive verb.
‘S ann fon bhòrd a bha am ball. = It’s under the table that the ball was.
‘S ann a-nochd a chì mi thu. = It’s tonight that I will see you.
‘S ann ormsa a tha an cnatan. = I have a cold. {N.B. – This is an idiomatic use of the verb.}

4. Idioms
The defective verb IS is also used in various idiomatic usages which will be covered in later lessons.


EXAMPLES of USE

The following sentences deal with Classification. They are clear examples of A = B, and nothing more.
Is e cù. = It is a dog.
{Is e} Seo cù. = This is a dog.
An e seo cù? ‘S e. = Is this a dog? Yes.
An e sin cat? Chan e. Sin each. = Is that a cat? No. That’s a horse.

Compare the sentences above with the ones below. Where the ones above deal with basic A = B identification of the subject, these below say something about the subject.
Tha an cù leis a’ ghille. = The dog is with the lad.
A bheil cù aig an doras? Tha. = Is (there) a dog at the door? Yes.
An robh cat fon bhòrd? = Was a cat under the table?
Tha an t-each air a’ mhonadh. = The horse is on the moor.
Tha saighdear aig an doras. = There is a soldier at the door.

Further examples of using “IS” to identify and/or classify.
Is saighdear e. = He is a soldier.
Is rùnaire e dhan chompanaidh sin. = He is a secretary of that company.
‘S esan an rùnaire. = He is the secretary.
Tha e ag ràdh gur Sgiathanach e. = He says that he is from Skye.
Is i mo phiuthar an seinneadair aig a’ chèilidh a-nochd. = My sister is the singer a the ceilidh tonight.
Is seòladair air an luing sin mi. = I am a sailor on that ship.
‘S esan Calum mo bhràthair. = He is my brother, Malcolm.
Tha iad ag ràdh gur iolaire an t-eun. = They say that the bird is an eagle.
Is dotair mo bhràthair. = My brother is a doctor.
Is seinneadair math i. = She is a good singer.


These sentences EMPHASIZE the attribute.
Comparison of statements, A BHEIL vs. IS
Tha a’ chaileag bòidheach. = The lass is lovely. ‘S bòidheach a’ chaileag. = The lass is lovely!
Bha sinn sgìth. = We were tired. Bu sgìth sinn. = We were tired!
Tha brèagha an-diugh, nach eil? = Today is lovely, isn’t it? Nach là brèagha an-diugh? = Isn’t it a lovely day today?
Tha sinn ag smaointinn gu bheil e eireachdail. = We think that he is handsome. Tha sinn ag smaointinn gur eireachdail e. = We think he is dreamy!

Further examples of the use of the verb IS for emphasis.
Is neo-chionntach den eucoir e. = He is innocent of the crime! (Also ‘S ann neo-chionntach den eucoir a tha e.)
Bu fhiadhaich an cù sin. = That dog was ferocious! (Also ‘S ann fiachaich a bha an cù sin.)
Bu shona sinn. = They were happy. (Also ‘S ann sona a bha sinn.)
Tha sinn ag smaointinn gur ann eireachdail a tha e. = We think he’s dreamy!
‘S ann an-diugh a bha mi anns a’ bhaile. = It’s today that I was in town!
An ann anns an abhainn a bha thu a’ snàmh? = Was it in the river that you were swimming?
Chan ann. ‘S ann anns a’ mhuir a bha mi. = No. I was in the sea.
Nach ann tric a bha thu tinn nuair a bha thu òg? ‘S ann. = Weren’t you often sick when you were young? Yes.


These sentences are examples of classifications using the idiom of the relative clause “A BHEIL” + “ANN” with the defective verb “IS”.
‘S e rùnaire a th’ ann. = He is a secretary.
Tha mi a’ creidsinn gur e Uibhisteach a tha ann. = I believe that he is from Uist.
‘S e seòladair air an luing sin a th’ annam. = I am a sailor on that ship.
Tha iad ag ràdh gur e iolaire a tha anns an eun. = They say that the bird is an eagle.
‘S e dotair a tha nam bhràthair. = My brother is a doctor. (nam is the possessive pronoun of ann + mo)
Is e ministear a tha innte. = She is a minister.
‘S e seinneadair math a th’ innte. = She is a good singer.
{Nota Bene :– The masculine pronoun is used to introduce these two statements because it refers to the masculine nouns
ministear and seinneadair}. Continue reading

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MacLaren’s GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SEACHD DEUG, part 2 – Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS

GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SEACHD DEUG – Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS
(Lesson 17 – The Defective Verb IS)

IMPORTANT NOTICE – I strongly recommend that you review TAIC lesson #19 on the Assertive Verb IS before embarking on MacLaren’s Lesson #17.



Part 2
Leugh na mìneachaidhean gràmair a tha anns na roinnean 157 gu 164. Ath-sgrìobh na abairtean air a tha loidhn fodha anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Read the grammar explanations in sections 157 through 164. Copy the passages that are underlined into your notebook.}

FAR am FEUDAR dhan GNÌOMHAR IS CLEACHDTE
Where the verb IS must be used

157. The verb IS is used when both subject and predicate are definite ; when in the English sentence the verb “to be” is followed by a definite noun, i.e. (a) proper noun ; (b) a common noun with a definite article ; (c) a common noun with a possessive pronoun ; (d) or by a pronoun predicate.

(a) a proper noun => Is e Seumas.It is (he) James.
(b) a common noun with a definite article => Is tusa an rìgh.You are the king.
(c) a common noun with a possessive pronoun => Is tusa mo mhathair.You are my mother. {N.B. – A Lucais, is mise d’ athair. (faite-gàire)}
(d) by a pronoun predicate => Is mise e. Is e seo.I am he. It is this.


158. The rule is :– The verb tha cannot predicate a definite noun or its equivalent. We can say (1) Tha e na rìgh for “He is a king” {lit. “He is in his king” using the augmented preposition of ann covered in section 201} ; but we CANNOT say (2) Tha e an rìgh for “He is THE king.” The second statement expresses an absolute and definite identity, an assertion which can only be expresses by IS.

159. Note another rule :– The verb IS cannot be followed immediately by either a definite or a proper noun. Usage has determined that in addition to pronouns, only indefinite expressions such as adjectives and indefinite nouns should follow after IS.

160. In these last examples we have a personal pronoun as the subject. if we have a definite pronoun or its equivalent as subject, it will be a double subject, as it requires a corresponding personal pronoun to follow IS. “Malcolm is the king” become Is e Calum an rìgh. Observe the introduction of the pronoun in accordance with rule noticed in preceding paragraph.

Is e Iain am fear (fer). = John is the man.
Is e Inbhirnis an t-àite. = Inverness is the place.
Is i seo a’ bhean (ven). = This is the woman.
Is e Dia mo bhuachaill. = God is my shepherd.

Observe the phenomenon of the double pronoun here which is an exact application of the preceding rule.
Is iad na fir (fyr) seo iad. = These men are they.
(Is e) Seo e. = This is he. {N.B. – Modern practice – when using demonstrative pronouns seo, sin, siud, the initial Is e is considered optional.} (roinn 161)
Is (e) duine math e. = He is a good man.
Is e baile an rìgh mhòir e. = It is the city of the great king.


161. Notice that in these expressions the pronouns following IS are not in the emphatic form. These pronouns are merely temporary subjects, and the emphasis caused by IS is carried on the words following is e, is i, or is iad. The verb IS is always in a state of dependence or decay and has a tendency to become contracted or to vanish altogether; hence we find occasionally Seo taigh Sheumais instead of Is e seo taigh Sheumais (roinn 464).

NOTA BENE : —
{With regard to this tendency of IS to contraction – both modern and older practice is to contract IS to ‘S (that’s “apostrophe S”) when it precedes a vowel or vowel sound, as such :–

Is e => ‘S e(it is he)
Is i => ‘S i(it is she)
Is iad = ‘S iad(it is they)
Is ann = ‘S ann(it is – used to introduce adverbial & adjectival clauses)
‘S ann fon bhòrd a bha an cù.(It’s under the table that the cat was. The emphasis is the location – under the table.)
Is fheàrr leam => ‘S fheàrr leam(I prefer) (pronounced “shar lem”)

Another place where IS is often contracted to ‘S is before the emphatic pronouns mise and tusa (only rarely have I observed it contracted with the non-emphatic form of these pronouns) :–
Is mise => ‘S mise(It is I) (pronounced smeesha)
‘S tusa saor a bha ann.(You were a carpenter. It’s you a carpenter that was.)


162. We must use IS when both subject and predicate are indefinite nouns, either of which may have an adjective attached. These sentences generally signify species or class. Note that in these sentences the rule is to place an indefinite predicate immediately after the verb, so that we may term them “inverted sentences.” A few examples will explain. In saying that “a hen is a bird,” we mean that it is of the bird species or class.
Is iasg breac. = A trout is a fish.
Chan iasg cearc. = A chicken is not a fish.
an eun cearc? = Is a chicken a bird?
Is saor e. = He is a joiner/carpenter.
An gille fear? = Is a man a boy?
Is duine mise. = I am a man.
Is la fuar e seo. = This is a cold day.

*** 163. Generally we use IS when an assertion is made which admits to no idea of doubt (or condition as to locality), orwhen in case of contrast one is selected before others. ***
Hence IS is used to point out the comparative and superlative of adjectives, because contrast is pointed out with certainty.

164. What has been said of IS applies of course to its past tense BU. A similar remark may be made of tha and bha.

165. Faclan
ainmearan boireannta – (feminine nouns)
cearc (kyark) = chicken
mathair (ma-ur) = mother

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
Calum (callum) = Malcolm
Iain (eeun) = John

athair (a-ur) = father
cat (kaht) = cat
eun an = bird
gual gooul = coal
rìgh (ree) = king
saor (sor) = joiner, carpenter

buadhairean – {adjectives}
dubh (dtooh) = black
mo – my ; m’ when preceding a vowel



Tha mi ag obair air notaichean tuilleadh. Cuiridh mi na cleachdaidhean airson an leasan seo suas an dèidh dhomh sin a thoirt gu buil.
{I am working on additional notes. I will put up the exercises for this lesson after I have completed that.} Continue reading

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MacLaren’s GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SEACHD DEUG – Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS


IMPORTANT NOTICE – I strongly recommend that you review TAIC lesson #19 on the Assertive Verb IS before embarking on this lesson (MacLaren’s Lesson #17 : The Defective Verb IS).


Aithris-àichidh (Disclaimer) :–
Tha an leasan seo (agus leasanan sam bith a leanas) às an leabhar Gaelic Self-Taught le Alexander MacLaran (1923). Tha na mìneachaidhean gràmair agus na obair-lesanan agus na cuidichean fuaimneachaidh às an leabhar gu buileach. Tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh na òrduighean a bha anns a’ Ghàidhlig.
This lesson (and any lessons that follow) are from the book Gaelic Self-Taught by Alexander MacLaran (1923). The grammar explanations, the work-exercises and the pronunciation tips are entirely from the book. I am writing the instructions in Gaelic.

GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SEACHD DEUG – Gnìomhair Gaoideach IS
(Lesson 17 – The Defective Verb IS)

Leugh na mìneachaidhean gràmair a tha anns na roinnean 151 gu 154. Ath-sgrìobh na abairtean air a tha an loidhne fodha anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Read the grammar explanations in sections 151 through 154. Copy the passages that are underlined into your notebook.}

151. You have already been introduced to the verbs tha and bheil. We have a third verb which is also used to translate into Gaelic the English verb “am, art, is, are.”

152. This verb is IS, pronounced like “iss” in the English word “hiss”. It serves to express a simple assertion, to connect an attribute with its subject, to predicate one thing of another, as :– Is mise an treòraiche. = I am the guide.

An treòraiche here is the attribute of mise, or is predicated of mise by the verb is. Tha denotes a qualified existence; i.e., in relation to time, place, or some qualifying condition. Is denotes simple existence without reference to anything else whatsoever.

Examples of both verbs are given in the following sentence, which the student would do well to analyse – Is mise a tha ann. It is I who am there – in a certain place – here.

153. The verb is is generally used impersonally. In such cases a neuter pronoun subject is contained in the verb, so that the noun or pronoun that followsit is not a subject but a predicate ; when the later is a definite or proper noun it will be a double predicate. Thus : Is mise, It is I; Is tusa, It is thou; Is e Seumas It is (he) James. Being an emphatic and assertive verb, the emphatic pronouns are generally used (mise, tusa).

154. This is a defective verb, having only a present tense, is and a past tense bu. But they enter into many combinations and idiomatic clauses along with a noun and preposition, verbs and adverbs, as :–
Is urrainn do = can, able
Is lèir do = see {N.B. – traditional now, replaced by faicsinneach, follaiseach, soilleir}
Is còir do = ought {N.B. – generally used in past tense bu chòir do}
Is tu bhios sona = ’tis you who will be happy
Is gorma dh’ fhàs e = green did it grown.


Ath-sgrìobh an clàr a tha anns roinn 158 anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.

154. There is no dependent form in either the present or the past tense. In the present tense, after the particles, the verb is is omitted and only the particles remain, but the idea is as distinctly conveyed as if the verb had been expressed : as, cha mhi it is not I.

Present Tense Past Tense
is it is bu it was
is mi it is I or I am bu mhi It was I or I was
is tu it is thou/you bu tu It was thou/you
is e/i It is he/she, it b’ e/ b’ i It was he/she, it
* * * * * *
an ? is it ? am bu ? was it ?
am mi? is it I? am bu mhi? was it I?
an tu? is it you? am bu tu? was it you?
cha it is not cha bu it was not
cha mhi it is not I cha bu mhi it was not I
cha tu it is not you cha bu tu it was not you
chan e/i it is not he/she, it cha b’e/ b’i it was not he/she, it
nach ? is it not ? nach bu ? was it not ?
* * * * * *
ma’s if it is na’m bu if it was
mur if it is not mur bu if it was not
ged a’s though it is ged bu though it was
ged nach though it is not ged nach bu though it was not
gur that it is gu’m bu that it was
nach that it is not nach bu that is was not

156. In the past tense bu causes aspiration of words immediately following :– bu mhi, it was I; bu mhòr am bonnach, the cake was large; but words beginning with d or t are not aspirated — bu tu, it was thou; bu dalma ’twas impertinent. Bu loses its vowel when followedby a vowel — b’ e, it was he; b’ iad, it was they; b’ urrainn domh, I could.


a’ chrìoch de roinn a h-aon dhan leasan 17 Continue reading

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GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a SIA DEUG – Am Mìrean ANN

(Lesson 16 – The Particle ANN

Aithris-àichidh (Disclaimer) :–
Tha an leasan seo (agus leasanan sam bith a leanas) às an leabhar Gaelic Self-Taught le Alexander MacLaran (1923). Tha na mìneachaidhean gràmair agus na obair-lesanan agus na cuidichean fuaimneachaidh às an leabhar gu buileach. Tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh na òrduighean a bha anns a’ Ghàidhlig.
This lesson (and any lessons that follow) are from the book Gaelic Self-Taught by Alexander MacLaran (1923). The grammar explanations, the work-exercises and the pronunciation tips are entirely from the book. I am writing the instructions in Gaelic.


Leugh na mìneachaidhean gràmair a tha anns na roinnean 142 gu 147. Ath-sgrìobh na abairtean air a bha an loidhne fodha anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Read the explanations in sections 142 through 147. Copy the passages that are underlined into your notebook.}

142.
The verb a bhith with the particle ann is used to denote existence, the particle ann generally coming last in the phrase, or forming the chief portion of the predicate. In this position it is adverbial, and is equal to the English locative adverb “there”. The verb a bhith denotes existence connected with locality ; ann serves to strengthen it in that meaning.

143.
This combination of a bhith and ann is always used in this sense to express the phenomena of nature. This in the sentence – “The showers were heavy,” something is stated about the showers, but their existence is not questioned, so in Gaelic this is simple bha na frasan trom, but if the sentence ran “there were heavy showers,” it is simply a statement that they existed, and the sentence would be bha frasan troma ann.
Tha aran air a’ bhòrd. = There is bread on the table.
A bheil aran ann? = Is there bread?
Chan eil ìm ann. = There’s no butter.
Tha fuachd ann an-diugh. = It is cold today. (There is coldness today.)
Tha e fuar an-diugh. = It is cold today.
Nach bithinn ann nas mò. = That I should not be (in existence there) any more.
Dè tha ann? = What is it? (What is that there (in existence)? or What is that there that exists?)
Tha abhainn ann. = There is a river. (A river is there)
A bheil thu ann, Iain? = Are you there, John?
Is e duine math a tha ann. = He is a good man. (It is a good man that is there.) {N.B. – This construction is used with the copula verb IS which will be covered in the next lesson.
Here are some other examples of the use of
ann with the copula verb}
An tu a tha ann? = Is that you there? Is that you?
Dè a tha ann? = What is it?
Cò a tha ann? = Who is it?

144.
In all these phrases ann agrees in meaning with the English adverb “there,” in such phrases as “there are,” “there was,” “there exists,” &c., in which the adverb originally signified location “in that place,” but now also expresses mere existence. It is not difficult to account for this transition. To be able to say that a thing is in a certain place is to give an emphatic assurance that it exists ; and hence the localising statement has become the statement of existence. Instead of sayin “a road is” or “exists,” we say “there is a road.” In English “there” in this sense always precedes the verb, but in Gaelic the verb always precedes the adverbial particle ann.

145.
Ann as a preposition governs the dative case of nouns and means “rest in.”
ann an taigh = in a house
anns a’ bhaile = in the town

146.
Ann after a verb of motion means “motion in” and “into”, and governs the dative case.
Cuir uisge anns an t-soitheach. = Put water into the dish.
Cuir an t-airgead anns an sporan. = Put the money into the purse.
Tha an t-iasg a’ snàmh anns an uisge. = The fish is swimming in the water.
Chaidh eann an laigse. = He went into a faint. or He fainted.

147.
Ann as a prepositional (augmented) pronoun, meaning “in it,” “in him” ( which will be covered in section 201).
Chan eil ann ach Sasannach. = He is but an Englishman. (there is not in him but an Englishman)


Ath-sgrìobh na faclan seo anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. Thoir an aire gnè nan ainmearan. {Copy these words into your notebook. Note the gender of the noun.}

148. Faclan
ainmearan boireannta – (feminine nouns)
abhainn (avynn) = river
fras = shower; frasan = showers

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
aran = bread
bòrd (bawrd) = table
iasg (eeusk) = fish {an t-iasg = the fish}
ìm (eem) = butter
uisge (ookskeh) = water
{an t-uisge = the rain} {N.B. – The article is usually included when using uisge to mean rain, but not always}

gnìomhairean – {verbs}
chaidh (khigh) = went
cuir (koor) = put


Cleachdaidhean
Sgrìobh na seantansan a tha anns an roinnean 149 agus 150 anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat anns a’ Ghàidhlig. Leugh iad a-mach anns a’ Ghàidhlig fhads a thoirt an aire gus an mìneachadh anns a’ Bheurla.
{Write the sentences in sections 149 and 150 in your notebook in Gaelic. Read them aloud in Gaelic while paying attention to the English meaning.}

149. Read in Gaelic and translate into English :–
1. A bheil aran ann?
2. Tha uisge ann a-nis.
3. A bheil thu ann?
4. Tha uisge ann an-diugh.
5. Tha am breac anns a’ mhuir.
6. Tha abhainn ann.
7. Cuir an t-iasg anns an abhainn.
8. Tha an gille anns a’ bhaile.
9. Chaidh e do’n bhaile.
10. Tha mi anns a’ bhàta.
11. Nach e an t-uisge a bhios ann?
12. Bidh uisge ann.
13. Tha là math ann.
14. Tha oidhche fhliuch ann.
15. Bha e ann.

150. Translate into Gaelic.
1. There is a boat on the river.
2. There is a man in the boat.
3. The man had bread and butter on the table.
4. There is bread on the table, but there is no butter.
5. There are fish in the river.
6. There was rain last night.
7. It was cold and wet yesterday.
8. The showers were heavy last night.
9. It rains now.
10. If we had bread we would not be hungry.
11. Are you there?
12. Is that you? (lit. – Is it you that is there?) {N.B. – use the copula verb “An tu”}
13. It will rain tomorrow.
14. It is wet tonight.
15. There is rain now. Continue reading

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GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a CÒIG DEUG – Gnàthan-cainnt cleachdadh “BI” còmhla ri “AIR”

(Lesson 15 – Idioms using “BI” with “AIR”)

Aithris-àichidh (Disclaimer) :–
Tha an leasan seo (agus leasanan sam bith a leanas) às an leabhar Gaelic Self-Taught le Alexander MacLaran (1923). Tha na mìneachaidhean gràmair agus na obair-lesanan agus na cuidichean fuaimneachaidh às an leabhar gu buileach. Tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh na òrduighean a bha anns a’ Ghàidhlig.
This lesson (and any lessons that follow) are from the book Gaelic Self-Taught by Alexander MacLaran (1923). The grammar explanations, the work-exercises and the pronunciation tips are entirely from the book. I am writing the instructions in Gaelic.


Leugh na mìneachaidhean a tha anns na roinnean 134 gu 137. Ath-sgrìobh na abairtean air a bha an loidhne fodha anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Read the explanations in sections 127 through 131. Copy the passages that are underlined into your notebook.}

134. The use of the verb bi with the preposition air “on,” and the prepositional pronouns formed from it is also the cause of several peculiar idiomatic forms of expression.

135. The things which we keep as near as we can; they are the things that are “at us” ; but there are things that come “to us” not by any act of ours, but against our will ; they are visitations, they come “to us” from without and probably from the Unseen. In Gaelic idiom these involuntary visitations are said to be “on us.” Hunger, thirst, sickness, sadness, fear, joy, death, in fact, any state, quality, feelings or sufferings that affect the body, mind or soul, are express in Gaelic as being a burden laid upon the individual or sufferer.
{Nota Bene: The preposition AIR is used to express any state, quality, feelings or sufferings that affect the body, mind or soul. These are considered burdens laid on one.}


136. Thus “I am thirsty” becomes in this idiom “thirst is on me” ; “are you angry?” becomes “is anger on you?” &c *
Dè a tha ort? = What ails thee? What’s wrong? What’s the matter with you? {lit. – what is it that’s on you?}
Tha bròn mòr oirnn. = We are very sorrowful. {lit. – great sorrow is on us}
Tha am fiabhras air. = He has a fever. {lit. – the fever is on him.}
Tha eagal oirre. = She is afraid. {lit. – fear is on her.}
tha an t-acras air. = He’s hungry. {lit. – the hunger is on him.}
Bha iongantas air an duine. = The man was surprised. {lit. – astonishment was on the man.}
Na biodh eagal ort. = Be not afraid. {lit. – let not fear be on thee.}
* * * * *
* bun-nòta : It is because Gaelic has no primary adjectives for a number of these terms that the nouns are used in this idiom. Where primary adjectives are available they are used, mar eisimpleir Tha mi tinn for I am sick.

137. The same idiom applied to money betokens debt. The fact that “I owe John money” or that “I am under any obligation to pay money to John” is expressed by saying “John has money on me,” the preposition air being used before the name of the debtor, and the act of “having” being expressed by tha and aig as in the previous lesson. “I own John a hundred pounds” is translated according to idiom, “John has a hundred pounds on me,” tha ceud notaichean* aig Iain orm. (lit. – there is a hundred pounds at (of) John on me).
Tha deich sgillinn agam air an fhear sin. That man owes me ten pence. (lit. – I have ten pence on that man.)

Oddly enough, love (gràdh, gaol) uses the same idiomatic construction of tha aig and air.
Tha gràdh agam ort-sa. = I love thee/ you. {lit. – love is at me on you.}
Bha gaol aig Romeo air Juliet. = Romeo loved Juliet.

Another example of this use of A BHITH, AIG, and AIR is one we learned last lesson involving aithne “know (by sight)”.
Chan eil aithne air. = I’m not familiar with it. I have no knowledge of it.
Bha aithne aige oirre. = He knew her.
* * * * *
* bun-nòta 2 : Formerly, the expression for pound-note or pound sterling was written punnd Sasanach and even now the word punnd might be used for the monetary unit, but now the word nota is far more common.


Ath-sgrìobh an clàr seo anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Copy this table into your notebook.}

138. The following are the prepositional pronouns formed from air :–
air + mi => orm (or-um) = on me
air + thu => ort (orsht) = on thee/you
air + e => air (ar) = on him
air + i => oirre (orru) = on her

air + sinn => oirnn (orynn) = on us
air + sibh => oirbh (or-yv) = on you
air + them => orra (orreh) = on them


139. Faclan
ainmearan boireannta – (feminine nouns)
adharcan/adhaircean (oyarkun) (plural) = horns
cluas (kloous) = ear
nota = pound (money)
slat (sllaht) = rod
uair (oor) = time, hour

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
arbhar (arrar) = corn
breac (bprachk) = trout
damh (dav) = stag
lìon (leen) = net
punnd (poont) = pound (weight and money)
sporan = purse
uaireadair (oo-ar-utur) = watch (timepiece)

{Tha na ainmearan fodha air na cleachdadh anns an gnàth-cainnt leis air. The nouns below are used in the idiom with air}
an t-acras = (the) hunger
bron = sorrow
eagal = fear; {also appears as an t-eagal}
am fiabhras = fever
gaol = love {romantic}
gràdh = love, affection {not necessarily romantic love}
iongantas = astonishment, amazement

gnìomhairean – {verbs}
fhuair (hoour) = got
an d’fhuair … ? (an doour) = did … get?
ag iasgach (ak yuskuch) = fishing

co-gnìomhairean – (adverbs)
gu tràth (kootra) = soon, anon
a dh’aithghearr (a gah-year) = soon, shortly

roimhearan agus abairtean roimhearaichte – {prepositions and prepositional phrases}
air na h-eildean (ar un haldjen) = on the hinds

riochdairean ceisteach – interrogative pronouns
djay = what?


{Nota Bene: In common with most of the interrogative pronouns, dè? takes the relative forms of the verb. To wit …}
Dè a tha …? = What is …?
Dè a bha …? = What was …?
Dè a bhiodh …? = What would be …?
Dè a bhios …? = What will be …?

Dè nach eil …? = What isn’t …?
Dè nach robh …? = What wasn’t …?
Dè nach biodh …? = What wouldn’t be …?
Dè nach bi … ? = What won’t be … ?

{When asking about something in specific, the object is place between the interrogative pronoun and the relative pronoun introducing the verb.}
Dè an uair a tha e? = What time is it?
Dè a’ Ghàidhlig a tha agat air “Merry Christmas”? = What do you say in Gaelic for “Merry Christmas”?
Dè an t-ainm a tha ort? = What’s your name?


Cleachdaidhean
140. Leugh na seantansan a-mach anns a’ Ghàidhlig agus sgrìobh iad anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agad. Cuir Beurla air na seantansan. Leugh iad a-mach anns a’ Ghàidhligh a-rithist fhad ‘s a’ smaoineachadh dè a tha iad a’ ciallachadh.
{Read the sentences aloud in Gaelic and write them into your notebook. Translate the sentences into English. Read them aloud in Gaelic again while thinking about what they mean.}

1. Bha an t-acras air an duine.
2. Bha adharcan air an damh.
3. Chan eil adharcan air na h-eildean.
4. Tha nota aig a’ chaileig.
5. Tha cluas air a’ chat.
6. Mur eil fios aig an tuathanach gu’m bheil na caoraich anns an arbhar, bidh fios aige a dh’aithghearr.
7. Càit’ an robh sibh an-dè?
8. Bidh mi anns a’ bhaile a dh’aithghearr.
9. Bha bròn mòr ort.
10. Dè a tha air?
11. Tha eagal orra.
12. An robh sibh aig iasgach air an loch an-dè? Bha.
13. An d’fhuair thu breac?
14. Bha bròn mòr air an duine.
15. A bheil fios agaibh dè ‘n uair a tha e?
16. Chan eil uaireadair agam.


141. Cuir Gàidhlig air na seantansan a leanas. Leugh iad a-mach (anns a’ Ghàidhlig). Sgrìobh na seantansan ùra anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.
{Translate the following sentences into Gaelic. Read them aloud (in Gaelic). Write the new sentences in your notebook.}

1. That horse is lame.
2. Did the man not know that his horse was lame?
3. He did not know.
4. James has a purse.
5. We had a rod and a net when we were fishing.
6. I did not know that the sheep were in the corn.
7. Was it not very warm when you were in town? It was.
8. Are you going fishing today? Yes. {i.e. – Will you be fishing today?}
9. I do not know if he has a watch.
10. Have you not a watch?
11. James has a watch now.
12. Was the boy not hungry?
13. He was not hungry but he was very tired.
14. The man was very astonished. Continue reading

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GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a CEITHIR DEUG – na Gnathan-cainnt airson gnìomhar Beurla “to know”

(Lesson 14 – Idioms for the English verb ” TO KNOW”)

Aithris-àichidh (Disclaimer) :–
Tha an leasan seo (agus leasanan sam bith a leanas) às an leabhar Gaelic Self-Taught le Alexander MacLaran (1923). Tha na mìneachaidhean gràmair agus na obair-lesanan agus na cuidichean fuaimneachaidh às an leabhar gu buileach. Tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh na òrduighean a bha anns a’ Ghàidhlig.
This lesson (and any lessons that follow) are from the book Gaelic Self-Taught by Alexander MacLaran (1923). The grammar explanations, the work-exercises and the pronunciation tips are entirely from the book. I am writing the instructions in Gaelic.


Leugh na mìneachaidhean a tha anns na roinnean 127 gu 131. Ath-sgrìobh na arbairtean air a bha an loidhne fodha anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. {Read the explanations in sections 127 through 131. Copy the passages that are underlined into your notebook.}

GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a CEITHIR DEUG – na Gnathan-cainnt : A BHITH FIOS AIG, AITHNE, agus EOLACH

127.
The English verb “know,” is translated by the Gaelic noun fios “knowledge,” and is used in the idiomatic form illustrated in the preceding lesson. Tha fios aig (ha feess ak) “to have knowledge” {knowledge is at}.

128.
We use fios when the verb “know” means to “recollect,” “be aware of,” “be sensible of,” or when we ask or give information or intelligence, &c. It is always used when “know” is followed by “who, what, where” or any other dependent clause.
Ath-sgrìobh na eisimpleirean seo
Tha fios agad na thuirt e. * = You know what he said
Tha fios agad dè thuirt e. agus Tha fios agad gu dè thuirt e! ** = You know what he said.
Tha fios agam far an robh e. = I know where he was.
Tha fios agad càit’ an robh e. = You know where (in what place) he was.
Tha fios aice cò tha aig an doras. = She knows who is at the door.
A bheil fios agad ma tha bàta aige? = do you know if he has a boat?
Chan eil fios agam. = I don’t know.
Mur an robh fios aige far an robh am bàta, ciamar a bha fios aige an robh i agaibh? = Unless he knowswhere the boat was, how does he know you had it (her)?
Cuin a fhuair thu fios? = When did you know? When did you get the information?
Bheir mi fios. = I’ll inform (give notice)
Is beag fios dhomh-sa = Little do I know.

{Nota Bene: FIOS is a noun, masculine in gender. As a noun, it it considered possible to have it, Tha fios aig or to carry it Bheir mi fios. The last example given used the copula verb IS which will be discussed in Lesson 17.
I consider it worth repeating that
fios is always used when “know” is followed by “who, what, where” or any other dependent clause.}

Notes on the translations above
* {nais an interrogative particle used to introduce a relative clause (TAIC Lesson 21) and can be interpreted as “what” or “all that”}
** {
gu dèis an traditional form of the interrogative – what” now used for emphatic impact.


129.
In the same construction aithne is the “knowledge” by which we “recognise” or “acknowledge acquaintance,” “to know by sight” a person, place or thing, &c.
An aithne dhuit an leabhar seo? = Do you know this book (by sight)? Have you heard of this book?
Chan eil aithne agam air. = I have no knowledge of it.
Tha aithne agam air. = I know it. (lit. = There is knowledge at me on it/ of it}
An aithne dhuit Domhnull? = Do you know Donald?
Is aithne dhomh Domhnull. = I know Donald (by sight).

{Nota Bene: AITHNE is a noun, feminine in gender, and means something like recognition. Because aithne is a noun, it is considered a thing that one can have (tha aithne aig). The other examples of aithne employ the copula verb IS which will be discussed in Lesson 17.}


130.
When “to know” means to be well versed in the subject or well acquainted with it – to know a fact; that a thing is ; to know by heart; we use eòlach (yolach).
A bheil thu eòlach air an leabhar seo? = Do you know (all about) this book?
A bheil tha fada eòlach air Domhnull? = Do you know Donald well? Are you long acquainted with Donald?
Tha mi fada eòlach air Domhnull. = I know Donald well. I am long acquainted with Donald.
An robh thu eòlcach air an tìr bhur n-eòlais? = Did you know him in your own country? (lit. = Were you acquainted with him in the country you {both} know best)
Tha e na dhuine eòlach. = He is a man well acquainted. He is an intelligent man.

{Nota Bene: EÒLACH is an adjective meaning “knowledgeable” so the literal gloss of A bheil thu eòlach air …? would be “Are you knowlegeable on …?”. Tha mi eòlach air … would be “I am knowledgeable on …”}


Ath-sgrìobh na faclan anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.

131. Faclan
ainmearan boireannta – (feminine nouns)
aithne – recognition, acquaintance
sgillinnean (skilleen-nin) – pl of sgillinn penny, cent (shilling) {used in singular with numerals requiring plural nouns}
tastain (ttasttan) – pl of tastan – old currency replaced by sgillinn

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
fios (feess) = knowledge, awareness

buadhairean – {adjectives}
còig (ko-yk) = five
eòlach (yolach) = knowledgeable
fada (fata) = long (in time and space)
toilichte (tolychtcheh) = pleased
glè thoilichte (klay holychtcheh) = very pleased

gnìomhairean – {verbs}
a bhith fios aig = to know (with clause)
a bhith aithne aig = to know, be aware of, able to recognise, (with prep. air)
eòlach air = knowledgeable of (know completely)

co-gnìomhairean – (adverbs)
an uiridh (an oor-y) = last year
gu cinnteach (goo keeun-tchach) = certainly

naisgearan – {conjunctions}
far = where {non-interrogative context}

roimhearan – {prepositions agus abairtean roimhearaichte}
dhomh, dhuit (gov, gootch) = to me, to you

abairtean ceisteach – (interrogatives)
Cò aig a bheil …? (ko ak a val) = who has … ?
Cò aig an robh … ? (ko ak an ro) = who had … ?


Cleachdaidhean
Leugh na seantansan a tha anns an roinn 132 a-mach anns a’ Ghàidhlig. Ath-sgrìobh iad anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat agus chuir Beurla orra (na sgrìobh iad anns a’ Bheurla ge-tà). Leugh na seantansan a-mach a-rithist anns a’ Ghàidhlig fhad ‘s a saoil dè a tha iad a’ ciallachadh.
{Read the sentences in section 132 out loud in Gaelic. Copy them into your notebook and translate them into English (do not write them in English, though). Read the sentences outload again in Gaelic while thinking of what they are meaning.}

132.
1. An aithne dhuit Seamus?
2. Chan eil aithne agam air.
3. Tha an t-each aig an tuathanach.
4. Cò aig a bheil an t-airgead?
5. Tha e aig an duine.
6. Cò aig an robh am bàta?
7. Bha i aig an iasgair.
8. Bha am bàta aig Seumas ach chan eil i aige a-nis.
9. Ma bhios an t-airgead aig a’ chaileig bidh an taigh aig a’ ghille.
10. Tha cu aig a’ chiobair.
11. Nach eil leabhar agaibh?
12. Chan eil.
13. Bidh sgian aig a’ ghille.
14. Bha còig sgillinn aig a’ chaileig.
15. Bha sgian aig an iasgair an-dè ach chan eil i aige an-diugh.
16. Na’n robh sgian aig an duine biodh e glè thoilichte.
17. Cha robh fios agam gu’n robh sibh an sin.
18. Mur eil fios aig an tuathanach gu’n robh an gille an sin bidh fios aige a-nis.
19. Tha taigh aige anns a’ bhaile.
20. Chan eil aithne agam air.
21. Cuin a fhuair thu fios?
22. Bha fios agam far an robh an taigh aige.


Chuir Gàidhlig air na seantansan a tha anns an roinn 133 a’ cleachdadh na seantansan a tha anns an roinn 132 mar eisimpleirean. Abair na seantansan ùra a-mach agus sgrìobh iad anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.
{Translate the sentences in section 133 into Gaelic using the sentences in section 132 as examples. Speak the new sentences out loud and write them (down) in your notebook.}

133.
1. Do you know (aithne) this book?
2. I do not know it.
3. I don’t have that book.
4. Don’t you have this book? No.
5. Who had it?
6. James had the book yesterday.
7. I want that book.
8. The fisherman doesn’t have a boat now, but he will have it tomorrow.
9. I didn’t have five cents.
10. The boy doesn’t have the knife.
11. Who has it?
12. Do you know who had it?
13. I know (that) the girl had it last night.
14. Do you know if the farmer has the money now?
15. I know that he will not have it.
16. Will he have it tomorrow?
17. Yes, certainly.
18. Do you know if he wants a horse?
19. Do you know if that man has a dog?
20. I do not know if he has a dog now, but he had a dog last year.
21. Do you know the shepherd well?
22. I am well acquainted with him.
23. He is an intelligent man.
24. He was at the house yesterday.
25. Was he there this morning? Continue reading

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MacLaren’s Leasan a Trì Deug – An Roimhear “O/ BHO” agus an Gnìomhar Beurla “Wanting”

Lesson 13 – The Preposition “O/ BHO” (from) and the English Verb “Wanting”

121. In a similar idiomatic manner the English verb “to want,” with wish or desire “to have” is translated. The verb bi was used in all its tenses with the preposition o “from”, or the prepositional pronouns formed therefrom. {Nota Bene: I’ve examined every contemporary (21st c) grammar text to which I have access and I can find no current use of this idiomatic construction. In section 123, I’ve included what I *can* find about expressing the concept of wanting something.}


Sgrìobh an clàr seo (roinn 122) anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.
122. Prepositional Pronouns formed from o, bho, “from”
aum/ bhaum (oo-um/voo-um) = from me
uait/ buat (ooatch/ voo-ahtt) = from thee/you
uaithe/ bhuaithe (oo-ay-hu/voo-ay-hu) = from him
uaipe/ bhuaipe (oo-ay-peh/voo-ay-peh) = from her
uainn/ bhuainn (oo-aynn/ voo-aynn) = from us
uaibh/ bhuaibh (ooa-yv/ vooa-yv) = from you
uapa/ bhuapa (oo-ah-pa/ voo-ah-pa) = from them

123. Examples of use of the preposition o/ bho
uam no agam e = whether it is mine or not
Tilg uait/ bhuat an sgian sin. = Throw that knife (away) from you.
Cha chomasach le duine an ni nach bhitheadh aige a thoirt (bh)uaithe. = It is impossible for a man to give away what he does not possess.
bhon là sin a-mach = from that day forth
Tha an leabhar seo bhuainn. = This book is from us.
Tha thu ri bhith ann. = You are to be there.


As mentioned previously, the idiom used for the English verb “to want” is no longer in use. These are the most common methods of translating that verb :
a dhìth (eh yee) (adv) = lacking, wanting, needed {used with the preposition air} – {this is the closest approximation of the idiom described in this lesson}

airson (arson) (prep) = want, fancy (fam), for – {used in casual speech or for desires of a non-material nature}
iarr, ag iarraidh (yar, ekarray) (verb) = want, require – {This verb is the first one taught to new learners and most closely approximates the English verb “to want”. I find that I use it to express demands.}

Examples of use :–

When something is lacking/ wanting/ not present, use a dhìth. :
Tha leabhar a dhìth orm. = I want a book. I’m wanting a book. {implies that I don’t have a book and I need one.}
Tha sgian a dhìth ort. = You want a knife. You’re wanting a knife. {implies that you don’t have one at all and you should have one.}
Dè tha a dhìth ort? = What’ll you have? {used by in a shop or restaurant situation}
Dè tha a dhìth air? = What’ll he have? What does he need?
Tha an t-airgead sin a dhìth oirnn a-nis. = We’re wanting that money now. {implies that we don’t have the money in question.}


Ro-riochdairean dhen roimhear AIR (Lesson 15)
orm (or-um) = on me
ort (orst) = on thou/you
air (ar) = on him
oirre (orru) = on her

oirrn (orynn) = on us
oirbh (oirbh) = on you
orra (orruh) = on them


When speaking casually or familiarly about wanting something or some action, use airson :
Tha mi airson thu a bhith sona. = I want you to be happy.
Tha mi airson a bhith ann. = I want to be there.
Tha mi airson gu bheil e agad. = I want you to have it.
Cò tha airson a dhol? = Who wants to go?
Cha robh mi airson gum bi thu nad aonar. = I didn’t want you to be alone.

For most uses of the English verb “to want”, iarr, ag iarraidh can be used:
Tha mi ag iarraidh leabhar. = I want a book. {any book will do, I just want one}
Tha thu ag iarraidh sgian. = I want a knife.
Dè tha thu ag iarraidh? = What do you want?
Dè tha e ag iarraidh? = What does he want?
Tha sinn ag iarraidh an t-airgead sin a-nis. = We want that money now. {so give it to us}
Tha mi ag iarraidh ort a bhith sona. = I want you to be happy.
Tha mi ag iarraidh orm a bhith ann. = I want to be there.
Tha mi ag iarraidh air agad. = I want you to have it.
Cò tha ag iarraidh a dhol? = Who wants to go?
Cha robh mi ag iarraidh ort a bhith nad aonar. = I didn’t want you to be alone.


Sgrìobh na faclan anns an roinn 124 anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat.
124. Faclan

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
an t-airgead (an ttarygytt) = the money
cuan (kooun) = an ocean
iasgair (yaskur) = a fisherman
Seumas (shay-mus) = James
bàta = boat; {Nota Bene: although the noun bàta is masculine, the feminine pronoun “i” is used.}

buadhairean – {adjectives}

gnìomhairean – {verbs}
ag iarraidh = wanting, asking
tilg (til-ek) = throw {imperative}

co-gnìomhairean – {adverbs}
an-dràsta (an trasta) = just now

roimhearan agus abairtean roimhearaichte – {prepositions and prepositional phrases}
aig an iasgair (ak un yaskur) – at the fisherman {possessive – the fisherman’s}

riochdair ceisteach – {interrogative pronoun}
Cuin a (koon-eh) – when?


Nota Bene: Mìneachadh goirid air cleachdadh an riochdadh ceisteach Cuin?. {A short explanation on using the interrogative pronoun “When?”}
Gheibh Cuin? an gnìomhair dàimheach. {Cuin? (When?) takes the relative verb.}
Cuin a tha e? = When is it?
Cuin a bha e? = When was it?
Cuin a bhios e? = When will it be?
Cuin a bhiodh e? = When would it be?

Cuin a nach eil e? = When isn’t it?
Cuin a nach robh e? = When wasn’t it?
Cuin a nach bi e? = When will it not be?
Cuin a nach biodh e? = When would it not be?


Cleachdaidhean – {Exercises}

Nota Bene: Chur mi Beurla air na seantansan a tha anns an roinn 125 agus an uair sin chur mi Gàidhlig air na h-eadar-theangachaidhean dhiubh sin a’ cleachdadh an gnàth-cainnte ùr. {I translated the sentences in section 125 into English and then translated those into back into Gaelic using the modern idiom.}

Leugh a-mach anns a’ Ghàidhlig na seantansan a tha anns an roinn 125. Sgrìobh iad anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat. Cuir Beurla orra agus an uair sin leugh iad a mach anns a’ Ghàidhlig a-rithist fhad ‘s a tha thu a’ smaoineachadh dè a tha iad a’ ciallachadh. {Read the sentences in section 125 out loud in Gaelic. Write them in your notebook. Translate them and then read them out loud in Gaelic again while thinking what they mean.}

125.
1. Tha leabhar a dhìth ort.
2. Tha bàta a dhìth orra.
3. Bha bàta aca a-raoir ach tha i a dhìth orra a-nis.
4. Dè tha a dhìth oirre?
5. Tha iad airson a bhith ann.
6. Dè tha a dhìth orm?
7. Tha an leabhar a dhìth orm an-dè.
8. A bheil leabhar a dhìth ort?
9. Chan eil an leabhar a dhìth air a’ chaileig.
10. Tha peann a dhìth oirre.
11. Tha an cuan a dhìth air an iasgair.
12. Bidh am bàta aig an iasgair an-dràsta.

13. Chan eil an leabhar bhon chaileig.
14. Tha an t-airgead sin bhuam.


Cuir Gàidhlig air na seantansan a leanas anns an roinn 126. Sgrìobh na seantansan ùra anns an leabhar-sgrìobhaidh agat and leugh iad a-mach.

126.
1. Throw the book (away) from you.
2. James wants the hat today.
3. Do you want the money?
4. I want the money now.
5. You want to be there tomorrow.
6. What does she want?
7. She wants a hat.
8. What would he have?
9. He wanted a book but he will not have it now.
10. Did he not have a book yesterday?
11. He had a book yesterday but he wants it today.
12. Whether it is his or not.
13. He wants this book the day after tomorrow.
14. The book is from the girl.
15. That money is from me. Continue reading

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MacLaren’s GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a DHÀ-DHEUG – Gnàthasan-cainnte: Seilbh – BI agus AIG

(Lesson12 – Idioms: Possession – to have

Aithris-àichidh (Disclaimer) :–
Tha an leasan seo (agus leasanan sam bith a leanas) às an leabhar Gaelic Self-Taught le Alexander MacLaran (1923). Tha na mìneachaidhean gràmair agus na obair-lesanan agus na cuidichean fuaimneachaidh às an leabhar gu buileach. Tha mi a’ sgrìobhadh na òrduighean a bha anns a’ Ghàidhlig.
This lesson (and any lessons that follow) are from the book Gaelic Self-Taught by Alexander MacLaran (1923). The grammar explanations, the work-exercises and the pronunciation tips are entirely from the book. I am writing the instructions in Gaelic.


Gnàthasan-cainnte – {Idioms}
Leugh na roinnean 107 gu 110.

107. An Idiom is an expression that has acquired by usage a certain meaning, which becomes lost in a word-for-word translation into another language ; so that in order to convey the meaning in that other language the form of the expression must be changed.

108. Thus tha an leabhar aig an duine is a Gaelic Idiom, for its sense is lost in a word-for-word English translation like the book is at the man, and in order to convey the true meaning, the English expression must be changed to “the man has the book.”

109. Idioms constitute one of the chief difficulties in learning any language, and the student is recommended to master the few Gaelic Idioms which will now be introduced into these excercises.

110. These Idioms enter much into the spoken and written language and well deserve particular attention, for htere is not a page written in which they are not to be found, nor can there be a single conversation without their use.


To Denote Possession – to have
Leugh na roinnean 111 -113

111. Comharrachadh Seilbh leis an gnìomhar “bi” agus an riomhear “aig
{Denoting possession with the verb “be” and the preposition “at”}
The verb “have” is in English generally an auxiliary verb, but it is not always such. When it is used in English to indicate “possession” it must be translated by the Gaelic verb bi along with the preposition aig, at. Thus “I have a book” becomes in this idiom “a book is at me,” or “there is a book at me” or “to me,” and similarly through all the pronouns. This is a somewhat similar idiom to the Latin form, “est mihi liber,” “there is a book to me,” &c.

112. Such a sentence one might expect to be translated into Gaelic tha leabhar aig me, “a book is at me.” Instead, however, we use a combination of pronoun and preposition called a prepositional pronoun (ro-riochdair). Hence we write tha leabhar agam. (Prep. Pro. Par. 404)

113. Observe that in this construction the subject of the English sentence becomes the object in the Gaelic idiom. In tha leabhar agam “I have a book,” leabhar is nominative to the tha (and so comes after the verb), and not as in the corresponding English sentence “I have a book,” in which “book” is in the objective case. This order of the words holds good no matter how many subjects to the verb are introduced. They are all in the Gaelic nominatives to tha, and in English objectives after “have.”


Sgrìobh an clàr 114.
114. Ro-riochdairean a tha a’ dèanamh dhen roimhear aig
Prepositional pronouns that are formed from the preposition aig – “at”
aig mi becomes agam (akum) = at me = I have
aig thu => agad (akud) = at thee = thou hast
aig e => aige (ayku) = at him = he has
aig i => aice (aych-ku) = at her = she has
aig sinn => againn (akyun) = at us = we have
aig sibh => agaibh (akyv) = at you = you have
aig iad => aca (ach-keh) = at them = they have

Leugh roinnean 115 gu 117.

115. Eisimpleirean Cleachdaidh
{Examples of Use}
Tha peann agad(sa). = You have a pen.
Tha bò aige(san). = He has a cow.
Tha ad aice(se). = She has a hat.
Nach eil sgian aig a’ ghille? = Doesn’t the lad have a knife?
Chan eil dà leabhar aig a’ chaileig. = The girl doesn’t have two books.
Ged nach robh an t-airgead aige an-dè, bidh e aige a-màireach. = Although he didn’t have the money yesterday he will have it tomorrow.

116. These pronouns, agam, agad, aige &c., denote possession but do not necessarily signify ownership, take this example: tha taigh aige, “he has a house,” which means that he possesses a house which may or may not be his own, i.e. he may be only a tenant. (See par. 184 – idioms of the verb is with the preposition le to denote absolute ownership.)

117. And the idiom which thus expresses our relation to our material property is also used to express our relation to our immaterial properties, or bodily and mental activities, which are in some way subject to our control.
Tha fuath agam dha. = I loath him. {I have loathing toward him. Loathing is at me for him.}
Tha gràin agam air. = I hate him. {I have hatred (on/for/concerning) him. Hatred is at me (on/for/concerning) him.}
Tha truas agam ris. = I pity him. {I have pity towards him. Pity is at me towards him.}
Tha gaol agam air. = I love him. {I have love (on/for/concerning) him. Love is at me (on/for/concerning) him.}

But I cannot say tha tinneas agam, “sickness is at me” when I mean to tell you that “I am sick.” Sickness is generally outside our control and is looked on as an infliction which comes “on us,” as will be shown.

118. Faclan
ainmearan boireannta – (feminine nouns)
ad (at) = hat
fuath (do) (foou) = loathe, detest
gràin (air) (gra-an) = hate

ainmearan fireanta – (masculine nouns)
an t-airgead (an target) = the money
gaol (air) (goll) = love
an leabhar (an llyo-ur) = the book
peann (pyawnn) = a pen
truas (ris/de) (troous) = pity

roimhearan – {prepositions agus abairtean roimhearaichte}
aig a’ chaileig (nf) (ak eh challyk) = at the girl {the girl has}
aig a’ ghille (nm) = at the boy {the boy has}


Cleachdaidhean

119. Leugh a-mach na seantasan Gàidhlig. Sgrìobh iad anns a’ Ghàidhlig agus chuir Beurla orra.
1. Am bi bò agam?
2. Bidh bò agam agus cha bhi bò agad-sa.
3. Ged nach eil bò agad.
4. Ma bhios bò aice.
5. Tha peann aige.
6. Tha taigh agad.
7. Nach eil sgian agam?
8. Chan eil sgian agam.
9. Tha an sgian aig a’ ghille.
10. Tha am bàta aige.
11. Tha na h-eich sin agad.
12. Tha an sgian agad.
13. Tha na coin aca ach tha bò againn.
14. Tha an t-each agam ach tha an cù agad.
15. Tha an leabhar agam agus tha leabhar aig a’ chaileig.
16. Bha na h-eich sin againn a-raoir.

120. Cuir Gàidhlig air na seantansan a leanas. Leugh na seantansan Gàidhlig a-mach.
1. I have a horse.
2. He as a house.
3. Has he not a house? {Doesn’t he have a house?}
4. We have a horse and a dog.
5. He had a dog but he has not it now. {..doesn’t have it now}
6. We have a cow.
7. Have you a hat?
8. She has a hat.
9. I have not a hat now.
10. I pity him.
11. Has he not a book? {Doesn’t he have a book?}
12. he had the book yesterday.
13. He has not a knife today. {He doesn’t have a knife today.}
14. You had the knife last night.
15. We had the dogs on the hill but the cow was in the {animal} pen there.
16. There it is now.
17. You will have a cow tomorrow.
18. Will the farmer have a cow today?
19. Will the girl have that book now?
20. I have the book today, the boy will have it tomorrow, and the girl will have it the day after.
21. The man had it last night. Continue reading

Posted in english, Gàidhlig, gramar, grammar, leasanan, lessons, maclaren | Comments Off on MacLaren’s GAELIC SELF-TAUGHT – LEASAN a DHÀ-DHEUG – Gnàthasan-cainnte: Seilbh – BI agus AIG