Is there any etymological reason why lú comes from beag?
Not quite sure why, but the difference goes all the way back to Old Irish, where lugu was the comparative of bec, "small"
It has the verb tá, so you need the verb in there somewhere.
"The smaller cat" would be an cat níos lú, without a form of bí
Itheann an cat níos lú an luch (The smaller cat ate the mouse).
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.
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."
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).
wow, I had no idea that "nois" was a verb form. I just knew it being there meant "smaller" and "is" would mean "smallest".
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
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?
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".)
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?
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.
As in: Is é Seán is fearr orthu (EID).... an implied noun. Thanks, I'll chew on that a while
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.
"níos" is pronounced as a single syllable like "niece" in Ulster and Connacht:
Even in Munster, the second syllable can disappear in a phrase like "níos lú", giving the "neeslu" sound that you hear in this exercise: