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  5. "Good morning Calum, it is a …

"Good morning Calum, it is a good morning."

Translation:Madainn mhath a Chaluim, tha deagh mhadainn ann.

January 15, 2020



Deagh is an adjective that comes before its noun, while math is an adjective that comes after its noun. But they both mean 'good'. Deagh causes the following word to lenite and madainn is feminine and therefore causes the following adjective to lenite.


I've also seen/heard a difference between something being sort of "temporarily" or "momentarily" good/bad (because dona and droch work the same way) and innately or emphatically good/bad -- the difference between "a morning that is good" and "a GOOD morning", or "a person that is good" and "a GOOD person", etc.

Maybe it was just coincidence and I'm reading too much into it?


Tha seo glè inntinneach, a Cheabain. I found an academic treatment of this very question at http://argumentum.unideb.hu/2018-anyagok/csonkav1.pdf. The author identifies two factors: abstraction and emphasis. I think deagh charaid means 'a good friend', someone who is good at being a friend, while caraid math is 'a friend who is (morally) good'. But perhaps a native speaker, not a learner like me, should comment.


Why does the word order for good morning change in the two halves of the sentence?


It’s just the adjective deagh is special as it always works as a prefix of the noun it attributes and always lenites the noun (so deagh mhadainn), and math is a regular adjective that goes after the noun (and is lenited when attributing feminine noun, so: madainn mhath).


How does tha deagh mhadainn ann mean it is a good morning rather than there is a good morning. Is this an idiomatic expression? I have not heard it.


As I understand it, tha deagh mhadainn ann means basically there is a good morning in existence, right now, which implies this morning is a good morning, which you express in English as it is a good morning.

The literal meaning is obviously not it is a good morning – in the Gaelic sentence the subject is deagh mhadainn a good morning and the predicate is a dummy ann meaning there, in general existence; in English the subject is a general dummy it, and a good morning is a predicate – but the actual expressed meaning is the same, the equation of general condition around you to a good morning.

Identically to the greeting cited on Akerbeltz wiki tha oidhche mhath ann meaning it’s a good night. Or a discussion on Fòram na Gàidhlig about tha oidhche bhrèagha ann for it is a lovely night, or tha latha brèagha ann it’s a fine day on LearnGaelic.scot.


Thank you. So it is just a different way of expressing it in Gaelic. Of course, when we just say madainn mhath, dzień dobry, good morning or similar in many languages, you cannot actually tell which of these two senses it is an abbreviation of anyway.


Does 's e deagh mhadainn a th' ann make sense in this context?


Yes. It's what I would say. I am not familiar with the structure used in this sentence and discussed on this page.


I have an old dictionary which gives deach/deagh as excellent/very good. In other words, good, with emphasis, a bit like Ceabhain says.

Good morning is a standard greeting to which you could reply the same. However, if it is a nice sunny day, you might regard it as an especially good morning, and say "it is a fine morning!" or "it is an excellent morning" (particularly in Scotland...).


I have never had the opportunity to use the word 'excellent' in relation to the weather in Scotland.

But I did a course in Breton once, during a heatwave, and all the time I heard

Braw an amser = ['S] brèagha an amsir = Scots The weather's braw


How do you distinguish when to use tha as opposed to the 's e form for it is?


The notes with the course (you can see them on the web-page version) distinguish between 'defining' and 'describing' something. You use tha when describing (The man is big) and * 's e ... a th' ann * when defining (He is a doctor etc).


You might find the Tha ... ann discussion helpful: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/38688604

Here the Gaelic sentence literally states there is a good morning (there, here, right now) and not it is a good morning – but it is used in the same way as a kind of a greeting as English it is a good morning, so that’s how it’s translated.

If you wanted to really equate some it to a good morning you would say ’s e deagh mhadainn a th’ ann (or a th’ innte?) – and perhaps that would also be accepted here. But typically you say just the existential tha deagh mhadainn ann there is a good morning to express the general idea that we have a good morning around today in Gaelic.


"Madainn mhath a Chaluim 's e deagh mhadainn a th ann" is accepted

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