Caibidil a hAon: The Noun(an tAinmfhocal)
|the abstract noun
abstract noun (ainmfhocal teibí)
- common abstract noun (ainmfhocal teibí gnách)
- gradiated abstract noun (ainmfhocal teibí céime)
syntax of the gradiated abstract noun
- wonderful, how big he is
- how big is he ?
- however big
- the bigger, the better
- getting bigger
Synonym: substantivised adjective
Abstract nouns do not describe something concrete but something abstract. With this, there are a wide array of abstract nouns.
In a more specific sense, we're only discussing those which are derived from adjectives.
One subdivides these abstract nouns in common and gradiated.
By many of these, both will have the same form, but often they do differ from one another.
|comparative form of the adjective||f||minice = frequency, bacaí = lameness|
|comparative form + -(e)acht, -(a)íocht||f||deirgeacht = redness, clistíocht = cleverness|
|adjective + -(a)íl (some adjectives ending in -ach)||f||bacaíl = lameness|
|adjective + -(e)as, -(e)adas||m||maitheas = goodness, beos = vitality, dorchadas = darkness|
|adjective + -achar (some adjectives ending in -ach)||m||lagachar = weakness|
|adjective||m/f||maith = (the) Good|
Many adjectives have more than one appropriate abstract noun (e.g.: maith - maith, maithe, maitheas)
The comparative of the adjective ending in -mhar or in a -vowel may not be used as the common abstract noun(beo, crua, grianmhar - grianmhaire) This refers also to the comparative ending in -a (fearúil - fearúla) as well as the irregular dócha - dóichí.
These comparatives are only used as the gradiated abstract noun.
|adjective||abstract grad. noun||examples|
|maith||feabhas||dá fheabhas é = however good it is|
|mór||méad||dá mhéad é = however big/much it is|
|olc||olcas||dá olcas é = however evil it is|
|dona||donacht||dá dhonacht é = however bad it is|
|fada||fad||dá fhad é = however long it is|
|beag||laghad||dá laghad é = however small/little it is|
|iomaí||liacht||dá liacht é = however much it is|
|furasta||fusacht||dá fhusacht é = however easy it is|
|gearr||giorracht||dá ghiorracht é = however short it is|
|luath||luas||dá luas é = however fast it is|
|tiubh||tiús||dá thiús é = however thick/dense it is|
|dócha||dóichí||dá dhóichí é = however possible it is|
In German, one uses the adjective itself instead of a substantivised adjective in these uses.
In many of these uses, in German a comparison is made, often with an imaginary extent of a quality (this is why in German "how", is "wie auch immer"="however").
In Irish, the actual degree is viewed (hence the use of "a = his ", "cá = which of his " instead of "how") or it is included as part of an imaginary degree (this is the reason for the use of "dá = of his " instead of "however")
|a + grad. abstr. noun + direct relative clause [ 2 ]||Is iontach a fheabhas atá sé = it is wonderful, how good he is
Is cuma a mhéad atá sé = it doesn't matter, how big he is
Similar to the previous example, one can also form a question:
|cá + grad. abstr. noun + direct relative clause [ 2 ]||Cá fheabhas atá sé? = How good is he?
Cá mhinice a bhí sé anseo? = How often was he hier?
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + subject||dá dheacracht é = however difficult it is|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + subject + direct relative clause||dá mhéad dúil a bhí aige ann = however much love he had for it|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + direct relative clause [ 2 ]||dá fheabhas a rinne sé é = however well he did it|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + dá + indirect relative clause||dá fheabhas dá ndéarna sé é = however well he did it|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + indirect relative clause||dá fheabhas a ndéarna sé é = however well he did it|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + subject + is ea is + comparative||dá mhéad é is ea is fearr = the bigger he is, the better|
|dá + grad. abstr. noun + subject + is amhlaidh is + comparative||dá mhéad é is amhlaidh is fearr é = the bigger he is, the better|
Note the small difference between these constructs:
Dá laghad é is ea is fearr é = The smaller he is, the better
Dá laghad é is fearr é = However small he is, he is the better one
In Donegal, there is another way of forming it, without an abstr. noun:
|mas + comparative + ... + mas + comparative + ...||mas mó atá ann mas fearr é = the more that are here, the better|
|form of téigh + subject + i + grad. abstr. noun||Tá sé ag dul i bhfeabhas = It will get better.
Rachaidh sé i bhfeabhas amárach = Tomorrow it'll get better.
[ 1 ] amlaidh etym. actually a prepositional pronoun of amhail + eadh (old form to ea) = "as it "
[ 2 ] Sometimes, agus/is is placed before the direct relative clause, possibly analogous to the expression with a similar meaning with chomh (see equative: chomh maith agus a bhí sé = as good as him ). As opposed to that, is es is actually unnecessary e.g.: a fheabhas [agus] a bhí sé = how good he is