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  5. What's special about hurry?


What's special about hurry?

There are quite a few nasty things that can be on you in Gaelic: an t-acras, am pathadh, am fhearg, an t-eagal - and cabhag. (For those you are not there yet: hunger, thirst, anger, fear and - hurry). Everything seems to need an article: I have THE hunger on me or THE fear, while hurry is obviously not so specific. I have A hurry on me ... If there are some native speakers around - can you give any reason for that? I know language is not mathematics, but it could help remember the difference. In addition - Can these words form a plural? Do they? In German, only fear would have a plural that sounds normal, everything else can be pluralized by following general grammar rules, but sounds totally weird.

June 14, 2020



This doesn't answer all your questions, but Akerbeltz addresses this topic here:


He has another related page that links back to the one above here:



Thanks a lot. Now I have some more stuff to worry about ... although nothing really answers the question why hurry is so non-defined. :-) Since I've asked I have a clear visual impression of four horsemen: Hunger, Thirst, Scare and Anger - who bear down on me. And well: tha cabhag orm - I need to get away as fast as possible.


I don't know the answer to your question, but I love that the hurry is on me, It is so descriptive. I first heard it 40 yours ago and remembered because it is a neat expression and it also made me think of the Karacorum mountains


This is probably not the reason but I wonder if the difference is between a notion of direct and indirect objects being expressed in the indefinite and definite articles. (accusative and dative cases would be the equivalent in German). Hunger, Fear, Thirst and Anger are things that you respond to (something external makes them happen) so they take the definite article. When you're in a hurry, that's down to you. You make yourself hurry. As we say in English, we are in "a" hurry, but we might have "the" fear. Of course Gaelic doesn't actually have the indefinite article.

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