Ulster-Connemara-Mumhan “could/can”

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  • #36614
    féabar
    Participant

    I have learned the majority of my Irish in the north, principally central Donegal. I use several forms of the “verb
    thought” “can/could” in distinct Donegal ways. I would like to know the proper way to say these in the other dialectal
    forms and to know how they are written in Standard Irish.

    Item English Donegal/I say Mumhan Connemara Standard Writing

    1 I can Thig liom ? ? Is féidir liom
    (leat, leis,etc) (leat, leis, etc)

    2 I can’t Ní thig liom Ní féidir liom
    (leat, leis, etc) (leat, leis, etc)

    3 Can you? An dtig leat? An féidir leat?
    (liom, leis, etc.) (liom, leis, etc)

    4 Could you An dtiocadh leat? An bhféadfa?
    ( liom, leis, etc) I, you, he, she, it etc ??

    5 I could Thiocadh liom d’fhéadfainn
    (leat, leis, etc) (I, you, he, she, etc ???0

    The Donegal way seems much easier to me but it is of course the way I learned. I would like to be able to say these
    properly in Connemara, Mumhan, (and yes even CO). I don’t want to purposely stump people I’m talking to, and most
    early learners are not familiar with the Donegal terms I use. And, I don’t want to use the others incorrectly.

    My last question is: whether the forms are any different if expressing the thoughts “would” or “could” or are they all the same?

    Thanks so much,
    Féabar

    #44674
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    As for the “would”/”could” issue, I think mostly the “would”s are represented by the conditional mood. I also think the Standard in this case mirrors the Connemara forms, but I could be wrong.

    #44678
    LiamO
    Participant

    The verb Tig + le is also used in much of Connacht (Acaill, Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, Iorras). Táim “in ann” is another Connacht form, not sure if it’s found elsewhere? Tobar na Gaedhilge returned no results for Munster or Ulster. One that I often hear (more so in the Ulster dialects) is “Táim ábalta”.

    #44679
    féabar
    Participant

    I usually just use tá + ábalta when I’m speaking in the past or future.

    mar shampla:

    Ní raibh mé ábalta an rud a dhéanamh. I wasn’t able to do the thing.

    Ní bheidh mé ábalta an rud a dhéanamh. (or I’ll say…. “ní bheidh mé in ann an rud a dhéanamh.” I won’t be able to do the thing.

    #44686
    An Lon Dubh
    Participant

    Munster tends to use the verb Féad:

    Ní fhéadaim é sin a dhéanamh = I can not do that = I’m not able to do that.
    Ní fhéadfainn é sin a dh’ól = I wouldn’t be able to drink that.
    Féadfad-sa mo thigh féin d’fhághail = I will be able to leave my house.

    Note the sythetic endings, as is common in Munster.

    #44689
    Lughaidh
    Participant

    Your Ulster verbal forms are right Féabar but I think the -f- is missing in “thiocfadh” 😉 (it’s the conditional mood).

    #44693
    Jonas
    Participant

    In Munster, the standard forms would be fine. Is féidir liom, ní féidir liom etc. are commonly heard.

    #44694
    féabar
    Participant

    Jonas:

    How would you say: Could you? I could, you could, he/se/it could, we could , you pl could, they could.

    Thanks
    Féabar

    #44701
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    The copula + “féidir” structure can also be used in the past tense and the conditional (“could”), where it becomes:

    B’fhéidir liom etc.
    Níorbh’fhéidir liom etc.
    Arbh’fhéidir liom etc?
    Narbh’fhéidir liom etc?
    … gurbh’fhéidir liom etc?

    The past/conditional forms of the copula are “ba”, “níor”, “ar”, “nar” and “gur” and they cause lenition, e.g. “Ar mhaith leat tae?” (“Would you like some tea?”), “Níor mhiste liom imeacht” (“I wouldn’t mind leaving”). Since the first sound of “féidir” becomes silent when lenited, “bh” is inserted, giving forms like “níorbh’fhéidir”.

    When it comes to actual usage, though, I think you’re right in suggesting that in Connemara “féidir” is often replaced by “d’fhéadfainn” in the conditional (“could”). Curiously, the verb “féad” also has present and past forms, but these are in their turn frequently replaced by “is féidir” and “tá mé in ann” structures. 🙂
    For more information on the copula, see:
    http://www.nualeargais.ie/gnag/gram.htm

    #44702
    Lughaidh
    Participant

    Níorbh’fhéidir liom etc.
    Arbh’fhéidir liom etc?
    Narbh’fhéidir liom etc?
    … gurbh’fhéidir liom etc?

    I think there’s no apostrophy in these clauses:

    Níorbh fhéidir liom etc.
    Arbh fhéidir liom etc?
    Narbh fhéidir liom etc?
    … gurbh fhéidir liom

    but b’fhéidir has one, because b’ is for “ba” with a dropped “a”. There’s nothing dropped in níorbh etc 🙂

    #44704
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    You’re right, Lughaidh. Sorry!

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