bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

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Ionatan

bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Ionatan » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:26 pm

Tha mi duilich ach I have yet another 'vs' question. I am now branching out from the basics of the verb bi and into what appears to be a bewildering array of possibilities (so much for no conjugations making things easy! Then again, the verb to be is pretty irregular in nearly all languages).

If I have understood correctly, the basic future is bi (or bhi if negative). The affirmative (yes) is bithidh or bidh and then we have bhitheas vs bhios which appears to be used after ma or questions that don't start an... (ie de, cò, ciamar a, etc). In most explanations I have seen both these forms are presented simply with a slash and the interchangeability must be inferred (e.g. bithidh/bidh or bhitheas/bhios) and is not explicit.

Are these forms really interchangeable respectively (viz bithidh == bidh and bhitheas == bhios) meaning I can just plump for one of them in each case and stick to it? The reason I don't believe this is because I have seen examples, both on this forum and elsewhere, where both variants appear in the same post/paragraph, suggesting that the use is not down to individual preference (because surely the same person would stick to their favourite variant in each case) but dictated by some nuance for which I can't find any explanation.

Chan eil mi a' tuigsinn!



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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:19 pm

In general, the long form is considered "conservative" and the short form is "modern".

But think about this... in English, "it is" is conservative, as the modern form has shortened to "it's", just as in Gaelic "bidhidh" has shortened to "bidh". However, if you want to be emphatic, you can use the old, longer form -- "it is time to go home" is more forceful than "it's time to go home". Similarly, though people normally say a shorter, monosyllabic "bidh"/"bhios", at times they will say the longer disyllabic "bithidh"/"bhitheas" for emphasis. Some people will also make that distinction in their writing.

"bhios" is called the relative future in the grammar books. It appears appears after "ma", but also after "a" meaning "that"
e.g.
an duine a bhios mi -- lit. the man that I will be
Tha mi anns an àite anns a bhios mi a-màireach -- I am in the place that I will be in tomorrow.
(In modern English, we tend to miss out the "that", but you can't in Gaelic.)

..and "na" for "that which"/"what":
e.g.
Bidh agam na bhios feum agam air -- I will have that which I will need. (I'll have what I need.)

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by AlexAkimov » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:24 pm

Ionatan wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:26 pm
the basic future is bi (or bhi if negative)
Personally, I'd scrap that line of thinking and focus more on the crucial concept of independent and dependent verb forms. Broadly speaking an independent form starts a sentence or follows an independent particle (Ma, a, na etc). A dependent form follows a dependent particle (Chan, Nach, Nam etc). In future there is also a relative form which follows an independent particle i.e.

> Bidh mi fuar - I will be cold
> Cha bhi mi fuar - I won't be cold
> Am bi thu fuar? - Will you be cold?
> Nach bi thu fuar? - Won't you be cold?
> Ma bhios tu ann - If you will be there

> future independent of Bi = Bidh (bithidh)
> future dependent of Bi = Bi (future dependent is almost always the imperative root, even in irregulars)
> future relative of Bi = Bhios (bhitheas)

So Bhi isn't a negative form, it's just the lenited dependent form.

I'd really recommend having a solid grasp of what independent and dependent means in Gaelic. Makes everything a lot clearer and you don't need to remember as many phrases as you know how they work and can make them up on the spot.
Last edited by AlexAkimov on Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ionatan

Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Ionatan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:33 pm

Ceud mile taing for the detailed answers. They were very helpful (and reasuuring). I had made some Anki cards based off audio ripped from Can Seo videos and I can now confidently answer and understand why I might say bhios and the card says bhitheas (or vice cersa).
Níall Beag wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:19 pm
an duine a bhios mi -- lit. the man that I will be
I've met this sort of construction in LearnGaelic, but in the present tense:
e.g. Tha am ballach a tha tinn aig a teine -- the boy who is sick is at the fire (complete with a cartoon of a green looking boy shivering beside a hearth)

So, I have a point of reference, except that I need the special bhitheas/bhios form to follow 'that' for the future. I suppose this is all part of the special fun that is the verb "to be", but I'll take this anyday over having to learn conjucations plus a few hundred irregular verbs!
AlexAkimov wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:24 pm
I'd really recommend having a solid grasp of what independent and dependent means in Gaelic. Makes everything a lot clearer and you don't need to remember as many phrases as you know how they work and can make them up on the spot.
Yes, good tip! I'll review this. I am coming across some gramatical terms that are new to me (and I thought I had a reasonable grasp of even terms like 'gerund' :) )

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by AlexAkimov » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:39 pm

Ionatan wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:33 pm
So, I have a point of reference, except that I need the special bhitheas/bhios form to follow 'that' for the future.
Not sure what you mean by "that". Bhios is the future relative and will follow the likes of ma, a, na etc. Wherever you might think to put Bidh, make it Bhios is if follows one of these particles. In addition you use tu not thu with Bhios.

ps. in your example, boy is balach, not ballach and "at the fire" would be aig an teine, not a teine.

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by vb99 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:00 pm

Regarding dependent and independent verb forms ---
If you have a copy of Scottish Gaelic in 12 Weeks (Roibeard O Maolalaigh) there are several very helpful explanations of independent and dependent forms and tables showing the forms for the verbs being discussed:
page 36, #27a Independent and dependent verbal forms
page 76 #52 Independent and dependent verbal particles
page 100-101, #64a Regular verbs: future (relative form also explained)
page 117, #74 Irregular verbs: future
page 167, #102 Irregular verbs: conditional/past habitual
- there are probably more, but those are the ones I have marked.

If you have a copy of Gràmar na Gàidhlig by Michel Byrne:
the explanation starts on page 99, Section 6.3 Context Forms; except this book calls independent “the primary form” and dependent “the secondary form.” 6.3.3 covers the relative future form.

Both of these books are in print and you can probably get them from gaelicbooks.org. You might also find them in a library. I think they’re both really helpful for explaining Scottish Gaelic grammar for learners. I didn’t learn the distinction between dependent and independent verb forms in the beginning and had a hard time keeping track of how to use different versions of the same verb. Once I realized the pattern it made things much easier.

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Níall Beag » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:13 pm

AlexAkimov wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:39 pm
Ionatan wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:33 pm
So, I have a point of reference, except that I need the special bhitheas/bhios form to follow 'that' for the future.
Not sure what you mean by "that".
It was a reference to what I said in my post.
Bhios is the future relative and will follow the likes of ma, a, na etc. Wherever you might think to put Bidh, make it Bhios is if follows one of these particles.
This is technically correct, and what I just said in the previous message. However, I don't find that "just memorise this seemingly arbitrary rule" helps much for a lot of people. If you don't think about meaning, how can you ever come to understand?

Ionatan

Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Ionatan » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:52 am

AlexAkimov wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:39 pm
ps. in your example, boy is balach, not ballach and "at the fire" would be aig an teine, not a teine.
Oops - thanks for the corrections! Never hesitate to continue doing so in the future!
vb99 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:00 pm
Both of these books are in print and you can probably get them from gaelicbooks.org. You might also find them in a library. I think they’re both really helpful for explaining Scottish Gaelic grammar for learners. I didn’t learn the distinction between dependent and independent verb forms in the beginning and had a hard time keeping track of how to use different versions of the same verb. Once I realized the pattern it made things much easier.
To date I have been working entirely off materials avalable on t'interweb. These resources are outstanding, especially in terms of audio but there are gaps. I'll certainly look at these books. I like seeing patterns, it really helps my understanding.

(EDIT) I have just recalled the Scottish Gaelic Grammar Wiki https://gaelicgrammar.org/~gaelic/media ... ammar_Wiki and these terms are well described there... and the mists clear (a little at least :)).

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by AlexAkimov » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:36 am

Níall Beag wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:13 pm
However, I don't find that "just memorise this seemingly arbitrary rule" helps much for a lot of people. If you don't think about meaning, how can you ever come to understand?
I'm not disagreeing with that - it's what I do i.e. understand how something works and build from there (I'm sure Mr Bauer will confirm this :D ). However, in this instance I was just trying to make when to use bhios a bit simpler for the OP in case they were already drowning in terminology.

Ionatan

Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Ionatan » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:15 pm

AlexAkimov wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:36 am
However, in this instance I was just trying to make when to use bhios a bit simpler for the OP in case they were already drowning in terminology.
I'm certainly drowning in different permutations of the verb bi! :D

But, putting all the very helpful answers together from all the replies, I have a much better picture. So, thanks to you all! I had to review the term 'Relative Future' and discovered that it means something different in Scottish Gaelic than in (say) English - so that was important (see here: https://gaelicgrammar.org/~gaelic/media ... ive_Future).

The only bit I am still a bit shaky on is when to use 'a' for that instead of 'gu/gun/gum' e.g. as in Tha mi a ’smaoineachadh gum bi... vs An duine a bhios mi (@Niall Beag's example). They each feel right but I can't tell you for the life of me why. So, I sort of understand this at an intuitive level - but I couldn't explain it to anybody and nor can I guarantee I've really "got it".

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by AlexAkimov » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:42 pm

Ionatan wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:15 pm
The only bit I am still a bit shaky on is when to use 'a' for that instead of 'gu/gun/gum'
The rule of thumb for joining clauses is easy, and has never let me down:

a > who, which, that
gu/n/m > that ONLY when neither of who/which work

I imagine gu/n/m as a hard "that", when a that and only a that will do.

Tha Ùna ag ràdh gum bi i ann: Una says that she will be there
-- This needs "that", and as who/which wouldn't work, it needs to be gum.
Chunnaic mi na balaich a chluich ball-coise an-dè: I saw the boys who played football yesterday
-- This would work with who/which or that so uses a

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:58 am

Ionatan wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:15 pm
The only bit I am still a bit shaky on is when to use 'a' for that instead of 'gu/gun/gum' e.g. as in Tha mi a ’smaoineachadh gum bi... vs An duine a bhios mi (@Niall Beag's example). They each feel right but I can't tell you for the life of me why. So, I sort of understand this at an intuitive level - but I couldn't explain it to anybody and nor can I guarantee I've really "got it".
This actually leads to the real meaning of "independent" and "dependent" verbs.

If I say
Tha an t-uisge ann agus tha e fuar
the truth and meaning of each verb is independent of the other.
Tha an t-uisge ann.
Tha e fuar.
Both independently true.

But in
Tha mi a' creidsinn gu bheil thu ceart.
the truth and meaning of the second verb is dependent on the first. My belief that you're right doesn't actually mean that you're right! Plus of course
Chan eil mi a' creidsinn gu bheil thu ceart.
has exactly the same second half, but the meaning is exactly the opposite, so the meaning of the verb absolutely depends on another part of the sentence.


So now for "a":
'S e sin an rud a chunnaic mi an-dè -- That's the thing that I saw yesterday.
Chan e sin an rud a chunnaic mi an-dè -- That's not the thing that I saw yesterday.

Although the meaning of the full sentence has changed, the meaning of the second half hasn't. If we reduce the English translations, we get That's it and That's not it, for the same value of "it", so the meaning of "a chunnaic mi" hasn't changed -- it is independent.

Ionatan

Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by Ionatan » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:33 pm

Once again, folks - very helpful both of you (from slightly different directions)! Ceud mìle taing. I am now clearer on both the general meaning of dependent vs independent plus a handy rule of thumb for gun vs a for when I'm under pressure!

The simple future is fine but this has been feeling like a bit of a stumbling block for a wee while.

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by AlexAkimov » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:54 pm

Ionatan wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:33 pm
plus a handy rule of thumb for gun vs a for when I'm under pressure!
That rule of thumb was given to me by Mr Akerbeltz himself. As I said, it hasn't failed me yet.

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Re: bhitheas vs bhios and bithidh vs bidh

Unread post by akerbeltz » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:30 pm

I don't think Niall's explanation above is quite right. Dependent and independent verbs in Gaelic are fairly well defined concepts and that's nothing to do with the juxtaposition of sentences. It merely boils down to what particle sits in front of the verb. In Gaelic, that boils down to 3 options:

nothing or a independent particle > the verb form is 'independent' (tha mi ann, chaidh mi ann)
a relative particle > the verb form is 'relative' if a relative verb form exists in this tense/mood, otherwise treat as 'indepenent' (an taigh a bhios ann, ciamar a thèid mi ann...)
a dependent particle > the verb form is 'dependent' (chan eil mi ann, nach dèid mi ann...)

The difference between a and gun/nach boils down to whether your sentence is a subordinating complement clause or a relative clause. The difference is that a relative clause modifies a nominal phrase in front of rather than a verb phrase. In less geeky speak, if you've got a noun phrase at the start and are trying to link that, use a:
an taigh [noun phrase] a chunnaic mi
am balach mòr aig Màiri [noun phrase] a thèid dhan chèilidh

If it's a verb phrase, use gun/nach:
thuirt iad [verb phrase] gum bi iad ann
cha chan mi [verb phrase] gun robh iad ceàrr

You can also think of the relative particle as tr*nsl*t*ng as thatwhich rather than that, I know this word doesn't exist in English but it produces a grammatical, if not poetically beautiful English sentence and it immediately distinguishes the concepts English lumps together under 'that' because thatwhich does not work if you start with a verb phrase:
the man that I saw > the man thatwhich I saw
I said that I saw him (doesn't work as I said thatwhich I saw him)

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