"'S e brot a th' ann."

Translation:It is soup.

July 29, 2020

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I'm getting really confused at all the different ways to say things. As soon as I have it down, something else comes along. Why wouldn't you just say "Tha e brot."


Because Gaelic has two different to be verbs with their own different uses.

I described them both under a similar question in another discussion, It is another sandwich. You might want to read that post: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/38781757?comment_id=38782559

In a bit fewer words:

Tha is the wrong verb here, it does not mean is as in it is something else, it only has the meaning of is in sentences like he is nice or she is in the park – it describes things and people and states their whereabouts, it does not state who or what something is. That is, tha takes only adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases as its predicates, and not noun phrases.

For the latter you need the copula verb, is. You technically could use it straightforward to say it is soup as is brot e – but that is archaic/literary usage in modern Gaelic, and you’d rather use a bit more complex construction today: ’s e brot a th’ ann, literally something like a soup is what is in-it or it is a soup that is in-it – notice that first the copula is is used to state what a soup is, and then tha is used in a relative clause with ann in it as its predicate.

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