"This is evidence!"
Translation:Is fianaise í seo!
Why is only ' í ' accepted? I get that 'fianaise' is feminine but wouldn't it depend on the gender of the item of evidence? If I was talking about, say, a fingerprint (méarlorg, masculine) wouldn't I say 'is fianaise é seo'?
I wasn't aware of that. So, if I were to say 'it is a fruit' speaking of a grape, it'd be ' is toradh é' even though 'fíonchaor' is feminine? That actually makes things a bit simpler. Thanks, scilling.
If it’s clear that fíonchaor is being referred to, then í would be used. (If caor fíniúna were being referred to, then é would be used.)
The exceptions that trip me up are using é for áit and uair, and in a sentence with an interrogative like Cé hé an bhean sin?. I’d like to know when í would be used to refer to leabhar — is it under specific circumstances, or just according to personal taste?
I had a little look about and according to Raymond Hickey in Gender In Modern Irish, The Survival Of A Grammatical Subsystem1, 'leabhar' can be feminine in the Cois Fharraige dialect. Other variations are 'loch' is feminine in Connemara and 'ainm' is feminine in Munster.
Thanks for digging that up! I double-checked Dinneen’s dictionary, but he didn’t list any of those gender variants from Hickey’s book, although he did include some variants, e.g. gáire sometimes being feminine.
Did i get Seo é fianaise wrong because of the pronoun or is the gramar bad as well?
It doesn't feel right to me, even if the pronoun wasn't an issue. Seo é X is usually used to introduce someone or something, rather than to categorize it.
So to say "This is evidence - I have to collect it", I'd say Is fianaise í seo - ní mór dom í a bhailiú, but to say "this is the evidence that I collected", I'd say Is í seo an fhianaise a bhailigh me, or Seo í an fhianaise a bailigh mé.
And looking at some examples on focloir.ie, Seo é/í is almost always used with a definite noun - either a persons name, something qualified with a possessive pronoun (mo, do, etc) or with a definite article.
As for the pronoun, I'm not convinced that it wouldn't refer to the thing being collected, so í if I was collecting a shoe, but é if I was collecting a fingerprint (méarlorg is a masculine noun).
I am just curious. How did you ever learn which words were masc. and which were fem. Was it just a matter of sitting down and studying words to see what they were. I haven't picked up on a single one through this course. (Although I suppose now I know fianaise is fem. but I don't really know the words fianaise--still need to look it up to find out how to pronounce it---so it is unlikely I will remember it). I suppose maybe I should make a list of words that are used a lot on here and make and effort to memorize if they are masc. or fem. I guess that would be a good way to start.
Ok, that was interesting. I always did wonder what Declensions was. I wish they had told what the abbreviations mean in the chart because I can figure out some of them but not others. And now I see how you can get the genitive without having to memorize it for each word. When you learned these did you study each declension separately? It seems like such a lot of information. Anyway thank you so much. I am going to print this up and try to study each one at a time and see if this will help me out. Really, really appreciate this.
I was never taught to organize things by declensions, so I don't have any advice about the best way to approach the information on that page.
Don't be. If it looks like the organization of the declensions clarifies things that you have found confusing, then pay attention to the declensions. I'm just saying that I wasn't taught about them in school years ago, and I haven't paid much attention to them since I came back to the language, so I don't have any advice about how to go about studying them. I'm not suggesting that they aren't worth studying, just that I haven't been down that path.
(And you know that I'd tell you that you were wasting your time if that's what I thought).
I feel that it may be sufficient just to remember the feminine nouns in Irish when you come up against them - plus any other 'odd ones out' I suppose - and that then all the rest (the masculine nouns) will take care of themselves by default.
Myself, I'm relying on eventually applying the genders correctly by noticing the most-frequently used feminine nouns whenever they appear, until I finally remember them - which is not likely to be the most efficient method!
SatharnPHL discussed that in a comment above: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/9759629$comment_id=23236648