p h o u k a  h o m e i r i s h  l e s s o n s  h o m e

Book 3:


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exercise CXXXIII

§ 770. Relative Sentences

One kind of dependent relative sentence is very common in Irish, and is one of the most noticeable peculiarities of the language. It is often reproduced in Anglo-Irish.

Take first a sentence containing (A) a verb, (B) the nominative case, (C) an adjective; as, atá mé tinn, I am sick. This is the simplest way of expressing the idea. Not it may be desired to lay special stress upon either the adjective or the nominative case. If so, the word to be emphasized is brought forward towards the beginning of the sentence. Thus, to emphasize the adjective, we say, "It is sick that I am", is tinn atá mé.

§ 771. So with the negative forms, ní tinn atá mé, aht tuirseaċ, it is not sick I am, but tired (instead of the simple ní'l me tinn aċt tuirseaċ) The interrogative forms, an tinn atá tú? is it sick you are (instead of an ḃfuil tú tinn?) naċ tinn atá sé? Is it not sick he is, how sick he is! (insteaed of naċ ḃfuil sé tinn).

§722. In all such constructions as this, the verb following is is in the dependent realtive clause (often introduced in English with the word "that") and (I) the first consonant o this secvond verb is aspirated, and (2) the relative form, ending in -as, is used—

  1. Is tinn atá sé. It is sick he is, it is sick that he is.
  2. Is tinn ḃiḋeas an fear sin, it is sick that man does be (instead of biḋeann and fear sin tinn)
  3. Is tinn do ḃiḋeaḋ sé, it is sick that he used to be
  4. Is tinn do ḃí sé, it is sick he was
  5. Naċ tinn do ḃéiḋeaḋ sé? Is it not sick he would be?
  6. Naċ tinn ḃéiḋeas sé? Is it not sick that he will be?

§ 773. On the wrong supposition that a was a separate word = that, we often find written an tinn, a tá tú? etc; and fron analogy, is tinn a ḃiḋeas, a ḃéiḋeas, and eve a ḃiḋeaḋ, a ḃí, and a béiḋeaḋ. In Munster the forms ending in -as are not generally used, and they say, is tinn a ḃiḋeann sé, or is tinn do ḃiḋeann sé.

§ 774. It is I who am here; it was I who was there. These English sentences show us that in English, when the second verb is in the past tense, the introductory verb is should also be in the past tense. But in modern Irish, as a rule, the introductory verb is is in the present tense as a reule.

Is mé atá ann, it is I whom am in it.
Naċ tú do ḃí ann? Is it not you that was there?

§ 775. When in sentences like atá mé tinn it is desired to lay the emphasis upon the nominative case of the verb, that word is brought to the front. Is mé atá ann, it is I who am here.

§ 776. When the nominative case is sé, sí, or siad, these become é, í, and iad after is:

An ḃfuil sé tinn? Is é atá (tinn). Is he sick. Tis he that is (sick). Naċ í atá mór, Is it not she that is big? An iad atá ann? Is it they that are there?

§ 777. Sentences like atáid tinn, do béimís tinn, an raḃaḃar tinn? in which the pronoun i snot found seprately, but is represented by the termination -id, -mis, or -aḃar of the verb, becomes changed thus:—

Is iad atá tinn; is sinn do ḃéiḋead tinn; an siḃ do ḃí tinn? That is, the 3rd singular form of the verb is used, and the pronoun corresponding to the termination is placed at the beginning, after is.

note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16


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