adjective following copula?

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:42 am
Language Level: advanced beginner
Corrections: I'm fine either way
Location: USA

adjective following copula?

Unread post by Barabal55 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:58 am

I'm still trying to understand all the structures associated with the copula and I'm confused about when you can use an adjective following 'is'.
example: Is bòidheach am feasgar.
I thought if it was anything other than noun, pronoun, noun phrase you would use 's ann ie: 'S ann bòidheach a th' am feasgar.

Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:19 am

adjective following copula?

Unread post by faoileag » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:24 am

Think of these Is / Nach + adjective phrases (for now at least) as idioms, rather than as the standard structure.

There are some useful more-or-less fixed phrases that you come across more commonly, and can safely use, e.g.

Nach bochd sin!
'S math a rinn thu! Nach math a rinn iad!

and you'll see others, especially with bòidheach, muladach or other emotionally charged adjectives in songs and poems, which can be seen as historical use or literary device.
I would avoid being creative with such constructions until you really have a good feel for style and register in Gaelic.

Even the 's ann + adjective as emphatic "fronting" (though standard as a structure) shouldn't be overused. It can sound a bit formal or poetic.
My observation is that Gaelic likes nouns (the way English likes verbs) and it would be more common to say

'S e feasgar dìreach àlainn a bha againn a-raoir
'S ann àlainn a bha am feasgar.

My feeling is that 'S ann tends to get used most for contrast, and is especially common with prepositional phrases, rather than adjectives.

'S ann ruadh a tha falt Màiri, chan ann bàn.
'S ann aig Màiri a bha an leabhar, chan ann aig Seumas.
'S ann anns an Fhraing a thachair e.

Posts: 4535
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 am
Language Level: Mion-chùiseach
Corrections: Please correct my grammar
Location: Dùthaich mo chridhe

adjective following copula?

Unread post by GunChleoc » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:16 am

Good advice :)

In English, you can just raise your voice to put emphasis on a word, and the stress system is pretty intricate. You can't do that in Gaelic at all, so you have to use grammatical devices like extra words instead. 'S ann is one of those devices.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

Post Reply