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  5. "I am wanting a boat."

"I am wanting a boat."

Translation:Tha mi ag iarraidh bàta.

January 2, 2020



Any good reason why "Tha mi ag iarraidh aon bàta" isn't accepted? Is it just Duolingo algorithms being picky or are there a clear difference between one boat/aon bàta and a boat/bàta which I don't see?

edit: Ok - I see now that I forgot to lenite bàta to bhàta (because of aon) But the question still remains. Are there any clear difference in Gaelic whether you use "aon bhàta" or only "bàta"?


You wouldn't ever say aon bhàta unless you were counting ships to be honest. Bàta on its own is one ship.


You'd have to be wanting to be very clear that it was just the one boat and not any other number. Otherwise for talking about something, it just gets left without the counting word (like in English where we don't say we want to go for one holiday where we mean a holiday).


The reason why I'm asking is that in Norwegian there is no differentiation between the indefinite single article and the number one. Thus you have to see from contex whether "en båt" means "a boat" or "one boat". But in many cases in Norwegian the indefinite article is omitted. It pops into mind that it is the same in French (un/une) and I believe also in German(?). I was wondering, since Gaelic doesn't seem to have an indefinite article, whether it would be more like English, which clearly differentiates between "a" and "one" or more like languages where the indefinite single article is equal to 1.


Well, Scottish Gaelic doesn't have an indefinite article. If you want to specify one then you use aon, otherwise it's left out entirely. Tha mi ag iarraidh cupa - I want a cup. Tha mi ag iarraidh aon chupa - I want one cup (not two or three or however many you've put in front of me)


As far as I know, the Germanic and Romance languages are the only Indo-European ones to actually have an indefinite article and it is always the same as 'one' the numeral with the exception of English. It is claimed that a/an is a variant of the Old English numeral but I can't help thinking that French un had something to do with it too.

An exception is Breton, where they have clearly taken the French indefinite article un and made it work like their own definite article which is sometimes an (just like in Gaelic). In other words they have taken their own definite article an and changed the a into a u to make it resemble the French word.

[deactivated user]

    this module is confusing because sometimes the question wants you to add "aon" and other times it disnae so to speak


    I think you'll find it wants you to use aon when it uses one and not otherwise?

    • 1201

    Someone has asked this, but no-one has answered, so I'll draw it up. What's the difference in use between bàta and bhàta??


    Bàta is the basic word. You add the h to show what is called 'lenitition'. This is a sound change after certain words including aon 'one' and 'two'. You don't meet the list all at once but learn them one by one in the sections of the course where they are mentioned in the notes. It never affects the meaning except that it can occasionally help you distinguish 'his' from 'her'.

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