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"She was a wonderful friend."

Translation:Ba chara iontach í.

3 years ago

11 Comments


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

1 year 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