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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar 2012 9:40 pm 
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For a complete list of wombat explanations, see: viewforum.php?f=34

Relative clauses and pronouns -- in English
I considered giving you a definition of the term relative clause, but all the definitions I found reference grammar terminology that you don't really need. It's easier to just give you a few examples, and then you can say "oh, those things!"

Ex: the wombat who is always explaining things
Ex: the chocolate that the wombat ate
Ex: the wombat whose explanations you find helpful

The relative clauses are in blue. Notice the italicised words in blue that introduce the relative clauses. Those are called relative pronouns, and they include who, whom, which, whose, that.

Relative clauses and pronouns -- in Irish

Here's a table summarising the most common relative pronouns in Irish. I've highlighted the differences between the usage for direct and indirect relative clauses.

Image

You can see that we need to know whether the relative clause is direct or indirect. What does that mean? Before I explain, there's one other bit of terminology I need to introduce. The antecedent is the person or thing referred to by the relative pronoun. It's in the main clause, usually right before the relative pronoun.

Ex: the wombat who is always explaining things. ("the wombat" is the antecedent. That's what "who" refers back to.)

The rule that works most of the time is: If the antecedent is the subject or direct object of the relative clause, then it's a direct relative. If the antecedent is the indirect object of the relative clause, then it's an indirect relative. There are a few other situations you need to know about, and I discuss them below. But that rule will cover most of the cases, so it's a good place to start. In my explanation below, I've mentioned a few other terms (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) for the benefit of those who already know them, but if you don't, don't worry.

Direct Relative
If the antecedent is the subject or direct object of the relative clause, then it's a direct relative.

nominative (subject)

an wombat a d'ith an tseacláid
the wombat who ate the chocolate
(could also mean: the chocolate that ate the wombat!*)

an wombat atá ina cónaí i nDún na nGall
the wombat who lives in Donegal


accusative (direct object)
an wombat a chonaic mé
the wombat who I saw

an tseacláid a d'ith an wombat
the chocolate that the wombat ate


Also after question words (cé, cad, ceard, conas, etc.):

Cé hí an wombat sin?
Who is that wombat?

Except: when cé, cad are linked with prepositions (cé air, cad chuige, etc), and after cén fáth, cén chaoi and a few others.


Also after an té, cibé, pé:

an té a chonaic an wombat
the one who saw the wombat


Also after nuair, mar:

nuair a bhí an wombat anseo
when the wombat was here

mar a bhí an wombat
as the wombat was


Also after chomh ___ agus (in the sense of “As….as") and similar as...as expressions

chomh críonna agus atá an wombat
as wise as the wombat is

an oiread agus a d'ith an wombat
as much as the wombat eats



Indirect Relative
If the antecedent is the indirect object of the relative clause, then it's an indirect relative.

dative (involving a preposition)

an wombat a bhfuil ná grabhróga uirthi
the wombat on which the cookie crumbs are

an wombat ar a bhfuil ná grabhróga
the wombat that the cookie crumbs are on

an wombat ar bhuail mé leí
the wombat I met with


genitive (whose)

an wombat a bhfuil a alpacaí sásta
the wombat whose alpacas are happy


adverbial (time, place, reason, way)

an t-am a dtiocfaidh an wombat
the time the wombat comes


*to clarify ambiguous phrases

an wombat ar ith an tseacláid í
the wombat whom the chocolate ate

ImageTo the extent possible under law, Amy de Buitléir has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

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