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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar 2012 8:56 pm 
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For a complete list of wombat explanations, see: viewforum.php?f=34

Most of the conversation in this thread will come from earlier threads, or from:

- lessons 7, 8, and 9
- The "cheat sheet" below

Cheat Sheet
Here is a "cheat sheet" of phrases that we often use in simple conversation.

NOTE: You probably realise by now that beginings of words change (lenition or eclipsis) in Irish in certain situations, as do endings. I haven't explained those rules here; you can learn them from lessons mentioned above.

Describing someone or something, quick review

Tá sé __adjective__ = He/it is _____
Níl sí __adjective__ = She/it isn't _____
An bhfuil tú? __adjective__ = Are you _____?
Nach bhfuil muid __adjective__ (or Nach bhfuilimid __adjective__?) = Aren't we _____?

These questions are answered simply or Níl.

Classification statements

The verb , and its other forms (níl, an bhfuil, and nach bhfuil) can be used to describe something, but they can't be used to say what something is. For that you need to use a special verb called the copula.

Think of copula statements as a set of templates you can plug things into. You can change what you plug into the template, but you can't change the template itself. One of the templates available is a classification statement. A classification statement has the form:

Is + __category_noun__ + __subject_noun__. = __subject_noun__ is a __category_noun__

Is fear Liam. Liam is a man. ISS FAR LEEM
Ní cat Dougal. Dougal is not a cat. NEE KUT GOO-gull
An ainmhí é? Is it an animal? un AN-uh-vee AY?
Nach madra Dougal? Isn't Dougal a dog? NAKH MAH-druh AY DOO-gull?

These questions are answered simply Is ea or Ní hea.

1. In place of Is, you can have , An?, Nach?, Ba, etc. as appropriate.

2. In a classification statement, the predicate (category) is always an indefinite noun (a cat, a house, a doctor). There is another type of copula template, the identification statement, that uses a definite noun (the cat, the house, the doctor) as the predicate, but we're not doing that yet.

is used to associate a noun with an adjective.
Is is used to associate a noun with a another noun.

This is just a brief introduction to one use of the copula, so that we can practice using it on this thread. When you're ready, there are lots of excellent lessons on the copula on this site.

múinteoir teacher MOON-chore
dochtúir doctor DOKH-toor
feirmeoir farmer FEHR-mohr
meicneoir mechanic MEKH-nohr
dlíodóir lawyer DLEE-uh-dohr
iriseoir journalist EER-ish-ohr
tréidlia vet TRAYD-lee-uh
Éireannach Irish person/thing AY-run-ukh
Sasanach English person/thing SAH-sun-ukh
Meiriceánach American person/thing MEH-rih-kah-nukh

Playing fiche ceist (twenty questions) is an excellent way to practice using sentences with both and is. Join us here for a game!

ImageTo the extent possible under law, Amy de Buitléir has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

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