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She’s Right on Time

August 30, 2016

Sentences on time:

  • Chan eil e uair fhathast  (Chah nyeel eh OO-ud AHST*) It is not yet one o’clock
  • Bha e ann aig sia uairean.  (VAH ee OWN (rhymes with clown) ake SHEE-uh OO-din)
  • Nach robh i ann aig ceithir?  (nahch roe ee OWN ake KAY-hid (rolled R)?) Wasn’t she there at four?

*A reminder that pronunciations vary.  I have heard fhathast pronounced more like HAHST, also.  Similarly with e: I have heard a number of speakers say it with more of an eh sound, a distinct difference from (she), and on other sites, they sound exactly the same–ee.

A review of THE, remembering these are only two of the (oops, there’s that word again!) four sets of rules governing the many forms of THE:

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Examples of  b, m, p

  • banais, a’ bhanais (BAH-nish, ah VAHN-nish) wedding, the wedding
  • mile, a’ mhile (MEE-leh, a VEE-leh) mile, thousand; the mile, the thousand

 

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY, with b, f, m, p

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

Examples–masculine singular nouns with b, f, m, p

  • blasad, am blasad (BLAH-sit, AHM BLAH-sit) taste, bite; the taste, the bite
  • fad, am fad (faht, ahm faht) length, duration; the length, the duration
  • meadhan, am meadhan (MEE-ahn, ahm MEE-ahn) center, middle; the center, the middle
  • maide, am maide (MAH-cheh, AM MAH-cheh) piece of wood, stick; the piece of wood, the stick

At my other blog today, Part 2 of the interview with Howard Jay Smith on Beethoven in Love Opus 139.  So a little Beethoven today: ceol, music:

TIME to move on

August 29, 2016

I’ll be taking a break from THE…THE rules, THE bad plays on words, all of it!  The only thing drier than grammar is THE grammar!  However, as it’s a really vital part of learning the language (how many sentences can we manage without using THE?), I’ll be including a reminder chart at the bottom of each post for the next several weeks at least, and start adding the other sets of rules.

But now it’s time to move on….

  • uair (OO-ud*) clock time (what time is it?) and also an hour of time
  • Dè an uair a tha e?  (JAY ahn OO-ud* ah ha eh?) What time is it?
  • Dè an uair a tha e a-nis? (JAY ahn OO-ud* ah ha eh ah-NISH?) What time is it now?

*The D sound is included here to account for the sound of the rolled R

Numbers were covered in Counting.  Now to use them to tell time:

  • Tha e uair. (ha ee OO-ud) It is one o’clock.
  • Tha e dà uair. (ha ee dah OO-ud) It is two o’clock.
  • Tha e trì uairean. (ha ee tree OO-din) It is three o’clock.
  • Tha e ceithir uairean.  (ha ee CAY-id OO-din)  It is four o’clock.

Notice that the plural of uair begins with trì, not with dà.  Now would be a good time to review plurals with three or more.  Have fun–bwahahahaha!

And now, the promised (threatened?) review of THE.  Really, this is important.

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Here’s a second set of THE rules we’ll talk about later, but at least look them over.

For MASCULINE, SINGULAR, NOMINATIVE ONLY:

  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

At my other blog, Howard Jay Smith on Beethoven in Love Opus 139 and Shawn’s Meatloaf.

 

Pounding THE Point Home

August 26, 2016

Set one of THE rules from the Write Your Own Grammarly chart:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

These rules apply:

  • ONLY for singulars
  • Masculine dative and genitive
  • Feminine nominative and dative

We’ve looked at feminine nouns over the last few days, and looked at what nominative and dative are in Gaelic.

A reminder on Dative in Gaelic:

  • Nouns take dative case after simple prepositions such as air, aig, ann, etc.
  • Feminine, singular nouns usually change their form in dative by adding an before the vowel’s final consonant (unless there’s already an there.)

Today, a few masculine nouns in dative using b, c, g, m, p.

  • balla, a’ bhalla (BAH-la, ah VAHL-ah) wall, the wall
  • bainne, a’ bhainne (BAHN-yuh, ah VAHN-yuh) milk, the milk
  • cudrom, a’ chudrom (KUH-drom, ah chudrom) weight, the weight

 

THE…man in the moon?

August 23, 2016

First, a reminder of THE rules from the Write Your Own Grammarly chart:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

These rules apply:

  • ONLY for singulars
  • Masculine dative and genitive
  • Feminine nominative and dative

Here are some sentences with feminine nouns in dative or nominative:

  • tha dubhar air a’ ghealaich (HAH DOO-ud ad a YAHL-ich)  The shade is on the moon or, as we would say,  the moon is eclipsed
    • This is dative due to moon following the preposition air
  • tha a’ ghealach a’ cur uaipe (HAH a YAHL-ahch coor OO-ah-peh) the moon is rising
  • tha an sgian gu feum (HAH ahn skin goo fame) the knife is useful
  • dùisg an talamh (DOOSHk ahn TAHL-ahv) dig up the earth/ground

At my other blog this week, Robert the Bruce’s brothers and sisters.

THE Rules, nominative

August 22, 2016

Once again reviewing what we covered last week off the Write Your Own Grammarly chart, the sections in dark blue which tell us:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

When do we follow these rules?

  • ONLY for singulars
  • Masculine dative and genitive
  • Feminine nominative and dative

We are still focusing only on feminine, so nominative is: The subject of the sentence.

Dative in Gaelic:

  • Nouns take dative case after simple prepositions such as air, aig, ann, etc.
  • Feminine, singular nouns usually change their form in dative by adding an before the vowel’s final consonant (unless there’s already an there.)

And this is why it’s a good idea to learn by phrases and sentences rather than single words!  Here are some phrases in the dative case, with singular feminine nouns:

  • air a’ ghealaich (ad ah YAY-lahch) on the moon
  • anns an Fhraing (OUNz ahn RAHNG) in France
  • air an t-sròin (ad ahn TROH-in) on the nose
  • leis an rionnaig (LESH ahn RINN-ick)

This added is often ignored in spoken speech.

Tomorrow, more sentences with feminine singular, then we move on to masculine.

 

 

THE Rules…more singular feminines

August 19, 2016

How’s that for an eye-catching title designed to catch the attention and provoke curiosity!  Next, they’ll be making GRAMMAR…THE MOVIE!  (The linguists among us can only hope!)  On to examples from the third and fourth rules regarding singular feminine nouns.

A review from yesterday, because these kind of rules need to be read and used over and over and over till they become natural:

Focusing on just one section of yesterday’s chart:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

When do we follow these rules?

  • ONLY for singulars
  • Masculine dative and genitive
  • Feminine nominative and dative

[REMINDER: I am myself a learner.  Lenition can also cause changes in vowels, too, and I may have missed a vowel change in some of these words.]

RULE 3

  • am fhàinne (ahm AHN-yeh) the ring
  • am fhèill (AHM AY-il) the sale, the fair
  • am fhidheall (AHM EE-yell) the violin

Leniting an makes the silent

As long as we’re talking about am fhidheall, here’s some ceòl (music) from the Orkneys.

And as long as we’re now talking about Orkney (we are, aren’t we?) a bit about Orkney and it’s part in Scottish history is here.

THE…most common rules and feminine nouns

August 18, 2016

Focusing on just one section of yesterday’s chart:

  1. an most of the time, except
  2. a’  plus lenite the following word if the initial letter of the noun starts with b, c, g, m, p
  3. am plus lenite the following word if the initial letter of the noun starts with f
  4. an t- if the initial letter of the noun starts with sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

When do we follow these rules?

  • ONLY for singulars
  • Masculine dative and genitive
  • Feminine nominative and dative

So here are some feminine nouns that we’re going to assume are used in the nominative.  And hopefully I have this all correct, and am not making a mistake due to some obscure rule I don’t yet know:  [In fact, lenition can also cause changes in vowels, too.]

In an attempt to keep this to bite-size, easy to remember pieces, here are examples just for the first two rules within the rules:

RULE 1: any feminine noun that does not begin with b, c, g, m, p; f; or sl, sn, sr, s+vowel:

  • an deoch the drink

RULE 2: feminine nouns beginning with b, c, g, m, p

  • a’ bheannachd the blessing
  • a’ bheinn the mountain
  • a’ chèic  [cèic should always be plural, but we’re going to accept, for grammatical and pedagogical purposes, this unfortunate limit of only one cake] the cake
  • a’ ghrian the sun
  • a’ mhuir the sea
  • a’ phairc the park

 

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