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  5. "Cad atá os mo chionn?"

"Cad atá os mo chionn?"

Translation:What is above me?

December 6, 2014



"os mo chionn", what does that translate to literally?


os is an old preposition meaning 'above'. Prepositions used to take the dative case, and cionn is the dative of ceann (head) (note: some nouns still have datives in use). So, lit. Above my head


perfect as always!


Is the dative taught anywhere in the Duolingo course? I keep seeing it crop up, but only when I'm getting something wrong. ;-)


No its not. It's only used in imthe caighdeáin for 5 words and fossilized phrases


Okay, thanks. I'll just memorize once I get them wrong often enough to sink in.


would it then be permissible to say os mo cheann ? or is the chionn here because os chionn is an idiom?


chionn is needed


Tá damhán alla os do chionn, of course.


nílim scanraithe, itheann mo chat é


So you know how os means above as mentioned os cionn, then what does 'comhair' mean as in os comhair? Or is that not related?


The meaning of comhair in os comhair is “presence” — thus, os comhair = “upon presence” = “in front of” or “opposite”.


I don't know, but you should probably be worried about what's behind you.


Completely confused by this one as well - it must be above me.


So how would one say something like there is a cat above the dog?


Suggested: Tá cat thar an madra.


Tá cat os cionn an mhadra.


When do you put the A in Atá?


You don't "put the A in Atá".

When the verb comes immediately after the relative particle a, they are combined. The relative particle a does not combine with other verbs, it usually lenites them.

cad a bhí sa mhála?
cad a bheidh agat?
cad a chosnaíonn sé?
cad a cheapann tú?


I believe he is asking for clarification on when to use 'tá' and when to use 'atá' - which, colloquially, one might refer to as 'putting the 'a' in atá, a Shathair'.


When you ask a question, for one: 'Conas atá sé?' vs. the statement, 'Tá sé micheart.'

Irish uses this 'a' to connect the 'question' word to the rest of the sentence, where English simply relies on the inverted word order.

'A' is used this way with other verbs as well: 'Cad a ólann siad,' for example (SatharnPH provides more examples above).

The word is also used in more idiomatic contexts: 'Is dúinn atá an bia,' for example, or 'is uisce a ólann sibh.'


Cad atá os mo chionn? An scéal, ar ndóigh.


Ok, so is this literal? Or can it be interpreted as "what did i miss?" Or both?


It wouldn't be understood as "what did I miss?". But it also shouldn't be taken too literally - here are just a few examples from the NEID of os cionn meaning "over" or "above", rather that "over head":
"books were stacked on the table" - bhí leabhair carntha os cionn a chéile ar an mbord
"superimposed layers" - sraitheanna os cionn a chéile
"fines in excess of €1000" - fíneálacha os cionn €1000
"to marry above your station" - pósadh os cionn do chéimíochta
"half the population is above sixty" - tá leath an daonra os cionn seasca
"dawn broke over the hills" - d'éirigh an ghrian os cionn na gcnoc


In breton they have such prepositions e.g. "warlerc'h" meaning after and "war ma lerc'h" after me.


Love this. I wasn't sure whether Breton was still spoken. I think that Cornish is part of the same group of languages (PCelts) Fascinating!


I suggested "overhead" keeping the concept of "ceann" as head, but it was rejected!


"What is over my head?" will be accepted.

[deactivated user]

    Ní théann aon rud os mo chionn. Ghabhfainn é.

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