"Tha putan orains aig Alasdair."

Translation:Alasdair has an orange button.

July 9, 2020

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Putan, is it like a button of a shirt?


Yes, and also what you push on a piece of equipment to switch it on, etc. "Button" as in US "pin"/ UK "badge" would be baidse


Tha putan orains .... is the subject, but in the translation, Alasdair has become the subject. Would this translation also be acceptable: "The orange button is Alasdair's" ?


Correct message

"Alasdair has an orange" missing the word "button"


Please could you accept Alex as a translation for Alasdair?


Why is the name now at the back of the sentence?


Gaelic has no verb "to have". So instead of saying "Alasdair has an orange button" it says "An orange button is at Alasdair" - tha putan orains aig Alasdair, i.e. the object of the English sentence becomes the subject of the Gaelic sentence.

So for other situations, you can use the formula "x has y" = tha y aig x and just slot in the appropriate words, e.g. "Mairi has a dog" = tha cù aig Màiri, "Iain and Alasdair have a house" = tha taigh aig Iain agus Alasdair.

The same principal works when you use pronouns instead of proper names, although it can sometimes be less obvious to see at first. Here you need to use prepositional pronouns, a combination of aig + a pronoun:

I have a boat = tha bàta agam [aig + mi = agam]

You (singular, informal) have a boat = tha bàta agad [aig + thu = agad]

He/ it has a boat = tha bàta aige [aig + e = aige]

She/ it has a boat = tha bàta aice [aig + i = aice]

We have a boat = tha bàta againn [aig + sinn = againn]

You (plural or formal) have a boat = tha bàta agaibh [aig + sibh = agaibh]

They have a boat = tha bàta aca [aig + iad = aca]

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