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  5. "She is not wanting a dress."

"She is not wanting a dress."

Translation:Chan eil i ag iarraidh dreasa.

January 7, 2020



What was the word for ‘a dress’ before dreasa was borrowed from English? Surely that can’t have been what it was called in the last century... ?


The word dress (as in garment) in English has existed since at least the 16th century and comes from to dress (13th century) which comes from the old french dresser which in turn has a root in latin. so it's possible that the Gaelic got it from french rather than English


Wow— I knew the word was quite old in English, but I gotta admit, I had not thought of that possibility. Mòran taing!


Does anyone know the purpose of "ag"? What does it mean?


I believe the literal translation of ag iarraidh would be at wanting


ag=at (particle forming a participle with verbal nouns beginning with a vowel)


Oh, of course! I had forgotten.


By itself, nothing, as far as I know. But it's the particle that is used for Gaelic present verbs, equivalent to the English present progressive/present continuous.

That form, brought to the USA by Gaelic-speaking ancestors, survives in some regional varieties of US English, where a speaker might say that some person is "a' comin'" or "a' walkin'", etc.


Is there a reason that Duolingo is labouring the English translation into a tense that is virtually obsolete in common usage, rather than simply translating it as "he/she wants"?


Present progressive is certainly not obsolete. We use it every day, and you yourself used it in your question (is labouring).

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