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Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:23 pm
by Ionatan
Is the word order acceptable for both these examples:
  • Dè an dath a bhios orra
  • Dè bhios an dath orra (do I need an extra 'a' in here just before orra?)
The second one follows the pattern that seems more familiar to me from what I have learned (Question word | verb | subject | object and or preposition) but the first one is offered in some of my learning materials (so is more likely to be right over my expectation). The first one reads almost like English in terms of word order (which surprised me). So, I wonder whether it is important (and therefore some new unexplained rule I need to acquire) or just a matter of taste?

Can the lessons learned here be applied to other questions and tenses (an robh, caite a etc etc)?

Re: Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:11 pm
by AlexAkimov
In my experience, Dè is always followed by the noun (with article) as in your first example - "What is the colour which will be on them/What colour will they be?"

Does that mean the second one is wrong? Probably not, just not as common. However, I'm sure others can give more detailed responses.

Re: Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:17 am
by GunChleoc
Dè an dath a bhios orra

The other word order is wrong. "a bhios orra" is a relative clause, so it needs something to refer to, which is "an dath".

The pattern is:

Dè/Cò <something you want to know or identify> a <verb in relative form + phrase about something you already know>

càite a takes the dependent form, it's a bit odd among question words.

Re: Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:33 pm
by Ionatan
GunChleoc wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:17 am
Dè an dath a bhios orra

The other word order is wrong. "a bhios orra" is a relative clause, so it needs something to refer to, which is "an dath".

The pattern is:

Dè/Cò <something you want to know or identify> a <verb in relative form + phrase about something you already know>

càite a takes the dependent form, it's a bit odd among question words.
Your last sentence is the key for me here! :beachd: Because I first met càite a before other question words (ignoring A bheil etc), I think I have subconcsiously taken this as the pattern, rather than the exception. So as I expected, a mental shift is required
:saighead: <shifts mentally>

Re: Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:08 pm
by AlexAkimov
It's not so much Càite a, it's Càite followed by the relevant interrogative particle, followed by the dependent form of the verb:

Càite a bheil thu? - Where are you?
Càite an robh thu? -Where were you?
Càite am bi thu? - Where will you be?
Càite am biodh tu? - Where would you be?
Càite an do chluich thu ball-coise? - Where did you play football?
Càite an cluich thu ball-coise? - Where will you play football?
Càite am b' fheàrr leat ball-coise a chluiche? Where would you prefer to play football?

..almost think of it as Càite followed by a question i.e. Where + Are you?/Will you play football? etc.

All of the other standard question words (Ciamar, Carson, Cuin etc) use the direct relative pronoun (a) followed by independent form (or relative if future).

Re: Word order in a Dè... bhios question

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:28 am
by Níall Beag
"what colour" is one thing. Q "What colour?" A "that one". It's similar to English because neither language likes splitting one thing into two.