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  5. "I want strawberry, that is t…

"I want strawberry, that is tasty!"

Translation:Tha mi ag iarraidh sùbh-làir, tha sin blasta!

April 10, 2020



The comma is bad grammar in English, and as far as I know it is in Gaelic too. A full stop, or maybe a dash or colon should be used.


Sadly, we can't change this without deleting the audio as well :( It isn't high priority at the moment, but it probably will get fixed eventually.


OK. Seems odd, but then Duolingo is odd.


In the first Clothes section we learned to use "Tha mi ag iarraidh" as "I am wanting" and they explained that it meant an immediate want. Why has it changed here to "I want"?

From: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/gd/Clothes/tips-and-notes

"I am wanting a kilt"

"Those of you from outside of Scotland may find these structures a little strange, but they more accurately reflect what is going on in the Gaelic than "I want a kilt". This type of structure is actually pretty common in Scotland, possibly in part due to the influence of Gaelic.

Phrasing it in this way will really help us to teach the differences between things that are happening more immediately (I am wanting) and things that happen regularly or as a matter of habit as the course progresses (I want)."


I have the same question... I thought "Bidh mi..." would be correct, but I was marked wrong.


It is just that there are two schools of thought as to which is the best way to teach this. I am wanting is the more literal translation of tha mi ag iarraidh, but it is not standard English (no need to comment that some people say it – that is true but it is still not standard English). I want is the translation into standard English. For them to give I am wanting as the translation is fine as it shows the structure of the Gaelic. However, in my view, it is quite reasonable for people to translate it into standard English, so that has to be accepted. But they also need to show us how to translate I want as there is no other way.

But bidh is different. This is the future of the verb that means 'to be' so bidh mi ag iarraidh literally means 'I will be wanting', or 'I will want' in standard English. To complicate this further, this is also the way you would express a habitual action, like 'I sing every day'. However, this would be a bit odd, but still possible, with 'want'. I don't think it is likely enough for this to be a valid translation out of context.


Why is it 'I want strawberry' and not 'I want A strawberry'? The grammar for Duolingo is all over the place, I noticed this with "I like strawberry" instead of "I like strawberries".


Well, technically, both translations are valid, but as I would not commonly use either, arguing about which is more plausible is pointless and confusing. The only satisfactory solution is to replace this sentence with a more sensible one. I don't often say 'I want a strawberry,' because I would still be hungry afterwards, and I would only 'I want strawberry,' if someone asked me what flavour of popcorn I wanted.

Of course it does not have to be popcorn, but that happened to me once in Portugal. It was such an odd question 'What flavour of popcorn would you like - chocolate or strawberry?' that my immediate reaction was to think I had misunderstood the Portuguese.


Is there a distinction between momentary and constant attitude in Gaidhlig, like 'I am (right now) wanting...' and 'I (always) want...' or they are interchangeable as it may seem from this sentence?


Not really. You would have to use a long-winded construction to express the instantaneous aspect. You don't normally say I eat a strawberry in English, but for some reason you do say I want a strawberry. I am wanting a strawberry may sound more continuous but it is not normally used this way. It is usually just an alternative used in dialects more heavily influenced by Celtic.


So, if I understood you correctly, to express something short-term, I will say: Chan eil mi ag ithe sùbh-làir (because I am drinking beer!). How shall I express my overall dislike of strawberries in Gaidhlig (I do not eat strawberry)?


In Irish they have a special tense for this, called the habitual present. We don't have this in Gaelic so we use the future continuous: cha bhi mi ag ithe sùbh-làir. This is normally habitual present. It could be genuine future continuous, but you would normally use the future simple if you were not going to eat a strawberry tomorrow: chan ith mi sùbh-làir a-màireach 'I will not eat a strawberry tomorrow'.

In this course they introduce the future continuous before the future simple, so this gives a distorted view of when you use the tenses - both are common.


Oh I see. Thank you!


What is "sin" ?


It means 'that' when used as a demonstrative pronoun as here. The opposite is seo

Tha seo blasta
This is tasty

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