*Níl A ach B* forlmula

So i was just talking to myself (in irish, as is my custom when learning a new language), and i came across a sentence i knew not how to say, or did I?

The situation is this: I am cooking myself food. I asked myself:

cé mhéad a theastaíonn uibheacha uaim? (Also is this the correct way to ask this question?)

I then answered:

Teastaíonn dhá ubh uaim. But then i thought: i wonder how i would say: i just need two?

Would it be the same formula as i am just something? And if is, where would the uaim go? Would it be ní theastaíonn uaim ach dhá ubh or ní theastaíonn ach dhá ubh uaim?

Am i on the right track or incredibly off course?

3 years ago


This post looks like rocket science to me..

3 years ago

Haha hey at least you're living up to your name

3 years ago


3 years ago

I would say Cé (Cá) mhéad ubh a theastíonn uaim. The subject (ubh in this case), comes right after cé mhéad.

As to you answer, I like Ní theastíonn uaim ach dhá ubh. Mainly based on analogy with things like Teastíonn uaim labhairt leis instead of Teastíonn labhairt leis uaim.

3 years ago

I think your original question should be cé mhéad ubh a theastaíonn uaim (but I wouldn't stake money on that :-)

And I think the second version, ní theastaíonn ach dhá ubh uaim is probably the right construction.

3 years ago

I just came across the sentence ní theastaíonn uaim aon rud eile a fhoghlaim ("I do not need to learn anything else)"in an exercise, which would suggest that ní theastaíonn uaim ach dhá ubh would be the right structure.

A web search came up with a number of examples:

Ní theastaíonn uaim ach solas na gréine
Ní theastaíonn uaim ach rud amháin
Ní theastaíonn uaim ach a bheith cinnte
Ní theastaíonn uaim ach an drochchás a dheisiú

But then I came across a thread on that asked a similar question, and it suggested that both can be correct - it's mainly a matter of emphasis, though they were talking about the bí ó construction rather than the teastaíonn ó construction:
Níl ach cupán tae uaim "a cup of tea is all I want"
Níl uaim ach cupán tae "all I want is a cup of tea"

3 years ago
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