"Tha dealanaich ann a-nis."
Translation:There is lightning now.
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Why would it be after tha? In a regular sentence, with the Verb - Subject - Object order, the subject must go directly after the verb. Tha is is the verb here, dealanaich lightning is the subject (and there is no object here, but there are adverbs: ann a-nis that go at the end), so it must be tha dealanaich… for a lightning is….
You might be coming from sentences like ’s e cat a th’ ann it is a cat, but notice that here the sentence is a relative one – it has two parts:
- ’s e cat it’s a cat or a cat is it,
- a th’ ann that is in-it.
It truly means [it is a cat] [that is in-it] – the subject is mentioned before the verb and then the relative clause has no subject of its own – it refers back to the one mentioned earlier.
You could never say something like
th’ ann cat – if you wanted to say there is a cat, or a cat is in it, you’d have to say tha cat ann with cat going directly after the verb tha.
I am curious. In English we could say "there is lightning now" or "now there is lightning". The implied meaning would be slightly different but still very close. So I wonder if the word order in Gaidhlig is similarly flexible?
(And, if not, is there a separate translation for the second version?)