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  5. "Tá an cat níos lú."

" an cat níos lú."

Translation:The cat is smaller.

October 12, 2014

25 Comments


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

Is there any etymological reason why comes from beag?


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

Not quite sure why, but the difference goes all the way back to Old Irish, where lugu was the comparative of bec, "small"


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

I can't work out when to use is instead of nios


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B-mhongoadh

níos lú - smaller , is lú - smallest


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

Could you use this structure to say sth equivalent to ' you're the best!'? Tá tú is fearr or maybe Is é an rud is fearr atá tú?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1452

You're trying to translate an English idiom directly - you'd be better off using any of the many expressions of approval available in Irish.

(Having said that, focloir.ie does have "it's not the best" - "ní hé is fearr", but that somehow works a bit better than "is tusa is fearr".)


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

Many thanks ! Now, I notice you've used the copula here, instead of tá. Would that be an instance of 'emotional estimation' as Ó Siadhail puts it, as in 'Is deas í do léine'? ' 'An-scríbhneoir ba ea í.'? Or is there another rule that you always use the copula with a comparison?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1452

I didn't use the copula - I quoted an entry from the NEID that does what I said you shouldn't do, translating an English idiom directly into Irish.

But the reason for using the copula is because "best" is really being used as a noun in "you are the best" or "it's not the best" - it's standing in for whatever noun the definite article is there for.


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

As in: Is é Seán is fearr orthu (EID).... an implied noun. Thanks, I'll chew on that a while


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

Couldn't it also be "The smaller cat" ?


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

It has the verb , so you need the verb in there somewhere.

"The smaller cat" would be an cat níos lú, without a form of

Itheann an cat níos lú an luch (The smaller cat ate the mouse).


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

Okay thank you. In my understanding "the smaller cat" and "the cat is smaller" isn't really any difference. But from a grammatical point of view I get it know. Thank you.


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

See, I do have a difference between "the smaller cat" and "the cat is smaller." One just states a specific cat, the smaller one. The other is an actual comparison. "What is smaller? The cat is smaller."


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

Those precisely demonstrate the difference between an attributive adjective and a predicative adjective. The latter is used to form a complete sentence; the former isn’t (other than as a terse response to a question).


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

wow, I had no idea that "nois" was a verb form. I just knew it being there meant "smaller" and "is" would mean "smallest".


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

níos isn't a verb form - the reference to a verb is to the in Tá an cat níos lú

níos lú is the comparative form of beag


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

Though it's worth noting that traditionally níos lú was ní is lú(the thing that is smaller). This is still seen in the past tense comparative Bhí an cat ní ba lú


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

Oh ok, thanks.


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

Can anyone confirm the audio? I'm hearing "tá an cat ni slu" which makes no sense. I'm very liberal with the helpings of scepticism when it comes to the audio.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatharnPHL
Mod
  • 1452

"níos" is pronounced as a single syllable like "niece" in Ulster and Connacht:
http://www.teanglann.ie/ga/fuaim/n%C3%ADos

Even in Munster, the second syllable can disappear in a phrase like "níos lú", giving the "neeslu" sound that you hear in this exercise:
http://www.teanglann.ie/ga/fuaim/n%c3%ados_l%c3%ba


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

Go raibh maith agat!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/billybobjoe2003

couldn't it be the smaller cat


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

See galaxyrocker's reply to this exact same question higher up on the thread.

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