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  5. "Bidh mi a' cluiche teanais."

"Bidh mi a' cluiche teanais."

Translation:I play tennis.

June 3, 2020



Isn't bidh a future tense? So it should be i will play tennis?


Although this tense is traditionally called future in Gaelic it really is rather a non-past tense – bidh is equally a future form (bidh mi = I will be) and a present habitual form (bidh mi = I usually am, I am used to being…, I repeatedly am…, or I do be in Hiberno-English).

So bidh mi a’ cluiche teanas can mean both I will be playing tennis and I play tennis, I do be playing tennis, I am used to being playing tennis (on a regular basis).

(BTW, I believe it should be teanas, not teanais, there is a mistake in the exercise, genitive is used instead of nominative)


So does this verb, a' cluiche, always incorporate the bidh in a sentence. Is it incorrect to say "Tha mi a' cluiche teanas"


No, why? Tha mi a’ cluiche teanas is a valid sentence and means I am playing tennis (at the moment).

Also, a’ cluiche technically is not a verb, it is a phrase with a verbal noun, lit. at (the act of) playing.


Hmm, verbal nouns are a difficult concept to grasp for me. Is there a list of other verbal nouns? Thank you


Why should not be not used genitive here?


Historically in classical Gaelic it would be genitive (lit. playing of tennis) but not in modern Gaelic.

Today, when the object of a verbal noun is a simple indefinite noun, the genitive is not used, so you just say cluiche teanas for playing tennis. The genitive is used when the object is definite, some specific thing, eg. notice the difference between indefinite tha mi ag ithe ubhal I am eating an apple vs tha mi ag ithe an ubhail I am eating the apple – only in the latter the apple has the genitive form ubhail.

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