"Am I not a teacher?"

Translation:Nach e tidsear a th' annam?

June 19, 2020

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Why is it nach e rather than nach eil e? In the positive, we have two verbs 'S e tidsear a th' annam (it is a teacher that is in me, I assume is the literal translation?), so in the negative I'd expect two verbs as well (isn't it a teacher that is in me?).


The first verb you're expecting is "hidden" in the nach at the beginning: that is the negative interrogative form of is. The present tense forms of the copula are: is – cha(n) – an/m – nach

The latter three are just identical to the corresponding sentence-modifying particles. (This is the result of the is that used to be present there being lost through sound change.) So in nach e tidsear a th' annam the nach is not only the sentence modifying particle, it also is/contains the copula.

The copula actually works the same here as elsewhere, cf. 's toigh leam with the corresponding negative cha toigh leam, interrogative an toigh leat?, negative interrogative nach toigh leat?. The literal translations of the latter three are still "it is not pleasant with me", etc. not ˣ"it not pleasant with me"ˣ.


So, if I've understood you correctly, when the verb is tha, the particles require eil / bheil, but if the verb is is, the particle contains the verb?

Which explains why it's is toil leam, cha toil leam and an toil leam, but tha mi ag obair, chan eil mi ag obair and a bheil mi ag obair.


Yes, that's right.


Shouldn't it be Chan e instead of Nach e?


No, because chan e means it isn't; nach e means isn't it.

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