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  5. "Chan e taigh-òsta a th' ann."

"Chan e taigh-òsta a th' ann."

Translation:It is not a hotel.

January 26, 2020



an earlier question in this group flagged "chan e" as incorrect, the correct answer was given as "chan eil" So in this one, as I could not quite make out the words, I answered "chan eil" Now that is wrong! When should "chan eil" be used, and when should it be "chan e"?


would I be right in thinking that "chan e" would be used along with "a th' ann", and "chan eil" otherwise?


I think 'chan e' is the negative form of ' 's e' and 'chan eil' is the negative form of 'tha'. So ''S e taigh-osta a th' ann' negates to 'Chan e taigh-osta a th' ann' and 'Tha mi sgith' negates to 'Chan eil mi sgith'. (Sorry can't do accents here.)


Correct. Two different verbs. It is important to realize what you have just stated as it means you only have to learn things once, rather than twice, once for the positive and once for the negative.


What's the Gaidhlig for, Make your own bed?


Am I mistaking in hearing a kind of y sound between 'chan' and 'e'? And if so is that an accent thing?


It's funny how you don't notice things you hear every day. I have never noticed it, but that is the way many people (most in my experience) say it. I suppose the e is slenderizing the n, as if it were *cha ne. I always pronounce chan eil, chan i and chan e that way, but I can't think of any others. I don't even do it to chan iad. It's a bit like 's e where the e slenderizes the s, so it is just pronounced *se.

If you are not sure about this 'slenderization', n would normally acquire this 'kind of y sound' that you describe when the nearest vowel in the same word is an e or an i, but the point here is that the 'in the same word' bit seems to have been forgotten.

Note that if you are wondering where you would hear chan i and chan iad, they are pretty rare in colloquial modern Gaelic, but they do exist.


Thanks, right after I wrote that I heard a similar (but not the same) operation in another sentence, but now can't remember what it was. I'm sure it'll come up again.


When I wrote "an hotel" the comment told me I had a misprint. I realise that both forms, "a hotel" and "an hotel" are currently in use, but "an hotel" is not incorrect in British English.


I agree. There is no need to argue which is more common. The simple fact that there are significant number of people that say it should be an is reason enough that they should accept it. There are people upset on all seven questions where a hotel is mentioned.

On this question I show how common the two forms are and discuss the history of the word. But someone needs to flag it if it is to be changed.

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