Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
jasonleitch
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Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by jasonleitch » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:03 am

Ok so it is pretty simple, conceptually I mean. My question reguards a few instances that have not been explained to me and raise confusion. And please, I know some of you like to get pretty lingustically technical in your terminology but seriously it's pretentious as hell, I just need a straight answer. I am a beginnier remember what that feels like lol.

So in english, when would one use either in what situation and regaurding what circumstance. These "same" meaning words must have nuances, I get that some have more than one meaning and that useage is apparent. I have no trouble with 1 word and double meaning, ro can be "too" or "before" depending on it's useage and I'm fine with that. Just what each "to" is used for and when each "from" is used for is all i'm after.

=======================================
bho / o - from

à (às - with definite noun) - from, out of

======================================
dha / do / a - to

gu - to, until

ri - to, at, against

=====================================
còmhla ri(s) - together with

cuide ri(s) - together with



akerbeltz
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:37 am

Just briefly as I'm still on hols :)

They're called simple because they crop up just on their own (for example you can just use ri and plonk a noun after it). The others are called complex because they're two-word cominations (usually a simple preposition and a noun) and many involve the genitive case (e.g. ri taobh, a dh'ionnsaigh).

I don't think anyone uses grammatical terms on this site to "impress", I've never actually met someone who was impressed by me using the word allocutive agreement :) But as any profession, the learning and teaching of language involves technical terminology. Just as you don't berate your mechanic for saying carburettor (pass as to what that actually does on my behalf) or your GP for saying eczema, a language teacher shouldn't get stick for saying habitual tense as long as the audience is willing to learn and the teacher willing to explain what one of those is.

As to your problem, I think you're getting two concepts mixed up. Words have a meaning and a tr*nsl*t**n (when going across languages). The two are not the same thing. The tr*nsl*t**n of a word especially can vary vastly depending on context and the language you're tr*nsl*t*ng into. For example, wood has two key meanings in English (the substance and a type of forest). But how you tr*nsl*t* it into another language depends on the intended meaning and the limitations of the language you're tr*nsl*t*ng into. In some languages, the substance requires a special word which may never stand for forest.

Gaelic prepositions have meanings which on the whole, from the Gaelic point of view, are fairly consistent and logical. But that does not mean that the transaltion of them is conistent. Take ri which can be translated in a dozen or so ways but in Gaelic has one primary meaning - movement or position against. If you tray and look at Gaelic prepositions in terms of their meaning, rather than their translations, they become a lot less confusing!

faoileag
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by faoileag » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:41 pm

And now for the real basic practical stuff! :spors:

Learn by heart a key example for each use (which will also show if it lenites or not):

à, a

Tha mi à Glaschu - I am from G. (I belong there)
Tha mi a' dol a Ghlaschu - I am going to G.


bho...gu.. (starting point > finishing point)

Tha mi a' dol bho Ghlaschu gu Dùn Èideann - from G to E.
Bho àm gu àm - from time to time


do (or 'dha') = a = to/into (context!), for places other than placenames, which prefer the 'a'.

Tha mi a' dol dhan sgoil - I'm going to (the) school
Tha mi a' dol do bhaile ùr - I'm going to a new town
Tha mi a' dol dhan bhaile airson nam bùithtean - I'm going into the town for the shops
Tha i a' dol dhan t-seòmar - she's going into the room


Forget learning 'ri' as meaning 'to' at all.
Only use it (for now) in the fixed expressions you have learned, such as

còmhla ri = cuide ri = together with / along with / in company with (mainly for people; 'le' = with for things)
coltach ri - like, similar to
fuirich ri/ feitheamh ri - wait for (a bus, a person etc)

jasonleitch
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by jasonleitch » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:52 pm

faoileag wrote:And now for the real basic practical stuff! :spors:

Learn by heart a key example for each use (which will also show if it lenites or not):

à, a

Tha mi à Glaschu - I am from G. (I belong there)
Tha mi a' dol a Ghlaschu - I am going to G.


bho...gu.. (starting point > finishing point)

Tha mi a' dol bho Ghlaschu gu Dùn Èideann - from G to E.
Bho àm gu àm - from time to time


do (or 'dha') = a = to/into (context!), for places other than placenames, which prefer the 'a'.

Tha mi a' dol dhan sgoil - I'm going to (the) school
Tha mi a' dol do bhaile ùr - I'm going to a new town
Tha mi a' dol dhan bhaile airson nam bùithtean - I'm going into the town for the shops
Tha i a' dol dhan t-seòmar - she's going into the room


Forget learning 'ri' as meaning 'to' at all.
Only use it (for now) in the fixed expressions you have learned, such as

còmhla ri = cuide ri = together with / along with / in company with (mainly for people; 'le' = with for things)
coltach ri - like, similar to
fuirich ri/ feitheamh ri - wait for (a bus, a person etc)
Thank you! Now I have something to go on. Shape these words be taking =P.

so for dhan and do... interchangeable? and "a" is a form of do for place names?

also for

còmhla ri(s) - together with

cuide ri(s) - together with

I get the meaning and useage, but which to use? How is their use defined?

also for

coltach ri
- like, similar to

I know mar can be used as like, mar dhuine are these two different types of comparison?

Seonaidh
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by Seonaidh » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:30 pm

1. Mar, Coltach ri: they're as interchangeable as "as" and "like" in English - i.e., sometimes you'd always go for "mar", sometimes for "coltach ri", sometimes you could use either. Note also that "mar" is found in the question word "ciamar" (how?) and, thus, is often used for a non-question "how" in English, e.g. "This is how I do it" (Sin mar a tha mi ga dhèanamh, sin mar a nì mi e). Although, these day, thathar ri ràdh (it must be said), folk often use "ciamar" here.

2. Do, Dha, and with a definite article ("the"): yes, these are fully interchangeable. Their rules are very slightly different, in that "dha" and "dhan" ("to" and "to the") tend not to cause lenition, while "do" and "don" ("to" and "to the" always cause it (where it happens, that is), as does "a". So "I'm going to the house" and "I'm going to a house" could have the following forms in Gaelic - first, "I'm going to the house":-

Tha mi a' dol don taigh, Tha mi a' dol dhan taigh (Note: no lenition for T after N)

Second, "I'm going to a house":-

Tha mi a'dol do thaigh, Tha mi a' dol dha taigh, Tha mi a'dol a thaigh [rare!]

You seem to have grasped that "do" usually implies "into" whereas "gu" doesn't. "Do" also often tronslotes the English "for" (though by no means always - maybe your next worm-laden can coming up...)

Last thing on "do", "dha" and "a" - before a vowel, the next word gets "dh'" stuck in front of it, e.g. "Tha mi a' dol do dh'Inbhir Nis", "Tha mi a'dol dha dh'Inbhir Nis" [rare], "Tha mi a'dol a dh'Inbhir Nis". You'd also get this with, e.g. Fìobha, as in "Tha mi a'dol a dh'Fhìobha", as the lenited F is silent and the word then effectively begins with a vowel.

faoileag
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by faoileag » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:53 pm

Basically, Jason, for someone who's been learning Gaelic for only 3 weeks, you're doing well, but you are trying to run before you can walk. Some of the questions you ask require answers using contrastive examples from Gaelic that is levels higher than where you are.

As Niall says, they are sometimes very hard to answer in a brief, transparent way, especially at your level.
Akerbeltz has kindly taken time out of his much-needed holiday to try to explain this to you, based on your own rather untransparent (and not very polite :? ) request, and those previously posted. I actually thought it was a helpful answer.

You should take things as they come and learn them. And I mean LEARN them. USE them on here. Not the theory, but the practice.
Write us stuff. Let us see what you are doing and how you're implementing the theory, and thereby provide us with usable examples that mean something to you.

And remember we are all volunteeers. We are doing this for Gaelic, in our own (scarce) time, and as a result of our own tough times (and expense in books and course fees) in getting where we are. We want to help other learners, but learners have to help themselves too.

To answer your questions:

Còmhla ri and cuide ri are basically equivalents, hence my 'equals' sign. Pick what you like. I like 'còmhla'.

a= do = dha

do/dha is the basic 'directional to' - to, into a place.
dhan is 'to the'. (Go on a chapter or two and you'll learn that automatically.)
a = to as well, but is more commonly used with placenames.

coltach ri = like , similar to, exactly as I said.
mar = as / how.


And all of these things mean various other things in various other contexts, idioms etc, so you are getting only the basics from me.

And now, use them! :priob:

Write us some sentences, tell us a bit about yourself, where you're going etc, in Gaelic. Try the new stuff out. Play with it.
On here. :spors:

jasonleitch
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by jasonleitch » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:13 am

Seonaidh wrote:1. Mar, Coltach ri: they're as interchangeable as "as" and "like" in English - i.e., sometimes you'd always go for "mar", sometimes for "coltach ri", sometimes you could use either. Note also that "mar" is found in the question word "ciamar" (how?) and, thus, is often used for a non-question "how" in English, e.g. "This is how I do it" (Sin mar a tha mi ga dhèanamh, sin mar a nì mi e). Although, these day, thathar ri ràdh (it must be said), folk often use "ciamar" here.

2. Do, Dha, and with a definite article ("the"): yes, these are fully interchangeable. Their rules are very slightly different, in that "dha" and "dhan" ("to" and "to the") tend not to cause lenition, while "do" and "don" ("to" and "to the" always cause it (where it happens, that is), as does "a". So "I'm going to the house" and "I'm going to a house" could have the following forms in Gaelic - first, "I'm going to the house":-

Tha mi a' dol don taigh, Tha mi a' dol dhan taigh (Note: no lenition for T after N)

Second, "I'm going to a house":-

Tha mi a'dol do thaigh, Tha mi a' dol dha taigh, Tha mi a'dol a thaigh [rare!]

You seem to have grasped that "do" usually implies "into" whereas "gu" doesn't. "Do" also often tronslotes the English "for" (though by no means always - maybe your next worm-laden can coming up...)

Last thing on "do", "dha" and "a" - before a vowel, the next word gets "dh'" stuck in front of it, e.g. "Tha mi a' dol do dh'Inbhir Nis", "Tha mi a'dol dha dh'Inbhir Nis" [rare], "Tha mi a'dol a dh'Inbhir Nis". You'd also get this with, e.g. Fìobha, as in "Tha mi a'dol a dh'Fhìobha", as the lenited F is silent and the word then effectively begins with a vowel.
Excellent. Thank you.

akerbeltz
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:42 pm

You know, it's difficult to know how much you know and don't know via a forum, I wasn't trying to make it "prepositions for dummies" but if time teaching Gaelic learners has taught me anything, it's that the teacher should never assume that the student knows x already because it's obvious or basic. Which is why I was trying to start from scratch in a way, I'd intended to come back a bit later to post some more but I got sidetracked into something else 8-)

No offense taken but I do suggest as some of the others have that before we hit the "Cuir ann" button, it pays to do a gross error check to see if a post could be read differently. We've all posted stuff which in retrospect we could have worded better. :?

Right, back to my inbox :coimp:

jasonleitch
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by jasonleitch » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:40 pm

akerbeltz wrote:You know, it's difficult to know how much you know and don't know via a forum, I wasn't trying to make it "prepositions for dummies" but if time teaching Gaelic learners has taught me anything, it's that the teacher should never assume that the student knows x already because it's obvious or basic. Which is why I was trying to start from scratch in a way, I'd intended to come back a bit later to post some more but I got sidetracked into something else 8-)

No offense taken but I do suggest as some of the others have that before we hit the "Cuir ann" button, it pays to do a gross error check to see if a post could be read differently. We've all posted stuff which in retrospect we could have worded better. :?

Right, back to my inbox :coimp:

Sorry if I came off insincere Akerbz, I'm apologizing to you directly, in case there is more confusion. It was not my intent.

I'm gunna go practice Gaelic now if that's ok.

akerbeltz
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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:45 pm

It's ok, no worries, honestly. Don't let this slight misunderstanding stop you from asking!

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Re: Simple Preposition... simple you say?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:10 pm

Agreed.

This thread is a bit disjointed anyway now so I'll just post what I meant to post a few days ago.

Starting with the simple prepositions, these usually show up in one of three forms:
1) basic form (e.g. ri, le, de, do, o...)
2) form with the article (e.g. ris an, leis an, den (an)/dhen (an), don (an)/dhan (an), on...)
3) form which indicates a person (e.g. rium, riut, ris, rithe, r(u)inn, r(u)ibh, riutha)

Group 1 is the easiest, add a noun and you're almost done. Bear in mind that some cause changes to the first sound. On the whole, these are translated into English without involving the word the but often a/an:
ri balla » against a wall
le balla » with a wall
de bhalla » of a wall
do bhalla » to a wall
o bhalla » from a wall

Footnotes: in from of place names, do appears in it's greatly reduced form a /ə/. Also note that most native speakers merge de and do and pronounce it /də/. In some places, dha /ɣa/ is used instead of do because it doesn't lenite, e.g.
dha Calum » to Calum
do Chalum » to Calum

Group 2 does fancier stuff. As a rule of thumb, lenite bcfgmp and s takes t-. In tr*nsl*t**n, this usually involves the word the.
ris a' bhalla » against the wall
leis a' bhalla » with the wall
dhen bhalla » of the wall
dhan bhalla » to the wall
on bhalla » from the wall

Footnotes: whether to use dhan an or dhan, dhen an or dhen etc is a matter of preference. Only those which add an s (e.g. ri » ris an) must have the an. don vs dhan and den vs dhen is for the most part a question of formality over colloquialness though some southern dialects also prefere don/den. For the most part, stick to dhan and dhen, I'd recommend.
Some exhibit a rather baffling array of options, especially gu. At the conservative end, this becomes chun an, causing lenition and the genitive. At the colloquial end, this just lenites. And you forms which are half way.
chun an taighe » towards the house
chun taigh » towards the house
gun (an) taigh » towards the house

Group 3 is relatively easy, it just means that two words are folded into one (from the English point of view)
rium » against me
riut » against you
ris » against him
etc

Footnote: a common error is to use a Group 3 form with a noun. Don't. To use with a noun, use Group 1 or 2 (ri balla, ris a' bhalla), with a name, only Group 1 (ri Calum). Group 3 forms must the learned. There are some very loose patterns (like the first person ending in -m) but on the whole these are so ancient that it's not workable to produce rules which say "add this, then do that etc" to make them up on the spot.

Make a bit more sense? Best sort these before we tackle the complicated ones.

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