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Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:12 pm
by MacBrádaigh
I wonder if any of you lovely folk could help me out. Have been slowly working through TAIC and trying to put together sentences of my own. I put together the following (simple but complex enough for me!) short sentence but I am not sure if the Gàidhlig is correct, especially with making the infinitive "to learn". Could you take a look and if I have gone wrong explain to me how? Thanks in advance.

Tha ùidh agam ann a bhith a' ionnsachadh Gàidhlig (I have an interest in learning Gàidhlig).

Re: Ceist

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:41 pm
by poor_mouse
Tha ùidh agam ann a bhith ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig.

Before the vowels we put "ag".
Leis an fhìrinn innse (to tell the truth), "ionnsachadh" is a verbal noun (i.e. "learning", not "to learn"), agus "ag" came from "aig" ("at"); so, "tha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig" literally means "I am at learning (of) Gaelic".
But before the consonants "ag" loses it's "g", so we see "tha mi a' leughadh, tha mi a' sgrìobhadh" etc.

Re: Ceist

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:06 pm
by akerbeltz
Tha ùidh agam ann a bhith ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig
Now to complicate matters 8-) The above is grammatically correct but a bit tortured. Of course this is only one sentence so it's hard to speak of patterns but it's best to try and avoid using the a bhith construction. It's tempting as it mirrors English somewhat but as a rule of thumb, you don't want a bhith to crop up more than 3 times on an A4 sheet.

So the big challenge of Gaelic lies not in its grammar but pronunciation and idiom. Which would probably be Tha ùidh agam ann an ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig.

Re: Ceist

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:26 am
by Mairead
Do you think the usage of "a bhith" varies a lot regionally? My teacher (Harris) used it a lot, but I don't know if that was because she naturally would or because she thought that it was a good beginners' construction.

Re: Ceist

Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:41 am
by akerbeltz
I don't think so. I just punched a bhith ag and a bhith a' into the DASG corpus, in a corpus of 8.5 million words we get 122 hits for both forms. Not a lot at all. 'Gar, a fairly rare form gets 501 hits, for comparison.

And it's not a good construction for beginners but yes, it's a tempting one.