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"Doesn't George have the money?"

Translation:Nach eil an t-airgead aig Seòras?

February 1, 2020



The Gàidhlig reads more like: "Isn't the money with George?"


Yes. That's the way they phrase it. And that's closer to a literal translation, but transliteration and translation are two different things.


The order of the wording is confusing. Why not just ask for the translation of Isn't the money with George?


Tha y aig x is the equivalent of x has y in English - as it's a central construction for Gaelic it's essential for learners to get used to that construction rather than working on direct translations. "Isn't the money with George?" means something different in English from Doesn't George have the money?, and the equivalent sentence in Gaelic (which would be different from *Nach eil an t-airgead aig Seòras") also has a different meaning.


Why can't one say. "Nach eil Seòras an t-airgead agad"?


In Gaelic the subject of the sentence is often the object of the equivalent sentence in English and vice versa. In English we say "x has y" or "doesn't x have y" - Seòras has the money/ Doesn't Seòras have the money? - so Seòras is the subject of the sentence.

In Gaelic, we would say tha y aig x (y is at x) or nach eil y aig x? - tha an t-airgead aig Seòras / nach eil an t-airgead aig Seòras, so an t-airgead is the subject of the sentence, rather than Seòras.

agad is a contraction of aig + thu. You would use agad if you were asking "Don't you have the money" - nach eil an t-airgead agad?

If you keep in mind the basic construction "x has y" = tha y aig x you can slot in nouns and names as you like.

If you want to use a pronoun rather than a name for x, "(x=(I/you/he/she/it/we/you/they)) has/have y", you would use the appropriate prepositional pronoun.

These are:

Tha y agam - I have y

Tha y agad - you (singular informal) have y

Tha y aige - he/it has y

Tha y aice - she/it has y

Tha y againn - we have y

Tha y agaibh - you (plural or singular formal) have y

Tha y aca - they have y.


Thank you for the explanation!

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