Incomplete Verbs

Many idiomatic verbal expressions are constructed from the association of prepositional pronouns with the Assertive Verb. These are classed as incomplete or auxiliary verbs as not all tenses are found.

Group 1: Verbs based on the Assertive Verb

a. Assertive form of the verb + preposition le. With the prepositional pronouns these are :
Present Tense Past Tense Conditional Tense
Is toil leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c like
Bu toil leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c liked
Bu toil leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c would like
'S fherr leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c prefer
B' fherr leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c preferred
B' fherr leam / leat / &c -
I / you / &c would prefer
Is leamsa / leatsa / &c -
I / you / &c own
Bu leamsa / leatsa / &c -
I / you / &c owned
Bu leamsa / leatsa / &c -
I / you / &c would own

Words beginning with f are lenited after Is

b. Assertive form of verb + preposition do. With the prepositional pronouns these are :
Present Tense Past Tense Conditional Tense
Is cir dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c are right to
Bu chir dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c was / were right to
Bu chir dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c would be right to / ought to
'S urrainn dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c are able to
B' urrainn dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you was / were able to
B' urrainn dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you would be able to
'S aithne dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c know (sense: acquainted)
B' aithne dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c knew
B' aithne dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c would know
'S bhaist dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c usually
B' bhaist dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c was / were usually
B' bhaist dhomh / dhut / &c -
I / you / &c would usually

c. Assertive form of verb + preposition air. With the prepositional pronouns these are :
Present Tense Past Tense Conditional Tense
Is beag orm / ort / &c -
I / you / &c dislike
Bu bheag orm / ort / &c - I / you / &c disliked Bu bheag orm / ort / &c - I / you / &c would dislike
Is lugha orm / ort / &c -
I / you / &c loathe
Bu lugha orm / ort / &c - I / you / &c loathed Bu lugha orm / ort / &c - I / you / &c would loathe

The Other Forms of the Verb

For the present tense drop the Is and add:
Cha
for negative statements
Chan aithne dhomh e - I don't know him
Chan urrainn dhaibh innse dhut - They are unable to tell you
An
for interrogative
An toil leat t? - Do you like tea? 'S toil - Yes, Cha toil - No
An urrainn dhut innse? - Are you able to tell? 'S urrainn - Yes, Chan urrainn - No
Nach
for negative interrogative
Nach toil leat t? - Don't you like tea?   'S toil - Yes, Cha toil - No
Nach beag ort sin? - Don't you dislike that? Is beag - Yes, Cha bheag - No

For the past and conditional tenses add:
Cha for negative statements Cha b' urrainn dhomh faicinn - I wasn't able to see?
Cha bu chir dhut innse - You weren't right to say / You ought not to have said
Am for interrogative Am bu toil le t? - Would they like tea? Bu toil - Yes, Cha bu toil - No
Am b' aithne dhuibh e? - Did you know him? B' aithne - Yes, Cha b'aithne - No
Nach for negative interrogative Nach bu lugha orra sin? - Didn't they loathe that? Bu lugha - Yes, Cha bu lugha - No
Nach b' bhaist dhaibh innse? - Wouldn't they usually say?
B' bhaist - Yes, Cha b' bhaist - No

Examples of Use

When the incomplete verbs are followed directly by a verb, the verbal noun is used. Exceptions in both literature and the spoken language are the verbs To Be (a bhith), To Go (a dhol) and To Come (a thighinn) :
An toil leat lagair? - Do you like lager? Bu toil leam drama - I would like a dram
'S fherr leis t - He prefers tea B' fherr leam cofaidh - I would prefer coffee
An aithne dhut am fear sin? - Do you know that man? B' aithne dhomh an guth - I recognised the voice
Nach beag oirbh e? - Don't you dislike him? Cha bu bheag orm i - I didn't dislike her
An toil leat seinn? - Do you like singing? 'S urrainn dhaibh leughadh - They are able to read
B' fherr leam cluiche - I would prefer to play Is lugha air ball-coise - He detests football
'S bhaist dhaibh a thighinn trth - They usually come early
B' bhaist dha na samhraidhean a bhith blth - The summers used to be warm
Is cir dhaibh a bhith cramach - They are right to be careful
'S urrainn dhaibh a bhith ann - They are able to be there
Cha b' urrainn dha a dhol dhan chilidh - He wasn't able to go to the ceilidh

When incomplete verbs are followed by a verbal noun taking a direct object word order reversal takes place. Here the object comes first followed by a + lenited verbal noun. The a is dropped before verbal nouns beginning with vowel or beginning with f + vowel :
Am bu toil leat cel a chluinntinn? - Would you like to hear some music?
'S fherr leam cofaidh l - I prefer to drink coffee
Cha bu chir dhut sin a dhanamh - You ought not to have done that
'S urrainn dhomh Gidhlig a bhruidhinn - I am able to speak Gidhlig
Am b' urrainn do Mhiri an dealbh fhaicinn?  - Was Miri able to see the film?
Am bu toil leat an litir sin a fhreagairt?  - Would you like to answer that letter?

When the object of the sentence is a pronoun then the pronoun is replaced by its possessive adjective placed before the verbal noun. The possessive adjectives mo, do and a (his/its) lenite the following word whenever possible :
Cha bu toil leis m' fhaicinn? - He would not like to see me?
B' fherr leis d' fhaicinn? - He would prefer to see you?
An urrainn dh a thogail? - Can she lift him?
Bu chir dhaibh a danamh - They ought to do it (work = feminine)

As mentioned in lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)nine.gif (1016 bytes) the practise is to contract Is to 'S in both literature and the spoken language, particularly before words beginning with a vowel or fh. Bu is always contracted to B' before words beginning with a vowel or fh.

NEW WORDS

Adjectives
cramach - careful eile - other
fadalach - late (in arriving) sam bith - any

Adverbs
air neo - (or) else roimhe seo - by now

Nouns
cl (m) - cabbage duine (m) - person (any sex), man, husband
guth (m) - voice ln-spin (m) - spoonful
maighistir-sgoile (m) - schoolmaster prant (m) - parent
taigh-dhealbh (m) - cinema samhradh (m) - summer
sicar (m) - sugar t (m) - tea
cabhag (f) - haste coinneamh (f) - meeting
dthaich (f) - country, countryside spin (f) - spoon
t (f) - one, female tile (f) - other female

Verbal phrases
Tha cabhag orm - I am in a hurry Tha cabhag oirnn - We are in a hurry
Tha cabhag ort - You are in a hurry Tha cabhag oirbh - You are in a hurry
Tha cabhag air - He is in a hurry Tha cabhag orra - They are in a hurry
Tha cabhag oirre - She is in a hurry

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.Tha i ag rdh gu bheil pathadh oirre 2.Am bu toil le a dhol dhan taigh-dhealbh?
3.Chan bhaist dhaibh a dhol dhan taigh-sheinnse 4.An aithne dhuibh an duine sin? Chan aithne ach 's aithne dhomh an duine eile
5.Cha robh fios agam gum b' aithne dh iad 6.'S bhaist dh a bhith a' coiseachd trth anns a' mhadainn
7.Nach bu chir dha a bhith a' dol dhan dotair? Bu chir 8.Is toil leam an nighean seo ach is beag orm an tile
9.An urrainn dhut Gidhlig a bhruidhinn? 'S urrainn 10.Am b' fherr leis a' bhalach a bhith a-muigh? Cha b' fherr
11.Tha mi a' smaointinn gur beag air snmh 12.Tha i ag rdh gur lugha oirre cl

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.Do you like this house? No 2.I would prefer a small house in (air) the country
3.The nurse usually comes at mid-day 4.Does the dog like playing in the park? Yes
5.We can't come to see you tomorrow 6.I ought to hurry else I'll be late
7.Would you prefer sugar in your tea? Yes 8.He would like an other spoonful of sugar please
9.Did you know anyone (a person) at the meeting last night? No 10.My parents are usually home by now
11.Are you able to see the paper? No 12.Were you able to answer the question? Yes

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 1
1.She says she is thirsty 2.Would they like to go to the cinema?
3.They don't usually go the the pub 4.Do you know that man? No, but I know the other one
5.I didn't know that she knew them 6.She usually walks early in the morning
7.Ought not he go to the doctor? Yes 8.I like this girl but I dislike the other one
9.Can you speak Gidhlig? Yes 10.Would the boy prefer to be outside? No
11.I think that he dislikes swimming 12.She says that she dislikes cabbage

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 2
1.An toil leat an taigh seo? Cha toil 2.B' fherr leam taigh beag air an dthaich
3.'S bhaist dhan bhanaltram a thighinn aig meadhan-l 4.An toil leis a' ch a bhith a' cluich anns a' phirc? 'S toil
5.Chan urrainn dhuinn a thighinn gad fhaicinn a-mireach 6.Bu chir cabhag a bhith orm air neo bidh mi fadalach
7.Am b' fherr leibh sicar nur t? B' fherr 8.Bu toil leis ln-spin eile de shicar mas e ur toil e
9.Am b' aithne dhut duine aig a' choinneimh a-raoir? Cha b' aithne 10.'S bhaist do mo phrantan a bhith aig an taigh roimhe seo
11.An urrainn dhut am pipear fhaicinn? Chan urrainn 12.Am b' urrainn dhut a' cheist a fhreagairt? B' urrainn

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