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  5. "Chomh minic agus is féidir."

"Chomh minic agus is féidir."

Translation:As often as is possible.

January 4, 2015



I actually read this as "As often as possible", but then is saw the "agus"... How does "and" fit in here?


Agus has more uses than “and” does in English. Along with the expected use as a coördinating conjuction, agus can also be used as a subordinating conjunction (such as “as” in English).


Thank you, once again for your help! So far, I love this language... it's like a giant puzzle!!


How about, more like a never-ending puzzle! I'm starting to think that that's what the saying, "gift of the gab" means!HaHa! It sure is puzzling, but that's what keeps us all coming back,right!?


"And" in English used to be used in a similar way in the past. In such expressions as "And it please you."


Are you sure about that? I have only ever seen that word as 'an', not 'and'.


The full text of Mallory's "La Mort D'Arthure: The History of King Arthur and of the Knights of the Round Table", published in 1858 is available online, and contains 3 instances of "and it please you".


The word 'an' in this sense was already archaic at the beginning of the 19th century. Horne Tooke in his 'Diversions of Purley' (1798) disputes Dr Johnson's interpretation of it as a contraction of 'and if', and claims that it derives from an Anglo-Saxon verb Anan, meaning to give.


Here are the relevant bits of the OED’s definition of an, an’, conj. [weakened from {@style=font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-variant: small-caps}and.]:

1. = {@style=font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-variant: small-caps}and, B. (L. et.)

In this sense the weak form an appears soon after 1100, and is not uncommon in ME., esp. northern, but very rare after 1500, till it reappears in modern times in the representation of dialect speech, in which it is printed an’ with the apostrophe, recognizing the dropped letter. But and is almost always so pronounced in conversation, and even in reading, though this is conventionally considered a fault.

2. = {@style=font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 12pt; font-variant: small-caps}and, C. = if. (L. si.) arch. and dial.

In this sense an, an’, is rare bef. 1600, when it appears occasionally in the dramatists, esp. before it, as an’ ’t please you, an’ ’t were, etc. As the prec. sense was not at this time written an, modern writers have made a conventional distinction between the two forms, an’ for ‘and,’ L. et, being dialectal or illiterate, but an’ or an for ‘and,’ L. si, archaic, or even literary. Except in an’ ’t, an is found only once in the 1st Folio of Shakspere (see below); but modern editors substitute it for the full and usual in Shakspere and his contemporaries. Dialectally the two senses are alike an’ ; the intensified and if, an if, common in 17th c., remains in the s.w. dial. as nif.

The OED’s “if” sense of “and” (corresponding to Middle High German unde) gives examples of its use with that spelling from 1205 to 1711.


Thanks, Scilling, very interesting.


Go raibh maith agat. I was also confused about the "agus" addition here.


Thank you! This is a perfect answer for me. Things are coming together - thank you for being my grammar guru. You've been incredibly helpful at all points so far. (Oh, and have a lingot.)


Thank you, and I hope that you’ll accept this one as a St. Stephen’s Day gift.


I am in awe at the intelligence of the Irish and my ancesters speaking this language.


I answered "As frequently as possible" and it was marked incorrect. I thought that chomh minic was translatable as "as often" and "as frequently". Is there a distinction?


It just wasn't anticipated when the contributors added this sentence. If/when the sentence pops up again, report it, and they will add it as an alternative answer.


"Chomh" reminds me of the French word "comme" (i.e., "like" or "as", in English).


Why not "agus ta e feidir"???


According to the FGB, féidir is a substantive that is only used with the copula.

Beyond that, it could never be tá é féidir. If féidir was an adjective, (like fuar), "it is possible" would be tá sé féidir (and foclóir.ie suggests that tá sé indéanta is an option), if féidir was a noun, "it is a possibility" would be is féidir é, but the noun form ("possibility") is actually féidearthacht, so it would actually be is féidearthacht í.


Just to clarify what you have said, there is nothing actually wrong with 'is féidir é', meaning 'it is possible'.


Yes, but féidir isn't a noun in that case, it's just an idiomatic usage.


I guess I was wrong, so!


My issue is the vocals. My memory from over 50 years ago was of chomh being pronounced as co. I assume her pronunciation is Connemara and that chun sound is not natural to my ear


I don't hear "chun", I hear "chu". The long ó sound of Munster (and Ulster) is shorter in Connacht, but that's natural enough when run quickly against the next word.


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