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  5. "Tá uisce ag an bportán."

" uisce ag an bportán."

Translation:The crab has water.

August 26, 2014

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NealFisher

This form threw me a bit - especially after reading the hints section and reading the prepositions like "ag an."

August 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yannifan113

There is a hints section???!!

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/czczczczcz

Only on the desktop site. :(

January 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ataltane

But you really have to read it.

February 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

And yet no one thought to give the link again: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Eclipsis

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RitaJones6

Do I need the Plus version to access this link? It just brings me to the main page.

July 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1217

The website was reorganized since this link was posted. You can access the Tips & Notes associated with a particular skill by clicking on the light-bulb icon when you select the skill on the website.

The current version of the Tips & Notes can be found at https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Eclipsis/tips-and-notes

July 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newjoe

A useful rhyme I leaned at school. Mary; Bakes; Pies (which) Never; Get; Cooked Now (a); Dreadful; Toothache Bothers her; Father N-AEIOU (he says)

MBP NGC NDT BhF N-AEIOU.

January 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeredithNa

I'm slightly confused by this rhyme. Can you please explain it? Thanks!

June 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohanaSchw

It is like the mnemonic for the order of operations in arithmetic -sally.. this is the mnemonic for eclipses. mary bakes pies: m eclipses b, as in ag an mbuachail. b eclipses p, as in ag an bportan..

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/17Smileyfaces

So when you pronounce eclipsed words you kind of swap the sound of the first letter for the new letter? I'm confused!

January 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

Yes. The reason why this is done is it mean that you can tell when reading the word what the word looks like without eclipsis, so 'bportán' is pronounced as if it's 'bortán' and you can tell that the original word is 'portán'. While initially confusing, it's actually a really useful feature of the orthography.

Here's more information about eclipsis: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/eklipse.htm

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ataltane

...and in Welsh, they don't keep the original letter, but write the equivalent of 'ag an bórtán'

February 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

Yup, which can get confusing under some circumstances. The way Irish does things looks weirder, but at least you still have the hint as to what the original word is.

April 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dim-ond-dysgwr

Yes. In Welsh you have a "total eclipsis"; in Irish it's only partial (at least, to look at)!

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grady777

bless you it all makes sense now

April 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellagoalie

Is there supposed to be a "b" before "portán"? Thus threw me off a bit. Is it a typo?

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sciatheric
March 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PinkRose98

Can someone please explain what eclipsis is? Or share a link to an article? I don't quite understand it. Thank you! :-)

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

There are notes on it here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Eclipsis

The gist is that when eclipsis is in effect, unvoiced sounds (f, p, t, c) become voiced (bh (v), b, d, g; which are written as 'bhf', 'bp', 'dt', 'gc' to preserve the original spelling), and voiced sounds (b, d, g) become nasalised (m, n, ng, but written mb, nd, ng to preserve the original spelling).

Now to dive deeper in to the sciencey bits.

As to why this happens, it's generally that the last letter in the previous word used to be a nasal sound, such as 'n', 'm' or 'ng'. When this final letter disappeared, it left its mark on the word that followed it.

You can see this most clearly if you look at the preposition 'i', which means 'in'. Historically, this was 'in'[1], just like in English, but the final nasal consonant was mostly lost over time (though it was preserved when 'i' comes in front of a word starting with a vowel), so whereas once you might've said 'in portach'[2] to say 'in a bog', now it's 'i bportach', as the nasal sound has been lost, but its echo is still seen in the eclipsis of the word that follows it.

As to why eclipsis is used with 'ag' as in 'ag an bportán', that's because technically 'pórtan' here is in the dative case (which you mostly don't have to worry about except with certain nouns as it's identical to the regular nominative case 99% of the time). The dative case is the case used with virtually all simple prepositions, including 'ag'. Where knowing this is important is with the 'an': while the nominative and dative 'an' mostly look alike in the modern language, in older versions of the language, they were different, and the dative 'an' triggers eclipsis[1].

To give you an example in English, once upon the time, the indefinite article was always 'an'[1]. If English had progressed the way that Irish did, then we would have 'a' and 'an' (before vowel sounds), but you'd write 'the cat' and 'a gat', 'the boy' and 'a moy', 'the goat' and 'a ngoat'. Much the same thing happened with the dative definite article in Irish, hence 'ag an bportán'.

[1] A simplification, but essentially true.

[2] This process happened over a millenium and a half ago, back in the 5th or 6th century, back in the Ancient Irish era, so it's likely you wouldn't have said 'in portach' but something not exactly dissimilar. I don't have an etymological dictionary to check what it actually might've been based off of the Old Irish spelling, unfortunately.

April 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eoin583226

Thank you.

April 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guupi

Agus tá portán i n-uisce. Does this mean "and the crab is in the water"? Or is it "Tá portán i an uisce" because of the definite article?

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heartosay

Before a vowel, "i" becomes "in", so "Agus tá portán in uisce" means "And a crab is in water".

"And the crab is in the water" would be "Agus tá AN portán SAN uisce".

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guupi

Thank you :)

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozieToez

How is "ag" different than "aici/aige"?

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ballygawley

ag is the basic form used with nouns, e.g, ag an gcailín, ag an mbuaichall, ag an mbean, ag an bhfear.

aici/aige is combining "ag" = "to have" with the pronoun "she" --> she has and aige is with the pronoun "he" --> he has (this is explained in detail in a later section).

Quote:

In Irish most prepositions are usually written on their own, but when you use them together with a pronoun (me, you, he, she, it, us, them), the two words get contracted together to make what are known as prepositional pronouns

August 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oppikoppi

is this the same as: Tá uisce portán aice ?

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heartosay

No, if you mean to say "Tá uisce phortán aige", that would translate as "He has the water of a crab".

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guupi

Does this mean that lenition (portán -> phortán) is necessary to put a word into the genitive case? Does it always work like this?

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lancet

That particular topic is quite complicated; we will try to expand the notes in the Genitive Case skill to offer guidance.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brigids.em

Thank you! I know it's likely a different team, but do you by any chance have any intel on whether the programmers plan to make those notes available for the mobile app? (Sorry if I'm the hundred-and-seventh person to ask!)

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lancet

No intel on this, I'm afraid. We'd love this to happen too!

February 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Just scroll down at this link to the computer version page: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ga/Eclipsis

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heartosay

In this case, where "portán" is a masculine noun of the first declension, it would be lenited. But that, as Lancet said, is a very long story...

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozieToez

What about "Tá uisce aige an bportán"?

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

That would mean “He/it has water the crab”, with an unnecessary eclipsis added for good measure.

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

'aige' mean 'at him'. If 'him' is the crab, then it has to come after the preposition, thus 'ag an bportán' - 'at the crab'.

August 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tinagwee

So why doesnt tá uisce an bportan aige not work? Glms for being basic.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

Because Tá X ag Y is the general idiom for “Y has X”.

Note that Tá uisce an phortáin aige, the closest grammatically correct version of your sentence, means “He/it has the crab’s water”.

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buachaill

If the conversation was about a crab who has water, you could say "Ta uisce aici/aige"

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LinguDemo

Good Lord, the order's backwards from English. @_@

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

It might look like it, but it's not. The super literal translation of this (though keeping English word order) is 'There is water at the crab'. So the order isn't backwards (aside from the verb coming first in Irish, and that the verb 'bí', when used intransitively, is used to make existential statements), but that Irish doesn't have a direct equivalent of the English verb 'to have', and possession is instead done using the phrasal verb 'bí + ag'. Thus what is literally translated as 'there is water at the crab' actually means 'the crab has water'.

This might seem weird, but this exact construction actually occurs in a lot of the world's languages, Finnish and Russian being two European examples other than the Celtic languages. In fact, there are some interesting things to note about languages with 'have' and languages without 'have': http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/LING_a_00076

April 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

These sentences do not make sense to me. I can't get them because they don't make sense in English to me. :(

April 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverCasserley

One month on, are they making anymore sense Becky?

May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

Well, not this one, lol, but yes, most of them are making more sense and frankly the ones that aren't I am trying not to worry about. I just move on now. My biggest problem now is trying to use enough of it to retain some of it.

May 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverCasserley

Here is a lingo for your perseverence. Ádh mór ort.- Good luck.

May 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

Go raibh maith agat!

May 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cgunning17

When do u use ag?

May 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

There are many instances when you'd use ag. For instance, most cases of English 'at' would use it. Here, it's used because Irish has no verb for have. Instead, something is 'at' someone.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felicia125253

Why is it "the crab has 'got' the water" but "the crab has the water" is not acceptable?

February 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

There is no an before uisce, so it should be 'The crab has (got) water'. If either of those wasn't accepted, please report it.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna795979

Why does ag mean "has" with everything else, but it is "has got" here? I got it wrong the first time around because of the "got". Someone explain please?

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

If it wasn't accepted as 'The crab has water', please report it.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/websmasha

Help me! I thought it was 'Water has the crab'

April 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

That would be Tá an portán ag uisce. The order is basically [Form of ] + [possessed item] + ag + [possessor]

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Losa721809

why not just say, Tá an portán uisce"? Is it not the same thing? The way it is written, it almost sounds like the water has the crab! How would you say, "the crab is in the water"? It seems it would be damn close to this sentence. I was doing great with this course, until this confusing chapter!

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Tá an portán uisce would be nonsensical. To say 'the crab is in the water' you'd say Tá an portán san uisce.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tinagwee

When is ag v aige used?

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tinagwee

Sorry, saw explanation above

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tinagwee

Not that i understand the explanations as i dont understand the grammatical terms. Ill just try and learn the patterns as i will never get all the grammar terms.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1217

ag, ar, le, roimh etc are called "prepositions". In English, words like "at", "on", with", "before" are prepositions. They are used to indicate relations between nouns.

A "pronoun" in English is a word that substitutes for a noun. "I", "me", "you", "he", "him", "it" etc are all pronouns (there are many classes of pronouns).

In Irish, when the object or complement of a preposition is a pronoun, they combine together to form a prepositional pronoun.
ar an mbord - "on the table" ("the table" is a noun, it doesn't combine with ar)
orm - "on me" ( is a pronoun, so it does combine with ar to produce orm)
roimh an bportán - "before the crab" (noun, so no combining)
roimhe - "before him/it" (pronoun, so you combine to form a prepositional pronoun)

The added complication in this case is that Irish, like Russia and Hindi, doesn't have a verb for "have", and instead uses the verb and the preposition ag for this purpose, so tá uisce ag an bportán means "the crab has water", but tá uisce aige means "he/it has water", because ag doesn't combine with the noun an portán, but it does combine with the pronoun.

Grammatical terms are just labels - you can speak English without knowing those terms, and you can learn Irish the same way that you learned English, by trial and error, bit by bit. But if you want to leverage your knowledge of English to help you learn Irish, learning those labels can be helpful, so that you can use your understanding of how "verbs" work in English to apply to "verbs" in Irish, and you can understand why different rules might apply to an "adjective" rather than a "noun". Other people won't take the time to explain everything in very basic terms every time you ask a question, so if you want to use the help that other people offer, make the effort to understand the terms that they are going to use. People aren't going to explain the difference between a "vowel" and a "consonant", they'll expect you to look it up yourself.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanOConno384844

I don't understand the word order here. I thought Irish went: Verb, Subject, Object. But here "Water" is the object and comes before the subject, "The crab".

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1217

Irish doesn't have a verb for "have", a characteristic that it shares with Russian, for example. Instead, it uses the phrasal verb tá .. ag.

"X has Y" - tá Y ag X.

The object in the English sentence becomes the subject in the Irish sentence.

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanOConno384844

So would a more literal translation of the sentence be something like "water is at the crab" and Duolingo adjusts the answer to reflect the meaning of the sentence?

March 21, 2019
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