"She was a wonderful friend."

Translation:Ba chara iontach í.

3 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/exeisen
exeisen
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Why "chara" and not "cara"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cait48
Cait48
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Would Ba chara go hiontach í be correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

go is only used with those adjectives when they're used with a form of . If they're used with is, you won't need the go. Also, a note: if this sentence was said out of the blue, native speakers would parse it as "She would be a wonderful friend". The past tense interpretation of the copula is the marked form, where as the conditional is the unmarked.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I’m not following what you mean by “marked form” and “unmarked form” of the copula — would you explain it further?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

The "unmarked form" is basically the general interpretation - the one that is normally used, and would be assumed out of the blue. The "marked" form is the one used in special cases.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Thanks — as far as I could tell, there was no difference in the written forms of conditional ba vs. past ba, so I was wondering if marked/unmarked had to do with a written difference that I’d missed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

Nope. Though a note from An Teanga Bheo: Ghaeilge Chonnamara: Is minic nach mbíonn séimhiú ar lorg ba (foirm stairiúil na copaile): ba fear maith é... Ach, bíonn séimhiú de ghnáth ar aidiachtaí áirithe: ba bhreá... There's also some interesting stuff to note on GnaG, though it doesn't refer to the plain form of the preterite/conditional, but to conjunctions, questions, etc.

Also, as to markedness, it's just a linguistics term I've found useful. Here's the Wikipedia entry

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patbo
patbo
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So how do I get around the interpretation as conditional? Could I say something like "bhí sí ina cara iontach", or would that refer to one specific point in the past rather than to a general attribute of her?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

You could, yes. Really, just use context.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cait48
Cait48
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So I could use this sentence, say, at a funeral to say that she was a wonderful friend to pay for piano lesson for my kid when I couldn't afford them? (I'm not trying to be funny, just to come up with a sentence that is both clearly past and clearly not past habitual.)

BTW, I'm kind of a grammar nerd and love this kind of discussion--it's probably why I'm tongue-tied when trying to speak Irish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galaxyrocker

You could, but I feel the structure with i still might be more appropriate. And I understand! I always asked the weirdest questions about it too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteffanieS
SteffanieS
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I feel like I missed a section of the tree. Where did we learn the past tense of the copula? I've seen "Ba" several times in this review, but don't remember learning it. I'll gladly go back and repeat whatever section it was in.

1 year ago
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