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  5. "Seo Mòrag agus Anna."

"Seo Mòrag agus Anna."

Translation:This is Morag and Anna.

November 27, 2019

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rundmaus

Why is it 'this is' although there are two objects in the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tha-seo-taghta

This is how you would say this in English. It would be very strange to say "These are Morag and Anna", if that's what you're thinking.

I can't explain my native language very well technically, but I think I would only use "these" with plural nouns, e.g. "This is Morag and Anna. These are their parents".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dbhaidh

"This is"......as in introducing these 2 people, in English it is grammatically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

No, 'This is... and this is ... '.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Either or. Both are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mone272390

But it's plural! Therefore, "Anna and Morag are ..." and it doesn't matter if the verb is in front or after the noun. Even if nobody uses "these are" doesn't mean it's incorrect, does it? There are many phrases people use regularly in spoken language that are grammatically incorrcet (every language), people use them anyway :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tha-seo-taghta

""Even if nobody uses "these are" doesn't mean it's incorrect, does it?"

That's exactly what it means. Languages are not systems of formal logic, they're systems of conventional practice. What is "correct" is defined by what people who speak the language actually do. If something is common usage, that's what makes it grammatical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mone272390

I agree in so far, that languages are always developing further and diversly. But for a fixed point in time, there have to be at least some rules to adhere to, otherwise learning a language would be rather pointless and actually having a conversation would be quite challenging. That's also why we have dictionaries and grammar books ... to look these current rules up. Additionally, I always thought, the differentiation between singular and plural to be one of the most static grammer rules because "one object/person = singular and more than one object/person = plural" is easy to remember and implement. Apparently I was wrong.

Nevertheless, there appear to be two solutions to this phrase (see comments by others). If we discuss any longer we might be able to find even more. Why don't we just agree on a difference of opinion and add to the solution possibilities?

Just because I live to be defiant, because I believe it to be more grammatically correct at this specific point in time, also because I appreciate my friends, family and colleagues as individuals, and they do not deserve to be treated as a singular person, I will keep introducing them with the words "These are Morag, Iain and Anna." or even indivdually "This is Morag, this is Iain and this is Anna.".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

'This is Morag, this is Iain, and this is Anna' is the best way of introducing more than one person by name. This can be shortened to 'This is Morag, Iain, and Anna'.

'These are Morag, Iain, and Anna' doesn't work because while you are talking about more than one person, they are collectively one group.

You could say, 'These are my friends Morag, Iain, and Anna', but only because the word these is referring to my friends.

A brief explanation here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/demonstratives


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rundmaus

Thank you for the explanation! I think I got trapped in the grammatical framework of German. I am not a native English speaker, it is only my second language. In German the correct construction would be 'das sind', literally translating to 'these are'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Kein Problem, Englisch ist auch meine zweite Sprache ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rundmaus

So you grew up in a completely Gaelic environment? I think the BBC article mentioned Benbecula. Love the hebrides, we have kind of a special connection to them, although this is a too long story for this board...

By the way, very good German! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

Yep, Gaelic speaking household, and then Gaelic medium education. And yeah, I studied German in school and uni, although it's far from what it used to be. Your English is far better than my German!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rundmaus

I took some Finnish courses at university, but since this was already 8 years ago, I forgot most of it... Time goes by really fast. The years at university seem so long gone now. Maybe trying to refresh it as soon as the Duolingo Finnish course becomes available.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rundmaus

It's a bit off-topic, but may I ask why you decided to learn German at school and university? Didn't expect German to be a common language course in Scotland. I'm a bit surprised it is offered at all...

And thanks, I feel flattered. Unfortunately there aren't many chances to practice English here, we live in a slightly rural part of Germany. But if everything works out, we'll visit the Outer Hebrides again in 2021! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joannejoanne12

I had to choose between French and German in school, and then enjoyed it so much I went to study it at uni :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WsXtd

One translator seems to pronounce agus ag-ous whereas the other pronounces it i-gous. Which is best? Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LyndaParks1

I hear the male voice say "agoos" and the female "ayoos" maybe it's a regional thing? But, confusing nonetheless!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anthony365412

So for all words ending i "ag" does it make an "ach" sound?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALVARO-Duodildo

I understood that Mórag is a name, not a translatable word. But in the devolution th app took it as a fault, cause I literally wrote Mòrag and not Morag.

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