"Tha seann chat anns an taigh."

Translation:There is an old cat in the house.

June 3, 2020

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What would "an old cat is in the house" be?


The same. Those two sentences are basically the same, it’s just English that’s weird and doesn’t like indefinite noun subjects before the verb to be (and some others) so it sticks dummy there there and pushes the subject further: there is an old cat here instead of an old cat is here; there lived a hobbit instead of a hobbit lived

That’s why Gaelic tha seann chat anns an taigh is translated to there is an old cat in the house rather than an old cat is in the house – the second one just sounds a bit weirdly in English and the first one is more natural.


I probably should know this, but why isn't it cat seann?


seann old works as a prefix, like deagh and droch, it’s just one of those few prefixed adjectives.

There’s also variant of it sean that you use as predicative adjective (eg. tha mi sean for ‘I am old’) and I guess you can sometimes put it after a noun too (a few examples like tuathanach sean for ‘an old farmer’ in the Duolingo course) – but for attributing a noun you generally rather use seann prefixed to the noun.


Many thanks, I was confused because I'd done sentences like tuathanach sean. Thanks for clearing that up

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