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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct 2022 4:26 pm 
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Haigh, a Chairde! :wave:

I’ve been studying up on the colupa-like construction of “bí + ar” in superlative statements, and I think I mostly have it down…

Examples:

1) Tá sé ar an mbuachaill is cliste sa rang.
(He is the smartest boy in the class.)
2) Tá sé ar (dhuine de) na buachaillí is cliste sa rang.
(He is one of the smartest boys in the class.)

I really like that construction :D , but I know you can also use a true copular format.

Examples:

1) Is é an buachaill is cliste sa rang é.
(He is the smartest boy in the class.)
2) (This one I’m not 100% sure on…) Is duine de na buachaillí is cliste sa rang é. (?)
(He is one of the smartest boys in the class.)

But one thing I can’t seem to find confirmation on is a similar statement, but with a plural subject (like “siad / iad” instead of “sé / é”). When I use t

1) Tá siad ar an mbuachaillí is cliste sa rang. (?)
(They are the smartest boys in the class) But it kinda sounds like I’m saying that they are the smartest boy (singular)…however, when I change it to…
“Tá siad ar na buachaillí is cliste sa rang.” … now it sounds like I’m using the classification construction (rather than the identification construction) and saying, “They are some of the smartest boys in the class.” :dhera:

2) If I actually wanted to say “they are some of the smartest boys in the class,” I’m not sure if it would be … Tá siad ar (dhaoine de) na buachaillí is cliste sa rang. (?)
And in a true copular format…
Is roinnt / cuid de na buachaillí is cliste sa rang (?)

As always, thank you so much to anyone who can confirm / correct. I intended to make this succinct, but it didn’t pan out. :LOL: (The formats I’m having trouble with are in pink)


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct 2022 4:48 pm 
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Well, there are different dialects in Irish, as well as differing degrees of English influence even in the Irish of native speakers.

Peadar Ua Laoghaire wrote in Notes on Irish Words and Usages p148:
Quote:
Tá sé ar na fearaibh is treise ar a chine.
Now that construction is not Irish at all. It is just as bad, in Irish, as if a person were to say, in English, "He is about the strongest men of his race." Yet some writers persist in using it. I daresay they consider the phrase, tá sé ar an bhfear is treise absurd. That is because they do not understand the meaning of ar here.

I think it is likely that some native speakers do use the phrase that Ua Laoghaire panned. I think Labhrás will give you a better answer.


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct 2022 5:00 pm 
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1. Tá sé ar an mbuachaill is cliste sa rang. RIGHT
2. Tá sé ar (dhuine de) na buachaillí is cliste sa rang. I WOULD SAY THIS IS WRONG.
3. Is é an buachaill is cliste sa rang é. RIGHT.
4. Is duine de na buachaillí is cliste sa rang é. RIGHT
5. Tá siad ar an mbuachaillí is cliste sa rang. WRONG
6. Tá siad ar (dhaoine de) na buachaillí is cliste sa rang. WRONG
7. Is cuid de na buachaillí is cliste sa rang. RIGHT I THINK if you add "iad" at the end.

The "tá ar" must be followed by the definite meaning: the cleverest.

Let's hope Labhrás clears all this up.


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct 2022 5:14 pm 
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Thank you, DJWebb, for such a thorough reply! I found it to be very helpful / informative :D And, as you suggested, I’ll wait and see if Labhrás adds anything too! :good:

P.S. Also thanks for pointing that out: I totally left the whole subject “iad” off the end of that one sentence! :facepalm: :LOL:


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct 2022 6:58 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Well, there are different dialects in Irish, as well as differing degrees of English influence even in the Irish of native speakers.

Peadar Ua Laoghaire wrote in Notes on Irish Words and Usages p148:
Quote:
Tá sé ar na fearaibh is treise ar a chine.
Now that construction is not Irish at all. It is just as bad, in Irish, as if a person were to say, in English, "He is about the strongest men of his race." Yet some writers persist in using it. I daresay they consider the phrase, tá sé ar an bhfear is treise absurd. That is because they do not understand the meaning of ar here.

I think it is likely that some native speakers do use the phrase that Ua Laoghaire panned. I think Labhrás will give you a better answer.


In identification-like sentences, it is totally accepted.
But in classification-like sentences, it is obviously less so. But it is used. It is probably a younger invention and yet not accepted by at least some speakers of PUL’s generation. But again: It is used, e.g. Colm Ó Ceallaigh: "Ó, bhí mise ar dhuine acu tráth – creid é nó ná creid – cé nach gceapfá dhom anois é". (Once I was one of them – believe it or not – ...)

A further problem is the "duine de" part: leaving it out or not? Some insist on keeping it.

I wonder what PUL’s understanding of the "meaning of ar here" is.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct 2022 12:40 am 
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Thank you, Labhrás! And thank you again, DJWebb! :D

Do either of you happen to know if saying something like “They are the smartest boys” is possible at all using the bí + ar construction? Or would one have to stick to a classic copular sentence? —> Is iad na buachaillí is cliste sa rang iad.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct 2022 8:11 am 
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I expect you can. teanglann.ie has (under "ar"): Ar mhná áille na hÉireann, one of the most beautiful women in Ireland.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct 2022 12:26 pm 
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Rosie_Oleary wrote:
Thank you, Labhrás! And thank you again, DJWebb! :D

Do either of you happen to know if saying something like “They are the smartest boys” is possible at all using the bí + ar construction? Or would one have to stick to a classic copular sentence? —> Is iad na buachaillí is cliste sa rang iad.

Why not?
Tá siad ar na buachaillí is cliste sa rang.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct 2022 3:53 pm 
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Labhrás wrote:
Rosie_Oleary wrote:
Thank you, Labhrás! And thank you again, DJWebb! :D

Do either of you happen to know if saying something like “They are the smartest boys” is possible at all using the bí + ar construction? Or would one have to stick to a classic copular sentence? —> Is iad na buachaillí is cliste sa rang iad.

Why not?
Tá siad ar na buachaillí is cliste sa rang.


I can't find a single example of the string "siad ar na" in Peadar Ua Laoghaire's large corpus, but the Nua-Chorpas has this "Tá siad ar na daoine is boichte cheana féin", by native speaker Dara Ó Conaola.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct 2022 6:34 pm 
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Nó:
Bhí siad ar na chéad mhanaigh a tháinig as Éirinn leis an Chríostaíocht a chraobhscaoileadh i Ceanntire agus Earragh idheal. (Pádraig Ó Baoighill)


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