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Question for admins: i vs e for describing conditions

This is a question for an admin. Having finished the Duolingo course, I'm now watching Can Seo. I've noticed that: Duolingo says: Tha i fuar. Can Seo says: Tha e fuar. Are both accepted in everyday speech? Is the origin of this in Duo the "dummy i" I've heard about? Or is it that "i" is generally used for weather and "e" to refer to the day? Or something else?

Thank you!

February 13, 2020



There is a bit of debate in the Gaelic speaking community over whether weather is masculine or feminine, however, most people assume it's feminine.

So either or is fine for describing weather but "i" is more common. That being said though, latha/là are both masculine. So it would be acceptable to use e if describing the day as cold (for example).


Thank you for your quick reply! This clears up a lot of confusion for me.


Wait till you get to Mairead's version of "Tha an t-eagal orm." I think we have definitely decided she's wrong.


Actually I already have! It sounds strange so I decided to stick with Duo's version. The weather/day thing is much more common so I really wanted to understand it. I'm guessing there are other differences but I'll just have to ask as I go along. Thanks for your help!


Someone had a word for the "Tha eagal orm" thing meaning an expression of mild regret, and if I could remember which thread it was in I'd post it. An expression derived by translating an English idiom word-for-word into another language where it doesn't belong. Nowt wrong with "Tha mi duilich" which she'd already covered, so I don't know what that was all about. I'll be interested to know what she tells us to say if we're actually frightened.

ETA: I found it. Robbie Kerr said this is called a "calque". Although Joanne seems to be accepting the version without the definite article as being OK as an expression of mild regret.


Yes, I followed a link of Joanne's to that earlier this evening. Interesting.


Just a wild speculation on my part, but I guess it might be a dialectal thing. Irish uses version without the article, eg. tá eagla orm ‘I am scared’, tá fearg oraibh ‘y’all are angry’, tá tart uirthi ‘she is thirsty’, tá ocras orainn ‘we are hungry’, etc., I don’t think you ever see those with the article in Irish – and Irish and Gaelic used to form a dialectal continuum, so perhaps there are places in Scotland where more Irishy phrasing is the default?


That is a long way above my pay grade! (Although I'm told that the Gaelic spoken by my father's family was half way to being Irish.)

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