Caibidil a Naoi
Other Words(Focail eile)
cé, cá, cad, conas, cathain, an
interrogatives with prepositions
relative particle and -pronouns
direct relative particles
indirect relative particles
reflexive relative pronouns
generalising relative pronouns
the pronoun féin
One can subdivide interrogatives in:
This subdivision makes generally (and especially in Irish) little sense, because the adverbs are often used with the help of a pronoun (adverbial pronouns are) do not behave any differently than an innterogative pronoun. Some (e.g. cá) can act as a pronoun, an adverb or an adjective.
While in German the interrogatives all start with "w", in Latin with"qu", in
Irish they being with "c" (comp. lat. quod , dt. was, Ir. cad).
The root of this is the indo-european "kw-"
Cé, cá, cad are autonomous interrogatives.
All other interrogatives are combinations with nouns, pronouns, prepositions or other words, also when the individual parts aren't easily recognizable(e.g. conas < cá ionas)
Syntax of interrogatives:
Interrogatives contain for the most part some (invisible) form of the copula
or, better said, the copula is included in the formation of the interrogative.
Interrogative particle and intentional copula comprise the copular clause.
The interrogative is considered then the predicate of the copular clause.
This "copular clause" most often consisits only of one word e.g. cé = who, lit. "who is(it)", but here the subject is nowhere to be seen (e.g. "it").
The subject is now the rest of the question, e.g.: cé hé sin = who is that?
If a verb should be incorporated (e.g. "who says that?"), there is still the need of a real subject, which is then replaced by a relative clause with the verb: e.g. cé a deir sin? = who says that?, lit.: "who is(it), that says that?". cé a rinne sin? = who did that?
More about this under Syntax: supplementary queries or under the copula in interrogative clauses
interrogatives can also be used in indirect questions as a conjunction:
(e.g. Níl a fhios agam cé hé an fear seo = I don't know, who this man is)
the interrogatives differ in their use strongly from dialect to dialect.
older form - also cia instead of cé
Cé in copular clauses
Cé in copular relative clauses
Cé with the article an ( = which?)
|+ an||+ na|
Cá in copular clauses
Cá with indir. relative particle (in the meaning of: where)
cá/cé + ionas > conas = what way,
conas is most commonly used in Munster
cá/cé + tan > cathain = what time
these words are called interrogative adverbial pronouns (forainmneacha dobhriathartha ceisteacha)
One uses the 3rd person singular masculine (less often also in the plural:
cé acu = who of them, cé eatarthu = amongst whom).
These combinations mostly require an indirect relative clause (colloquially sometimes a direct relative clause; cé leis meaning "whose"/"to whom belongs" and cé as/cad as/cá has "where is ... from" and form a non-relative copular clause; cé acu, "who of them" requires a direct relative clause)
the usage and translation can be derived from the corresponding translation
of the preposition (here, only the base meaning is given)
|prep.||cé +||cá +||cad +||translation *|
|ag||cé aige||cá (h)aige||cad aige||at whose place, in which, at what, who has|
|ar||cé air||cá (h)air||cad air||upon whom, whereupon, on what|
|as||cé as||cá (h)as||cad as||from whom, where from, resulting from what, how|
|chuig||cé chuige||cá chuige||cad chuige||to whom, where to, to what end, why|
|de||cé de||cá de||cad de||from whom, from what (origin)|
|do||cé dó||cá dó||cad dó||to whom, who, where to|
|faoi||cé faoi||cá faoi||cad faoi||under whom, under what|
|i||cé ann||cá (h)ann||cad ann||in whom, in what, where|
|idir||cé eatarthu||cá (h)eatarthu||cad eatarthu||amongst whom, between whom, where between|
|le||cé leis||cá leis||cad leis||with whom, with what , to whom does ... belong|
|ó||cé uaidh||cá (h)uaidh||cad uaidh||from whom, where from, from what|
|roimh||cé roimhe||cá roimhe||cad roimhe||before whom, before what|
|trí||cé tríd||cá tríd||cad tríd||through whom, through what|
|thar||cé thart||cá thart||cad thart||via whom, via what, along which way|
|um||cé uime||cá (h)uime||cad uime||about whom, about what, at what|
*only cé can be used when referring to persons and things
, also cé air = upon whom/ whereupon,
cad and cá only in reference to things: cad air/cá air = on what
Instead of cad céard is also used.
Forms with cá are typical für Ulster, with cad more in Munster (cad chuige as 'tuige also in other dialects), cé is used in dialects if in reference to persons ("who"), in reference to objects ("what") is often common in Connacht.
Under cá in Ó Dónaills dictionary, forms like"cá
air" are given for prepositions with a vowel. Given its initial vowel, forms
with h (cá hair or cá h-air) seem more logical and are also found
in literature. Under as, mostly "cá has" is written.
In spoken Ulster-Irish one hears cá and preposition often contracted. e.g.: c'air, c'as, c'aige.
the other prepositions with vowel (ann, uaidh, uime) I have not yet encountered with cá.
The genitive-requiring derived prepositions (preposition and noun) use the appropriate interrogative beside cad, céard, cé, cá always the possessive pronoun of the 3rd person masculine singular a = his
|ar nós = like||"in way"||Cad ar a nós = how, in what way?||"what on his way"|
|de chois = close to||"of foot"||Cad dá chois = Close to what?||"what of-his foot"|
|i dtaobh = regarding||"in side"||Cad ina thaobh = Regarding what, why?||"what in-his side"|
|i gcoinne = against||"in meeting"||Cad ina choinne = against what?||"what in-his meeting"|
|le haghaidh = for||"with face"||Cad lena aghaidh = for what?||"what with-his face"|
Derived prepositions without the genitive with simple prepositions (e.g. mar gheall ar = because of, in aice le = in the area of use here the 3rd person masculine of the prepositional pronoun (e.g. air, leis)
|mar gheall ar = because of||"like bet on"||Cad mar gheall air = why?||"what like bet on-him"|
|in aice le = in the area of||"in area with "||Cad in aice leis = close to what?||"what in area with-him"|
Seo, sin, siúd are the standard forms
(adjectivial úd instead of siúd)
In Munster following broad consonants the forms so, san, súd are common (e.g. an capall so but na capaill seo, an fear san but an buachaill sin)
There are, in copular clauses (e.g.in the preterite) sometimes forms without "s" (eo, in, iúd) see also: "seo, sin, siud as copular forms"
meaning of seo, sin, siud:
with seo = this something spatially /temporally close to the speaker is meant. Also something emotionally close to him (e.g.: a chara seo = dear friend!)
with sin = that something either spatially / temporally close to the addressed party or spatially / temporally a bit away from the speaker is meant. Emotionally, as well, a rather cooler, more neutral relationship.
with siúd = that there something either spatially / temporally further away is meant. Emotionally, it indicates a greater distance, not only as politeness and admiration but also dislike.
seo = this e.g. Seo é
mo theach = this is my house. Tabhair dom seo! = Give me this here!
sin = that e.g.: Sin a raibh anseo = That is all that there was.
siúd = that there e.g. Siúd is feidir liom a thabhairt = That there I can spare
these pronouns for the indication of nouns are formed with the articles and the 3 words seo, sin, úd (in Ulster instead adaí)
an .... seo = this ... e.g.: an
teach seo = this house
an ... sin = the ..., there ... e.g.: an cailín sin = that girl
an ... úd = that ... there e.g.: an crann úd = the tree over there
Just as in German, one generally does not place a possessive pronoun
next to a demonstrative pronoun ("this, my house"). If it is indeed
needed to indicate the owner , one uses a form of ag in
place of thepossessive pronoun:
e.g.: an teach seo (atá) agamsa = this house, that I have. Sa tír seo againne = In this, our country
Often, this construction of demonstrative pronoun and ag is used as the alternative to the possessive pronoun; in Ulster the demonstrative pronoun is then abbreviated to s' (s'agam, s'agat, etc.): an teach s'agamsa = my house, alternatively, in Connemara an abbreviated form of the prepsitional pronoun ('amsa, 'atsa, etc.) is used : an teach seo 'amsa = my house)
Such forms as : *mo theach seo, *inár dtír seo etc. are
the form "a theach seo" has another meaning. It does not mean "this, his house" but instead "this one's house" (see below)
Only possible with the 3rd person (sé, sí, siad, é,
í, iad or synthetic verb forms of the 3rd person pl. e.g. bhíodar
= sie waren)
not with emphatic pronouns (seisean, sise, siadsan)!
sé/sí/siad seo = this e.g.:
Is é seo a rinne é = This did it.
sé/sí/siad sin = der, die, das, die e.g.: Tá sí sin go maith = That is good.
sé/sí/siad siúd = jene(r,-s), jene e.g. Bhíodar siúd ina gcónai i mBéal Feirste = Those ones lived in Belfast.
also only possible with the 3rd person (a = his, her, their). Seo, sin, siúd refers to the possessive pronoun, not to the noun.
a .... seo = his, her, their e.g.
a theach seo = his house
a ... sin = his, her, their e.g.: a theach sin = this one's(m.) house, a teach sin = this one's(f.) house
a ... siúd = his, her, their e.g. a dteach siúd = those ones' house
with the verbal noun á ... seo/sin/siúd
takes the place of the object (á = do + a).
e.g. Tá mé á dhéanamh seo = I'm doing this ("I am to his doing" or lit. "I am to-his doing it")
In German and English, all 3 forms translate to approximately the same thing, the only differences
being the indication of distance to the person (his, her, their).
These distances are only possible in English or German only beyond the realm of fine grammar: "this his/that his" etc.
In German the word "dessen", "deren" also serves as the genitive-relative pronoun ("Der Mann, dessen Frau hübsch ist"=The man whose wife is beautiful.). In Irish, the indirect relative particle is used! ("An fear a bhfuil a bhean go hálainn")!
these are formed simply using the "prefix" an- :
(an- is actually the prepositional pronoun ann = in him, used as an adverbial pronoun ("in that"), anseo then actually ann seo = lit. "in this" > "herein"), earlier also written with double-n . Ann alone as an adverb means also there, although this hasn't the demonstrative character it might carry in German.
anseo = here e.g.: Táim anseo
= I am here
ansin = there e.g.: Bhíomar inár gconaí ansin = We lived there.
ansiúd = over there e.g.: Bhi siad ina gcónaí thall ansiúd i Sasana = They lived over there in England.
ansin can also be used as a temporal adverb ("then") : Ansin a bhí mé i mo chonaí i Londain = Then, I lived in London
In Munster, forms with broad s are also common (anso, ansan, ansúd)
also with the preposition mar one forms adverbial phrases:
mar seo = this way, at this time, in this way:
Téir mar seo = go this way! Déan é mar seo = do it this
mar sin = so, that way, so then (also conditional): ní rachaidh tú mar sin = so then you won't go?, cúig phunt nó mar sin = 5 pounds or so
also in the formation of additional adverbial pronouns
the demonstrative pronoun is used:
e.g.: aige sin = therewith, aige seo = herewith, air seo = hereupon, leis sin = thereupon , etc.
relative pronoun are words, that refer to a word ("antecedent") in the
previous partial clause
(like e.g. the word "that" in this clause, which refers to "words").
In the new partial clause, the pronoun forms the subject (direct relative clauses), a direct object (also direct relative clauses) or an indirect object (indirect relative clause)
In German, these are "equivalents" to the pronoun (der, die, das) "that"
or also (welcher, welche, welches) "which". In Irish it's only
Why particle and not pronoun?
The Irish perspective sees it not as taking the place of a noun ("pro nomen") as the subject or object of the relative clause, but as the antecedent directly subject/object without the need of a pronoun! The relative particle only connects antecedent and relative clause. In addition to that, it is very short and flown over in speech. An extensive explanation is given in the footnotes[ 1 ]
A division between masculine and feminine is not made.
An teach a bhí go maith = the house, that was good.
An scéal nach raibh go maith = the story, that wasn't good
The direct relative particle a requires
the autonomous verb form. In the preterite with
d' preceding vowel: e.g.: a d'ól tú = that you drank
The negative form nach/nár requires the dependent verb form. In the preterite without d' preceding vowel: e.g.: nár ól tú = that you didn't drink
More about the usage see: clause forms: direct relative clause
In German the (genitive) relative pronoun dessen, deren, (whose)
(dative-/accusative-) relative pronoun with a preposition e.g. to
whom, in which, on which etc.
This is a particle and not a pronoun, while an additional, real reflexive pronoun (forainm iartheachtach) appears (mostly a prepositional pronoun [dt. e.g. "on him"] or a possessive pronoun [dt. e.g. "whose"])
The indirect relative particle connects only relative clause and antecedent. The antecedent is represented by a reflexive pronoun in the relative clause, and is therefore only the indirect object of the relative clause.
The indirect relative particle a/ar and nach/nár requires the dependent verb form. e.g.: ar ól tú inti = in which you drank
an teach a bhfuil mé ann = the house, in which I am. (a = relative particle, ann = reflexive pronoun)
an bord nach bhfuil sé air = the table, on which it is not. (a = relative particle, air = reflexive pronoun)
an teach a bhfuil a dhíon go dona = the house, whose roof is poor. (1. a = relative particle, 2. a = his = reflexive pronoun)
By inserting reflexive pronouns, one can convert a direct relative clause in
an indirect one (if the antecedent is the object of the relative clause).
an teach a bhfeiceann tú é = the house, which you see. (a = relative particle, é = reflexive pronoun)
instead of a direct relative clause:
an teach a fheiceann tú = the house that you see.
In Munster, go/gur takes the place
of the indirect relative particle (instead of a/ar)
e.g. an teach go bhfuil mé ann = the house, in which I am (go = relative particle, ann = antec. pronoun)
More on the usage see: clause forms: indirect relative clause
In the above indirect relative clauses there is, besides the relative particle,
a reflexive pronoun
(e.g. a prepositional pronoun: an bord a bhfuil an leabhar air = the table that the book is on).
In this case, the relative a is only a particle.
A preposition can also be placed directly before the relative.
In this case, the relative takes the form of a reflexive pronoun (then exactly like in German: the table on which ...). It is then a real pronoun and not just a particle:
an bord ar a bhfuil an leabhar = the table upon which the
an teach ina bhfuil mé = the house in which I am.
Negative forms (nach/nár) do not allow the pronoun. Here one
uses a normal indirect relative particle with a prepositional pronoun at the
end of the clause (e.g.: an teach nach bhfuil mé ann = the
house in which I am not)
More about the usage see: clause forms: indirect relative clause
The forms are identical with the indirect relative particle.
There are combinations made with those prepositions ending in a vowel:
|prep.||with a||with ar||translation|
|faoi||faoina||faoinar||under/ about that|
The reflexive relative pronoun requires the dependent verb form. e.g.: inar ól tú = in that you drank
In English, "that, which"; "all, that"; in Irish, just "a"
In the form (including the resulting eclipsis) it is identical with the indirect relative particle.
Although, there completely lacks a inflection of the antecedent. The relative pronoun takes the place of even the antecedent (réamhtheachtaí), hence the term réamhtheachtach
The generalising relative pronoun requires the dependent verb form. e.g.: ar ól tú = all that you drank
Chonaic mé a raibh anseo = I saw all that was there
Tabhair leat a bhfuil uait = Take what you need
also together with gach:
e.g.: Gach a bhfuil ann = Everything that there is.
Together with those prepositions ending with a vowel, the same combinations are formed as with the reflexive relative pronoun:
|prep.||with a||with ar||translation|
|le||lena||lenar||with all that|
|de||dá||dar||of all that|
|do||dá||dar||to all that|
|i||ina||inar||in all that|
|ó||óna||ónar||from all that|
|faoi||faoina||faoinar||under all that|
|trí||trína||trínar||through all that|
Most common of these is especially dá = "of all, that":
e.g. an fear is cliste dá bhfuil ann = the cleverest man of all that there are.
see also appropriate excerpt clause forms: general. relative pronoun
There are very few real indefinite pronouns. Instead of them, mostly nouns
like duine (person), rud, ní (thing) or ceann (head)
Used here are various pronominal adjectives like uile (all), eile (other), éigin (some), gach (every), ar bith (at all) or cardinal numbers like aon (one, no), that only seldomly appear as the substantive pronoun alone.
Some nouns are used in the sense of pronominal adjectives.
only in interrogative clauses (the same forms in neg. clauses mean "no, nothing"):
leithéid is a noun and means "likeness", a "resemblance", it is mostly used in the sense of "such", "like that". Then mostly with the possessive pronoun a = his (also with other possessive pronouns in the sense of "likes of me", etc.)
instead of leithéid one can sometimes use other phrases like den shórt sin = "of this sort", an cineál sin = "this kind", a samhail = "his likeness".
*: with sin more in the demonstrative light (a leithéid sin de cheol = such music), without sin more for intensification (a leithéid de cheol ar a fheabhas = such good music)
Similar to a mhalairt (something else), a leithéid (something)
appears also a oiread (so much) .
oiread = amount, number.
There is no "impersonal" pronoun like the German man.
féin (= self) is used as:
féin appears (retrospective and reflexive):
féin is often pronounced [he:n']
instead of [f'e:n'] .
(part. dialect dependent, part. dependent on the preceding sound)
In Connemara e.g. only the pronunciation [he:n'] is common.
The pronunciation [p'e:n'] also appears e.g. in Munster and on the Aran Islands, if it follows an -m: dhom féin [γ@m pe:n'] =to myself. Then also part. written as péin (dhom péin).
Writing fhéin is wrong!
The adjective same is céanna: e.g. an fear céanna = the same man (see pronominal adjectives)
féin = self can not only
be used as a pronoun but also as an adverb(like in German)
It takes on the meaning of "even":
e.g.: Bhí Pól féin ann = Even Paul was there.
It can appear alone or as a complement to other adverbs.
e.g.: mar sin féin = even then, despite that, anyway; anois féin = even now; fós féin = even still; chéana féin = already
*: é/í/iad is mostly inserted
to differentiate between pronoun and adverb.
ex..: Bhí Pól é féin ann = Paul himself was (personally) there (pronoun)
Bhí Pól féin ann = Even (himself) Paul was there (adverb)
|one another||a chéile|
céile ist actually a noun (partner, comrade, spouse),
a is actually the possessive pronoun 3rd person sg. (= his)
together, a chéile also lit: "his partner"
In place of a chéile (seldom) araile is used also.
As in German, here are combinations with prepositions being used.
The possessive pronoun a is often left out, but lenition is still necessary (e.g.: le chéile instead of lena chéile)
le(na) chéile = with one another, together,
ó(na) chéile = from one another,
trí(na) chéile = in disarray, confusion (lit: through one another?)
as a chéile = in a row (lit: next to one another?)
ina chéile = in one another,
faoi(na) chéile = amongst/between (a pair/exclusive group),
dá chéile = to one another,
i ndiaidh a chéile = after one another,
mar a chéile = same (lit.: like another),
oiread le chéile = everyone as much as the other (lit.: amount with one another),
de réir a chéile = nach another, gradually, etc.
Together with a noun and a few opposing prepositions (e.g. from/to, out/in)
it means (from)one ... (until) another.
e.g.: ón lá go chéile = from one day to the next, as gach fásach ina chéile = from one wasteland into the other
this particle is always used when addressing someone (in spoken language it is often swallowed and is always unstressed)
The following nound is in the vocative.
a lenites the following word (even when it's "swallowed"), non-Irish personal names are not lenited
In today's usage is does not correlate to the German/English particle "o" (a thiarna! = [o] Lord!), because the Irish "a" is always a necessity, the"o" is more seldomly used and has then a strong appellative character.
One often leaves the vocative particle off in translation, e.g.: a Sheáin = Seán! (not: o Seán!)
One can bring in the appellative tone into Irish with a following ó: a chailín ó = o girl!
The number particle appears before (cardinal-) numbers , if no noun is to follow.
The number particle enables the adjectivial numbers to stand alone without
a following noun (trí úll = three apples, a trí = three).
After a there is neither lenition nor eclipsis, but an h- prefix on numbers starting with a vowel (a haon, a hocht, a haon déag, etc.).
with prepositions, the particle a conjoins;
the forms resemble those combinations of preposition and possessive / relative
pronoun. They appear most often in calculations:
a sé faoina dó sin a dó dhéag = 6 times 2 equals 12 (faoi + a)
a dó óna trí sin a haon = 3 minus 2 equals 1 (ó + a)
(The form resembles the particle in the feminine possessive pronoun a =her)
[ 1 ] the direct relative particle is actually unnecessary. It is a relatively new development, earlier there was only the lenition of the verb as an indicator of the relative without a particle or pronoun. (an fear chuireas = the man who lies)
a came to be from the earlier very common preterite particle do, that was used also in other tenses by irregular verbs. Eventually they wereable to be heard even in relative clauses, became accepted as the relativium and were applied also to other verbs: (an fear do chuireas =the man who lies), which would serve nicely as a possible "cause" of the lenition of the verbs. It then shrank to thecontemporary a (an fear a chuireas = the man who lies).
As one can see, a is a particle without own meaning, and cannot be a "pronoun". That in German the relative pronoun must be used, is a whole other story ...
[ 2 ] the form "+ direct relative clause" is used, if an té is a pronomial subject or dir. object of the relative clause. In the proper cases it is also possible as an indirect relative clause . e.g.: an té ar thug mé é dó = he to whom I gave it