June 1, 2019 at 10:45 pm #37064
I’m having a little trouble with counting objects over twenty. I’ve gotten mixed results from internet resources. The following are the variations I’ve found (e.g. 37 years):
1. tríocha is a seacht bliain (“Irish on Your Own” course [it actually specifically says not to do the standard séimhiú and urú mutations to the object name for 20+] /Phouka.com)
2. seacht bliain is tríocha (Phouka.com)
3. seacht mbliaina is tríocha (Nualeargais.ie)
4. tríocha a seacht bliain (bbc.co.uk. [Colin and Cumberland])
Does anyone know which is most acceptable/common? And is the rule any different when counting money (e.g. pounds and pence)?
Thank you.June 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm #46368OnuvanjaParticipant
I think it’s fair to say that counting rules are quite complicated in Irish. First of all, there are separate systems for counting numbers, nouns, measure words and persons. Secondly, you can either count by tens of twenties or use what is called the ‘simplified system’. So, if you took the noun ‘bliain’, which is a measure word and as such has a special plural form ‘bliana’ only used for counting above 3, you could either say ‘seacht mbliana is tríocha’ (system based on tens), ‘seacht mbliana déag is fiche’ (system based on twenties, ’17 years and 20′) or ‘tríocha a seacht bliain’ (simplified system). While the latter is clearly the easiest one to master, it’s frowned upon in many grammar books and really does seem to ignore how the language works. So, I would recommend you to go with either the system based on tens or the one based on twenties (respectively No 3 and 4 on your list). The latter is more complicated, but perhaps still quite common among native Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht. As for ‘pounds’ and ‘pence’, ‘pound’ behaves like an ordinary noun, remaining in singular, but ‘pence’ takes a special plural form ‘pingine’, so you would get ‘seacht bpunt is tríocha’ and ‘seacht bpingine is tríocha’. Don’t hesitate to rely on Nualeargais.ie for further information, it’s a very useful resource.June 2, 2019 at 8:12 pm #46371
Thank you for that very helpful information. I’ll probably end up going with option 3.June 2, 2019 at 8:25 pm #46372LabhrásParticipant
The twenties system is not mentioned in Rosies posting:
seacht mbliana déag is fiche
seacht mbliana déag ar fhichidJune 3, 2019 at 6:46 am #46373OnuvanjaParticipant
Yes, sorry, seems like I got confused myself by such a wide variety of options … 🙂 Anyway, both options 3 and 4 mentioned are technically correct and accepted in the Caighdeán Oifigiúil 2017, though option 4 (‘simplified system’) is discouraged by many, and I personally also find it ‘gránna’, though of always, views might differ. The system based on twenties, which Labhrás has kindly updated, could be designated as option 5.June 5, 2019 at 2:31 am #46374
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