1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Tha Calum a' dèanamh geansai…

"Tha Calum a' dèanamh geansaidh."

Translation:Calum is making a sweater.

February 17, 2020

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sparrowhawk28

Well that should be easy to remember! A Guernsey, similar to a Jersey


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Finn276044

I was just wondering, what is the convention for sentence structure. I, for some reason, thought that the verb came last... e.g. tha calum geansaidh a' dèanamh. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judica.fortis

Basic Gàidhlig sentence structure is Verb Subject Direct-Object. So the English "a dog is big" translates to "tha cù mor," literally "is a-dog big." English would use verb-first for many questions, i.e. "Is a dog big?" Gàidhlig instead uses words that, since I don't know the proper term, I call question-verbs. Thus: "A bheil cù mor?" Literally: "Is-indicating-a-question a-dog big?"

More complex present tense Gàidhlig verbs do not exactly translate to English present tense, but are closer to present perfect, which uses "is" and a verb ending in "-ing." Thus "A dog is seeing food" and "A dog sees food" both become "Tha cù a' faicinn biadh," literally "Is a-dog seeing food," which again has the same word order as the English question form.

I like to remember "Gàidhlig questions English," which reminds me that Gàidhlig declarative sentences use the word order of English questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Connor47091

Why "a" isntead of "ag" like many Gàidhlig verbs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judica.fortis

"ag dèanamh" would be two hard consonants right after another. I think it's like English "a" and "an" which are functionally the same word but have the extra letter when the next word starts with a vowel.

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.