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 Post subject: "Mo" vs. "a"
PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon 11 Jun 2012 5:55 pm
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Hello all!

I searched the forum and couldn't find any previous mentions of this question, so forgive me if I'm repeating another topic somewhere.

I have been wondering for a while what the difference is between "mo" and "a." I've seen both words used to mean "my," but I haven't yet figured out when you're supposed to use each of them. If someone could please explain it to me, I would be very grateful. :) I'm just a casual learner of the Irish language, but I'm very curious to know what the rule is to this.

thanks in advance for any help!

Riel


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 Post subject: Re: "Mo" vs. "a"
PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon 29 Aug 2011 4:54 pm
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Location: Cill Dara
Riel wrote:
Hello all!

I searched the forum and couldn't find any previous mentions of this question, so forgive me if I'm repeating another topic somewhere.

I have been wondering for a while what the difference is between "mo" and "a." I've seen both words used to mean "my," but I haven't yet figured out when you're supposed to use each of them. If someone could please explain it to me, I would be very grateful. :) I'm just a casual learner of the Irish language, but I'm very curious to know what the rule is to this.

thanks in advance for any help!

Riel
I am presuming that you mean in the context of 'Mo Mhamaí' and 'A Mhamaí'.
'Mo Mhamaí' is used when you are referring to her. 'A Mhamaí' is used when you are addressing her directly.

For example:
'Chuaigh Áine agus mo Mhamaí go dtí an siopa.' 'Áine and (my) Mammy went to the shop.'
'A Mhamaí, ba mhaith liom dul go dtí an siopa leat.' 'Mammy, I'd like to go to the shop with you.'

There are much more knowledgeable people around there than I and they'll have all kinds of weird and wonderful grammar terms and explanations, but that's the gist!
By the way, welcome to ILF!

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Is foghlaimeoir mé. I am a learner. DEFINITELY wait for others to confirm and/or improve.
Beatha teanga í a labhairt.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mo" vs. "a"
PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon 11 Jun 2012 5:55 pm
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go raibh maith agat! :D

that was very helpful, Saoirse. I always wondered about that! hehe. I'm kind of glad that it was as simple as that.

Thanks for your help, and for the warm welcome. :)

Riel


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 Post subject: Re: "Mo" vs. "a"
PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu 01 Sep 2011 9:55 am
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Location: 91 - France
This use of 'a' is what's called in other languages the vocative (but be careful 'a' in Irish can mean quite a few other things) - think of 'O Caesar!'


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 Post subject: Re: "Mo" vs. "a"
PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2012 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun 04 Sep 2011 11:02 pm
Posts: 622
As noted above, when you address someone in Irish, that person's name/title goes into the "vocative" case, preceded by the word a. It might help for you to know that that is also what is happening in English when one says "O God, we pray ..." Most people just don't realize that is a remnant of the vocative case in English.

John = Seán
[O] John, I'm in love with you = A Sheáin, táim i ngrá leat

It doesn't matter whether you would normally say the "O" part in English (we usually don't, except with God). In Irish you must use it. In Scottish Gaelic they drop the "a" if it comes before a name starting with a vowel,, but there can still be changes to the name. Technically, the "a" should still be there, but it's hard to hear it, so for the most part they no longer bother writing it either.

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I'm still a learner, so be sure to wait for confirmations/corrections, especially for tattoos.


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