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  5. "Tha Calum a' dèanamh geansai…

"Tha Calum a' dèanamh geansaidh."

Translation:Calum is making a sweater.

February 17, 2020



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


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!


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.


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


"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.

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