Irish Language Blog

Súil Siar: Clásail Choibhneasta Posted by on May 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

((le Róislín)

It’s been a while since we dealt with the clásail choibhneasta (relative clauses), so I thought I’d do a seisiún súil siar before we wrap up with the remaining irregular verbs.

So here are some selections from the previous blogs.  The verb slot has been left blank, to fill in, and freagraí are thíos (below).  The basic (declarative) form of the verb is given in parentheses; some will require lenition, some eclipsis, and some will have no change.  Remember the basic set-up:

a)     Direct relative clauses are used when the subject of the main clause is also the subject of the relative clause, as in English: This is the man who drove the car.  They’re also used when the subject of the main clause is the object of the relative clause: This is the car that the man drove.  I haven’t emphasized this second usage (direct object), since there’s been so much else to work on.  Later?

b)     Indirect relative clauses are used when the subject of the main clause owns or possesses (however abstractly) the subject of the relative clause, as in: This is the X-file whose paperwork is missing.  Indirect relative clauses are also used when the subject of the main clause is the object of a preposition in the relative clause, as in English: This is the man to whom I gave the money (or, as we might say, This is the man I gave the money to).  Again, I haven’t emphasized this second type of indirect usage given the vastness of this topic – ábhar sraith eile (subject for another series?)

An cuimhin leat iad seo?  Remember these?

1)     to say: Seo í an óinseach a _____a cara rudaí amaideacha (dúirt)

2)     to give birth: Seo í an bhó a _____. (rug)

3)     to eat: Seo é an páiste a _____ a dheirfiúr súile an choinín seacláide (itheann)

4)     to make: Sin í an bhean a _____ soc don lao (rinne)

5)     to go: Seo Paddy Reilly, an fear a ____ go Baile Shéamais Dhuibh.  (chuaigh)

6)     to come: Seo Róisín Nic Giollaráin, an bhean a _____ a stócach ar ais go Baile Shéamais Dhuibh.  (tiocfaidh)

7)     to get: Seo í an bhean a _____ a hiníon móideim nua (gheobhaidh, remember this one is highly irregular)

8)     to see: Sin é an fear a _____ an bhó (feiceann)

9)     to be: Sin é an fear a _____ a mhac tinn. (bhí, also highly irregular)

If all this seems confusing, well, it is.  Relative clauses are actually challenging in any language I’ve studied, and they’re not a piece of cake in English either (“to whom” or “not to whom,” at least in these non-grammar-oriented days, etc.).  But what makes Irish more challenging (I think) is that the word that equates to “who,” “which,” “whose,” or “that” for relative clauses is the simple one-letter word “a,” which also has about a half a dozen other meanings.  “Who,” “which,” “whose,” and “that” aren’t differentiated on the surface in Irish; what happens is that the “a” causes different mutations according to whether the sentence is direct relative or indirect relative.  Words beginning with non-mutatable consonants show no change, of course, which actually makes it all even a bit more casta.

Gluais (in éadan meirgeachta, since it’s been a few weeks or months): amaideach, foolish; Baile Shéamais Dhuibh, Ballyjamesduff; casta, complicated; coinín seacláide, chocolate bunny; iníon, daughter; gheobhaidh [YOH-ee] and bhfaighidh [wee OR wai, depending on dialect], will get; lao [lee], calf; Nic Giollaráin, Kilrain; óinseach, fool (female, as opposed to “amadán,” male or generic fool); soc, muzzle; stócach, boyfriend

Nóta: two words that are easy to confuse are “súil” ([soo-il] eye) and “siúl” ([shoo-ul] to walk).  Note that “súil siar” and “siúl siar” have completely different meanings.  “Súil siar” literally means “an eye back/westward” and is understood to mean a “look-back” or review (more like “revision” in Irish or UK English).  “Siúl siar” means “to walk westward” and could mean “to walk back.”

Freagraí (ind. = indirect; dir. = direct): 1) ndúirt (ind.), 2) rug (dir.), 3) n-itheann (ind.), 4) rinne (dir.), 5) chuaigh (dir.), 6) dtiocfaidh (ind.), 7) bhfaighidh (ind.), 8] fheiceann (dir.), 9) raibh (ind.)

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  1. Mise Áine:

    Táim an-bhuíoch díot, a Róislín. Tá sé seo ina chuidiú mór dom.

  2. róislín:

    Agus tá mise an-bhuíoch díotsa, a Áine, as a bheith ag scríobh chomh minic agus chomh fabhrach.

    Seo deireadh seachtaine saoire i Meiriceá agus i mo chuid den tír tá an aimsir go hálainn. Tá súil agam go bhfuil an aimsir chomh deas in Éirinn, i ndiaidh a tharla san Earrach leis an bholcán, srl.

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