"The blood is red."
Translation:Tha an fhuil dearg.
No, not everyone. No one has queried it yet on this question, but they have on the almost identical question Blood is red which I answered 4 days ago, and on about twenty other questions that various people have answered.
(If you want to see how common it is and you are on a laptop, proceed as follows: (1) duplicate this tab (so you don't lose this thread); (2) find the search box in the top right hand corner; (3) search for
predicative; (4) at least half the 39 (and counting) hits you get are to do with this issue; (5) that means that you can choose whose explanation you find the easiest.)
But here are two answers according to your knowledge of grammar.
In Gaelic, like in other Celtic languages and most (edited to most after Anne998711's comment – thank you) Germanic languages, attributive adjectives agree but predicative ones do not.
In French, Spanish, etc. adjectives always agree
La sangre roja es roja 'The red blood is red'
But in German and Gaelic, adjectives only change if they are part of the same phrase, not when you are saying something is red.
Das rote Blut ist rot
Tha an fhuil dhearg dearg
These so-called predicative adjectives come after the verb in German, French and English so they are easy to spot, but Gaelic word order makes this harder to see
An fhuil dhearg 'the red blood'
Tha an fhuil dearg 'the blood is red'
So when translating from the English, use this simple rule:
Any adjective separated from the noun by a verb in English does not change.
Note that virtually no basic grammar books actually discuss this point in detail. People who write grammars for Germanic and Celtic languages (such as the Duolingo Gaelic notes) think their way is obvious and don't discuss it much, and people who write grammars for Romance languages think their way is obvious and don't discuss it at all (as far as I know). They aren't.
As an extreme example, there is a situation where the lenition is the only way to tell the two apart in Gaelic - which would make it impossible in a situation where lenition did not occur anyway:
|Tha an nighean chàirdeil coibhneil||Das freundliche Mädchen ist nett||The friendly girl is kind|
|Tha an nighean càirdeil coibhneil||Das Mädchen ist freundlich und nett||The girl is friendly and kind|
OK. I had to read up on Danish grammar to see what was going on here. I have never studied Danish but I know the basics of German, Norwegian and Old Norse.
As for whether there are predicative endings at all, it seems that some languages have retained this feature and other haven't. But interesting to note that not even the Germanic languages can agree on this. I have now corrected my comment above – thank you.
But as for them having different endings from attributive adjectives, this is not quite right according to Wikipedia. Of course Wikipedia may have misled me. It says there are two forms used attributively, with one of them being used predicatively, so the odd one out is not the predicative, but the definite attributive. The predicative forms agree with the attributive forms that are used sometimes.
et stort hus indefinite attributive
huset er stort predicative
det store hus definite attributive
Of course it is easy to think of the definite form as the 'normal' attributive form, because it is much more common than it is in, say, German (where it is called the weak adjective declension). Wikipedia lists three situations where you would use it in Danish but not in German
Peters store hus
hans store hus
mit store hus
That was a sensible suggestion and it could have been that, but be aware that letters resist lenition under specific circumstances, not as the mood takes them. I describe it in https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36085803?comment_id=38116981
I did not understand the explanation why dearg did not lenite in this example, but later in the same lesson both adjectives in 'the red crab and the black crow' did lenite. When I opened this thread I felt I had come in half way through a long conversation that I had not been party to. I didn't understand the explanation given at all. What is meant by the technical words 'attributive' and 'predicative' adjectives and what is meant by adjectives 'agreeing'?
Both of these are good questions, as they are quite difficult to explain, especially if you do not have experience of languages like French or German.
Because of differences in word order it is much easier to tell the difference in English than in any of the Celtic languages. We use adjectives in two ways
Attributive These are adjectives that go before the noun in English: the red crab, the black crow. Its just part of the thing you are talking about.
- In many languages these words often change according to whether the word is masculine or feminine, singular or plural etc. So
- còta dearg 'red coat' because còta is masculine singular
- crùbag dhearg 'red crab' because crùbag is feminine singular
- crùbagan dearga 'red crabs' because crùbagan is plural (not covered yet).
Predicative These are adjectives which are not next to the noun in English. It is when you say the crabs are red or something like that.
In this sort of sentence the adjective never changes in any way in modern Celtic or Germanic languages. So
- tha an còta dearg 'the coat is red'
- tha an crùbag dearg 'the crab is red'
- tha na crùbagan dearg 'the crabs are red'.
You can see the problem in Gaelic - the adjective still seems to be in the same place. So you can only figure out which it is if
- You understand the rest of the sentence structure, or
- You have the English, or
- You can see if the adjective has changed or not - but this only works if it is a situation where you would expect the adjective to change anyway.
I am sorry it is a bit confusing, and I hope that helps a bit. Also note that in some other situations it is practical to change the long technical terms, but there is not really any better way to distinguish these two situations, that are important in the modern Celtic and Germanic languages, so it is best to accept these long words.
If you do know any Romance languages, the difference is not at all important there, as adjectives always change, so you do not need to worry about which category they are.
To look on the bright side, the difference is usually only one letter, and Duo counts that as a typo not an error! D
There is confusion here because it has not been made clear that the an that doesn't cause lenition (e.g. before a masculine noun) is completely different from the one that does (that you might put before a feminine noun).
An (no lenition)
am before mbfp
insert t- before vowels
An (+ lenition)
a' before ph, ch, bh, gh, mh (i.e. when lenition visible, except f )
no lenition of d, t, s
insert t- before s (learn about that later).
So the important thing is to keep these two beasts separate in your mind.
We will meet other examples of pairs of similar words where completely different rules apply to the one that causes lenition and the one that doesn't.
In particular we will meet several words that follow the mbfp rule but none of them cause lenition. D