Caibidil a Cúig: Prepositions (Réamhfhocail)
ag = at, by
Although written as ag, the preposition is mostly spoken as [eg'] (as if it were written aig or eig)
(In use in the progressive of verbs it is them pronounced [@] , or [@g] or [@g'] preceding a vowel. After a vowel, it is mostly muted.)
Except in the progressive, aige is used in Munster instead of ag (there also combinations with the article: aigen = ag an, aigesna = ag na)
ag requires the dative.
- without article: keine lenition / eclipsis e.g.: ag Seán
- with the singular article: eclipsis (except d,t) e.g.: ag an bhfear = by the man
- only in Munster d,t also eclipses
- in Connacht, t-prefix precedes feminine nouns with s-: ag an tsúil
- in Ulster, always lenition: ag an fhear
- Cé / cad aige + indirect relative clause
= by whom, at what?
- Cé acu + direct relative clause
= which, which of...?
- Cé againn/agaibh/acu + direct relative clause
= who of us/you/them? (also: cé acu againn/agaibh/acu)
Combined with the personal pronoun (so-called. prepositional pronoun):
Occasionally (Connemara) one finds short forms ('am /'amsa, 'ad / 'adsa, 'ainn / 'ainne instead of agam/agamsa, agat/agatsa, againn/againne.
Because Munster the form aige (ending in a vowel) is used, there also combinations with the possessive pronoun occur (aigena, aigenár = at his, at our, etc.)
- spatial location: by, at close proximity: ag an fear = at the man's
- temporal: at: ag a trí a chlog = at 3 O'clock
- with the verbal noun: progressive: tá mé ag ithe = I'm eating right now (lit.: "am I at eating ")
(whereby here ag is more seen as the particle, which has little or nothing to do with the base meaning of the preposition)
- have: tá + noun + ag...
- e.g.: tá teach aige = he has a house
but also extended:
- languages, qualities can ("have"): tá Gaeilge agam = I speak Irish, tá snámh aige = he can swim
- allowed to ("have permission "): tá cead ag
- love ("to have love "): tá grá ag subject ar object, e.g. tá grá agam uirthi = I love her
- desire ("to have desire in"): tá dúil ag subject i object
- to be interested ("to have interest"): tá súim ag...("have interest ")
- have in the sense of a perfect construct with verbal adjectives: tá an bord briste agam = I have broken the table (actually passive: the table has been broken by me , see: agent notation)
- with adjectives: nice of: go deas ag...; easy for , good for, pointless for:..,difficult for...:éasca ag..., maith ag..., trom ag, etc.
- part of (in the partitive dative instead of the more common preposition de): many, some, an amount of them: go leor acu, roinnt acu, neart acu, neart ag tithe = a bunch of houses (but mostly only the 3 plural pronouns againn, agaibh, acu, with nouns more often de instead of ag)
- as a substitute for a possessive pronoun, if a demonstrative pronoun (seo,
sin) appears: an teach sin 'amsa = this my house
or if with the superlative: mac is sine atá
agam = my oldest son
- denoting the agent: adjective + ag: tinn
ag an ngrian = sick from the sun, tá tinneas cinn orm
aige = I have a headachebecause of him
- also noting the agent in perfect-/passive clauses verbaladjective + ag: briste ag Máirtín
= broken by Martin
- ag seo, ag sin = here is, there is....
- tá sé ina .... acu = they see him as ....("he is a .... to them ")
- níl agat ach... = you just have to...
- with verbs: clois ag = hear from, faigh ag = receive from, fág ag = leave with,
- in Connacht, Ulster also as a substitute for the preposition chuig (fusion due to pronunciation: chuig > ag)
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© Lars Braesicke 1999/2000