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  5. "You need a bonnet."

"You need a bonnet."

Translation:Feumaidh tu bonaid.

December 9, 2019



Tha thu but feumaidh tu. What is happening here? Do you get aspiration after tha?


Apart from bidh, verb forms ending -dh get tu insted of thu.

NB: If by "aspiration" you mean "lenition", it's properly called "lenition. "Aspiration" is something else. This terminology mix-up comes from older textbooks; nobody uses it any more.


-dh and -as.

The term aspirate/aspiration certainly was used but it is particularly dangerous to use it now as it refers to a different mutation in Welsh, Cornish and Breton.

I have given a longer answer to this question here..


After the future suffixes -(a)idh and -(e)as, and the conditional suffix -(e)adh, and in some other contexts, it's tu instead of thu. (Although it's not future in meaning here, feumaidh is actually a future tense form.) Note that tu is pronounced as if spelt du.


Note that tu is pronounced du in some dialects.


Why this sentence does not begin with Tha ?


The normal way to say you need something does begin with tha. Most people, and all dictionaries I know, think that the structure in this sentence is not correct as feumaidh means 'need to', not 'need'. There are differing opinions, but I would ignore this structure and wait until you learn the standard one later.


Thank you a lot! Your answers are very useful.


Thank you for accepting "tha feum agad air bonaid " style!!


What distinction does feumaidh have that the sentence is not constructed the same as some others? In other sentences you might say "Tha thu ag iarraidh bonaid" or "Tha sibh a' ceannach bonaid." Does feumaidh have different rules because it's stating a condition, not an action? I'm interested in why it's not phrased as "you are needing a bonnet".


That's a really good question so I hope someone can answer it, but here are a couple of points. Firstly, iarraidh 'wanting' is also a condition so there does not seem to be a meaning-based explanation.

Secondly, not all verbs are the same in English, so why should they be in Gaelic. Why do we say I am enjoying but I like? These are both conditions just like wanting. Who knows?

Thirdly, feum is a defective verb. That means there are bits missing - it has no verbal noun, the equivalent of iarraidh, so they would simply have had to find a different structure. Of course it could be the other way round - it could be that it has no verbal noun because it was not used.

There is only a very small number of verbs in Gaelic that use this simple form like fumaidh and like to state current condition. Feumaidh is technically the future tense, because there is no present tense, but what it would have been in the distant past, when there were more tenses I have no idea.

The word is actually more common as a noun than a verb - I can find the noun in both Old and Modern Irish, but I cannot find a verb - it is not listed as the Irish translation of need. Further, although this verb exists in Gaelic, it is not actually the usual way to say you need something in my experience or any dictionary I can find, as I discuss above. Rather I would normally use the noun,

Tha feum agad air bonaid Is need at you on [a] bonnet

so it may be that the verbal use is quite new.

The usual use is when followed by a verb (in a complicated structure not covered yet), such as 'I need to buy a bonnet'. Perhaps we use the future tense because it is expressing what you are going to do in the future. The purchase will clearly be in the future - even in English you can say 'I will need (to buy) a bonnet'.

I am looking forward to someone explaining. D


Is bonaid specifically a bonnet, or is it a general word for hat?


They're talking about a specific type of hat. ad is any hat.

It shows up the first time early in but they actually describe it in the "Colors" section:



I agree that is what the notes say:

A 'bonnet' or 'bunnet' is a type of functional but stylish woollen flat cap. The Gaelic for this is bonaid. The bonnet is a key part of a school of fashion we have just made up called "crofter chic".

but I think it is more complicated than that because the word bonnet had a much wider meaning in the past, which means that if a dictionary says that bonaid = bonnet then bonaid also had a wider meaning. I think we can assume that the meaning of bonaid is changing and that different people will use it differently. There is more discussion on this page, including me giving other uses of bonaid.

Joanne says on another question that they accept hat, so I hope they do on all questions that are into English.


I tried "feumaidh shibh bonaid' but it was rejected. Would this not be the formal version? Or is this phrase always presented informally?


Your version is just as valid, if you spell it correctly, so the next person this happens to should report it as 'my answer should be accepted.'

However your answer is one letter out, as it should be sibh not shibh. That should count as a typo not an error. As far a I know sibh is never lenited under any circumstances.

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