He closed the milk, washed the cat, bought the wine on Monday, left his wife, and now he's leaving the cat. This poor man can't win for losing. :)
Yeah why leave the cat but instead of the wife i mean come on who doesn't like cats!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Just to confirm, in this case cat undergoes eclipsis in @centonola's example beause of ar, but does not undergo lenition because cat is feminine, yes?
Here's a great resource that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about this: http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/praepos.htm You can click on each preposition to see what you have to do to nouns that follow it. Based on that, centonola's sentence is foirfe (bonus points for use of Gaeilge???) everywhere except for Ulster, where they lenite the heck out of stuff. The rest of Ireland says ar an mbus and ar an bóthar, but in the north they say ar an bhus and ar an bhóthat. So if you screw up, you can just blame it on your granny from some other area of Ireland.
I'm also just a learner, so that sentence was my best guess at a sad cat. Elsewhere, I've always seen "ar an" eclipse the noun that follows, hence "ar an gcat." "Cat" is masculine, so it never gets lenited with "an" (unless it's genitive). Even if the noun were feminine, the eclipsis would take precedence over the lenition caused by the article.
It's cool. I'm still a little hazy on lenition vs eclipsis, and in what cases. I did reread the notes from eclipsis and you're correct that after "ar an" you would add g to cat, and it is indeed masculine, which is why it's "an cat" instead of "an chat." It's goofy in my head because I'm used to other languages treating cat as feminine (Die Katze).
This morning I was fiddling around in an online dictionary and saw that brónach is another word for sad, so I think you could say "Is sé an cat brónach" as another way to say "The cat is sad." But don't hold me to that.
Thanks very much!
Don't forget that German also has "der Kater" for a masculine cat! And Spanish, too, has both "el gato" and "la gata." I looked for a specific Irish word for a feminine cat, but I only found "caitín", and that is (ironically) masculine! Perhaps someone else knows if there's a word for pussycat.
And I completely agree: the whole lenition/eclipsis thing is one of the hardest things about Irish to get used to. But there's some comfort in the fact that it doesn't have the boatload of word endings that some other languages have!
True. I know that English has all kinds of language warts, but I do like that it's got no genders for nouns. I mean, if the rules were more regular like Spanish or Portuguese (or I grew up with the system) then I'd be okay with it too, obviously.
But I totally agree that it's nice to not have to learn a bunch of word endings.
I'm sure once we encounter the words enough, it'll just become second nature. I mean, I already think of beef as being mairteoil/mhairteoil without putting too much thought into it. After your response I looked at wikitionary and saw that it's got a lot of Irish words in it, and it shows their mutations, gender, etc. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mairteoil
You couldn't say Is sé an cat brónach. You're using the wrong verb, and don't need the sé since an cat is the subject already.
Got it. So, looking again "Is" is like ser in Spanish, meaning a permanent condition, and "Tá" is for temporary conditions like estar. Correct? So could I have said "Tá an cat brónach?" Is that better?
There's a little bit more nuance between Is and bí that isn't between ser and estar (as to be expected - they are different languages), but for the most part, yes. Or, you can assume if it's two nouns, use is.
And, yes, your second sentence is correct.
Is is for equating two nouns: I am a woman.
Tá links a noun with anything else: I am cold, I am by the tree, etc.
When he goes back to pick up the cat at the vet's, will it be as complete of a cat as when he left it? Is there a neuter noun form to use now when talking about the cat?
Can this mean not just he leaves the cat as in 'he moves away' but also 'he leaves the cat at a place?' Something like the difference between 'I leave my wife for another woman' and 'I leave the cat at the vets.'?