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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jan 2021 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat 15 Dec 2018 1:32 am
Posts: 30
Hi All.

I'm reading an article in the Cork Irish blog which explains the difference when using "Is" and "Tá" (link: https://corkirish.wordpress.com/2011/09 ... ifference/)

1) Where I am having trouble is understanding what exactly is meant by a substantive and a mode and how can I distinguish one from the other, as these concepts are critical to understand the differences between when one should use "Is" and "Tá".

The one thing I would like to understand by asking this question to be given the tools to recognise what is a substantive and what is a mode?


"When the verb ‘to be’ predicates a substantive of a substantive, it discharges the function of is, e.g. :—

Is adhmad clár. A board is wood.
Is ainmhí bó. A cow is an animal.
Is uisce fearthainn. Rain is water.
Is cnámh é sin. That thing is a bone.

When the verb ‘to be’ ascribes a quality or a mode or manner, or place of existence, to a substantive, it discharges the function of tá, e.g. :—

Tá adhmad bog. Wood is soft.
Tá iarann cruaidh. Iron is hard.
Tá an t-uisce ag rith. The water is running.
Tá Tadhg i gCorcaigh. Thade is in Cork."

2) "When a mode of existence is predicated of a mode of existence, is must be used and tá cannot, e.g.

Is ag rith atá an t-uisce. It is running the water is (=the state in which the water is is a running state).
Is ’na chodladh atá Tadhg. It is asleep Thade is (=the state in which Thade is is his state of sleep).

The sentence in bold above completely confuses me. What does "is predicated of" mean? What is a mode of existence?

3) "An is-sentence may be turned into a tá-sentence by making the predicate a mode, and reversing the order. Thus, Is fear Tadhg and Tá Tadhg in’ fhear."

Could someone explain what is happening here please and how to make a predicate a mode?

(4) "(a) If it connects two substantives it will be in such a sentence as this, “Dermot is a man.” In all such sentences is must be used, and the predicate comes first; thus, Is fear Diarmaid.

(b) If it connects two modes it will be in such a sentence as this, “It is asleep I find him,” i.e., “The mode in which I find him is asleep.” In all such sentences is must be used, and the mode which is the predicate must come first. Is ’na chodladh do gheibhim é.

(c) If it connects a substantive and a mode it will be in such a sentence as this, “The day is fine.” In all such sentences tá must be used, and the subject must come first. Tá an lá breá."

My hope is that by being told what a substantive and mode is, I will understand this above crucial part. Anything to add to this would be greatly appreciated.

5) "If the verb ‘to be’ occurs more than once in a sentence, it will be in some such sentence as this, “It is asleep he is.” This is a form of (b). It is the verb ‘to be’ connecting two modes. In all such sentences the method laid down in (b) must be adopted. Is must be used as the principal verb. The mode which is the predicate must come next to is, and the mode which is the subject must come last. Is (copula) ’na chodladh (predicate) atá sé (subject). The second verb ‘to be’ is merely a portion of the subject of the sentence, and the question whether is or tá is to be used in it depends upon whether it comes itself under (a), (b), or (c). In the present instance it comes under (c). A is a relative pronoun, and its antecedent is ’na chodladh, which is a mode. Hence in the phrase atá sé the verb ‘to be’ joins the mode a with the person sé; therefore tá must be used.

I don't know how the author came to the conclusion that (c) should be used and hence 'tá'. Could someone provide 2 more examples explaining how to recognise something as (a), (b) or (c) please?


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PostPosted: Thu 07 Jan 2021 10:30 am 
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Joined: Sat 03 May 2014 4:01 pm
Posts: 1362
ailig_ab wrote:
Hi All.

I'm reading an article in the Cork Irish blog which explains the difference when using "Is" and "Tá" (link: https://corkirish.wordpress.com/2011/09 ... ifference/)

1) Where I am having trouble is understanding what exactly is meant by a substantive and a mode and how can I distinguish one from the other, as these concepts are critical to understand the differences between when one should use "Is" and "Tá".

The one thing I would like to understand by asking this question to be given the tools to recognise what is a substantive and what is a mode?


substantive = a noun, a thing,
mode = (in the sense meant here) an adjective, a prepositional phrase, an adverb

Quote:
["When the verb ‘to be’ predicates a substantive of a substantive, it discharges the function of is, e.g. :—

Is adhmad clár. A board is wood.
Is ainmhí bó. A cow is an animal.
Is uisce fearthainn. Rain is water.
Is cnámh é sin. That thing is a bone.

When the verb ‘to be’ ascribes a quality or a mode or manner, or place of existence, to a substantive, it discharges the function of tá, e.g. :—

Tá adhmad bog. Wood is soft.
Tá iarann cruaidh. Iron is hard.
Tá an t-uisce ag rith. The water is running.
Tá Tadhg i gCorcaigh. Thade is in Cork."

2) "When a mode of existence is predicated of a mode of existence, is must be used and tá cannot, e.g.

Is ag rith atá an t-uisce. It is running the water is (=the state in which the water is is a running state).
Is ’na chodladh atá Tadhg. It is asleep Thade is (=the state in which Thade is is his state of sleep).

The sentence in bold above completely confuses me. What does "is predicated of" mean? What is a mode of existence?


What's meant here is that any form of fronting involves the copula.
So, if a mode (e.g. "ag rith") is fronted, the copula is used ("is ag rith atá ...")

predication = (in the sense meant here) an assignement, everything an "=" can be put inbetween
e.g. the mode "ag rith" = the mode in which the water is ("atá an tuisce")

Quote:
3) "An is-sentence may be turned into a tá-sentence by making the predicate a mode, and reversing the order. Thus, Is fear Tadhg and Tá Tadhg in’ fhear."

Could someone explain what is happening here please and how to make a predicate a mode?


Is fear é -> Tá sé ina fhear.
"ina fhear" is a mode because it is a prepositional phrase (the mode/state of having all features of a man)

Quote:
(4) "(a) If it connects two substantives it will be in such a sentence as this, “Dermot is a man.” In all such sentences is must be used, and the predicate comes first; thus, Is fear Diarmaid.

(b) If it connects two modes it will be in such a sentence as this, “It is asleep I find him,” i.e., “The mode in which I find him is asleep.” In all such sentences is must be used, and the mode which is the predicate must come first. Is ’na chodladh do gheibhim é.

(c) If it connects a substantive and a mode it will be in such a sentence as this, “The day is fine.” In all such sentences tá must be used, and the subject must come first. Tá an lá breá."


Quote:
My hope is that by being told what a substantive and mode is, I will understand this above crucial part. Anything to add to this would be greatly appreciated.

5) "If the verb ‘to be’ occurs more than once in a sentence, it will be in some such sentence as this, “It is asleep he is.” This is a form of (b). It is the verb ‘to be’ connecting two modes. In all such sentences the method laid down in (b) must be adopted. Is must be used as the principal verb. The mode which is the predicate must come next to is, and the mode which is the subject must come last. Is (copula) ’na chodladh (predicate) atá sé (subject). The second verb ‘to be’ is merely a portion of the subject of the sentence, and the question whether is or tá is to be used in it depends upon whether it comes itself under (a), (b), or (c). In the present instance it comes under (c). A is a relative pronoun, and its antecedent is ’na chodladh, which is a mode. Hence in the phrase atá sé the verb ‘to be’ joins the mode a with the person sé; therefore tá must be used.

I don't know how the author came to the conclusion that (c) should be used and hence 'tá'. Could someone provide 2 more examples explaining how to recognise something as (a), (b) or (c) please?


c) Tá sé ina chodladh -> "ina chodladh" is a mode, ergo tá
b) Is ina chodhladh atá sé -> two modes: the mode "ina chodladh" = (the mode in which) "atá sé", ergo "Is ina chodhladh ..."
a) Is codlatán é. = He is a sleeper. -> two "substantives" (noun and pronoun), ergo "is"


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