á as a pronoun used with verbal nouns

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  • #37023
    gerrynobody
    Participant

    Dia dhaoibh a chairde, I wonder can someone explain or confirm this. I have always had a problem with the á as a pronoun used with verbal noun, for example: táim á ól, táim á mbualadh, that kind of thing (they are fairly straightforward examples). What I am wondering is this: sometimes the pronoun is a direct object of the verbal noun and sometimes is used reflexively, like ‘tá an buachaill á bhualadh’ (the boy is being hit). Can this sentence also mean, ‘the boy is hitting him?’ In these ambiguous cases is there any way of knowing the right sense, or is it just from context? ‘Bhí siad á gceannach’, for example, seems like it can mean ‘they were buying them’ or ‘they were being bought’, or have I misunderstood?
    Míle Buíochas

    #46281
    tiomluasocein
    Participant

    According to the Christian Brothers, you can clarify meaning for both by doing the following:

    The boy is being hit. – Táthar ag bualadh an buachaill. (autonomous construction)

    The boy is hitting him. – Tá sé á bhualadh ag an mbuachaill.

    Or just get the meaning from context if it would be understood.

    They were buying them. Bhí siad á gceannach agu.

    They were being bought. *Bhíothas ag ceannach siad.

    *I’m not sure of this last one. Other people who use the language more than I do can tell you more about these usages.

    #46286
    Labhrás
    Participant

    Dia dhaoibh a chairde, I wonder can someone explain or confirm this. I have always had a problem with the á as a pronoun used with verbal noun, for example: táim á ól, táim á mbualadh, that kind of thing (they are fairly straightforward examples). What I am wondering is this: sometimes the pronoun is a direct object of the verbal noun and sometimes is used reflexively, like ‘tá an buachaill á bhualadh’ (the boy is being hit). Can this sentence also mean, ‘the boy is hitting him?’

    Of course.

    In these ambiguous cases is there any way of knowing the right sense, or is it just from context? ‘Bhí siad á gceannach’, for example, seems like it can mean ‘they were buying them’ or ‘they were being bought’, or have I misunderstood?
    Míle Buíochas

    Just from context.

    Or by adding an actor:
    Tá an buachaill á bhualadh aici.
    Bhí siad á gceannach aige.

    #46287
    Labhrás
    Participant

    According to the Christian Brothers, you can clarify meaning for both by doing the following:

    The boy is being hit. – Táthar ag bualadh an buachaill. (autonomous construction)

    Táthar ag bualadh an bhuachalla
    (genitive of an buachaill)

    The boy is hitting him. – Tá sé á bhualadh ag an mbuachaill.

    Or just get the meaning from context if it would be understood.

    They were buying them. Bhí siad á gceannach agu.

    … acu. = They were being bought by them.

    They were being bought. *Bhíothas ag ceannach siad.

    *I’m not sure of this last one. Other people who use the language more than I do can tell you more about these usages.

    They were being bought. = Bhíothas á gceannach.
    You can’t use a pronoun as “siad” here.

    #46288
    tiomluasocein
    Participant

    Thank you for clarifying and correcting those sentences. 🙂

    #46289
    gerrynobody
    Participant

    Fíorshuimiúil! Buíochas as bhur gcabhair, a Labhrás agus a Thiomluasocein.

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