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  5. "Tha piseag glè bheag."

"Tha piseag glè bheag."

Translation:A kitten is very small.

November 29, 2019



Can anyone tell me the difference between beag/bheag, math/mhath etc.?


In functional meaning they are identical, but the pronunciation is different. This is called lenition and happens in certain situations, for example here I think the word 'glè' makes every word after it lenite. Another example is that 'madainn mhath' (good morning) has lenition, but 'feasgar math' (good afternoon) does not. I don't fully understand when or why this happens in every case, but there is more information here: https://gaelicgrammar.org/~gaelic/mediawiki/index.php/Lenition


Every word that can lenite. Words that begin with vowels don't, and words that begin with l, n, and r don't. And as for your examples, madainn is feminine so the adjective after it lenites if possible, but feasgar isn't, so the adjective after it doesn't.


Regardless of lenition (which I don't fully understand), is bheag used here because a kitten is "feminine" - like madainn and oidhche are feminine so we madainn/oidhce mhath and faesgar is "masculine" so we say faesgar math? Or have I got this totally wrong in my head? Tapadh leibh.


Yes and no! In this particular case both glè and piseag lenite the word after them. So in here lenition is caused by the 'glè' (because it comes right before it), but you're correct in that even if the glè wasn't there, bheag would still be lenited because piseag is feminine and so also lenites.

You can see this on this page under the section 'Lenition on adjectives' https://gaelicgrammar.org/~gaelic/mediawiki/index.php/Lenition - piseag lenites because it is a feminine noun, and glè lenites because it is an intensifier


Thank you. That's such a good and clear answer. I appreciate your time.


Yes and no. A kitten is small would just be tha piseag beag. A small kitten is nice would be tha piseag bheag snog. The adjective lenites only when it is directly applied to the noun (where you'd be translating it in English as putting it before the noun rather than saying X is Y) and of course the noun is feminine, and the adjective can lenite.


No, as other answers explain it's simply because of the 'glè'.


Why is this "A kitten is very small" and not "A very small kitten"? How would "A very small kitten" be written?


'Tha' is the gaelic word for 'is.' (English has subject-verb-object sentence structure, Gaelic has verb-subject-object) 'a very small kitten' is just 'piseag glè bheag' without the 'tha'


Thank you AmberLenno, that explains it perfectly. I think in my head I was translating Tha as 'A' not 'is'. This helps.


Im confused so would it be piseag agus balach or would it be bhalaich ? I just though i saw these more simple in the beginning


Balach isn't in this question. But a kitten and a boy would be piseag agus balach. Balach only goes to bhalaich when you are leniting and slenderising, mostly that happens on Duolingo when you are talking to the boy. A bheil piseag agad a bhalaich? Do you have a kitten boy?


Why does it have to be "a" kitten instead of "the" kitten?

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