Auxiliary Constructions

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Substantive Auxiliary Constructions

Bha Calum ag òl uisge beatha.
be.pst Calum asp drinking whiskey
'Calum was drinking whiskey.'
Tha Calum 'na thidsear.
be.pres Calum in.3sg.m teacher
'Calum is a teacher.'
Tha Calum faiceallach.
be.pres Calum careful
'Calum is (being) careful.'
Tha Calum anns a'bhùth.
be.pres Calum in the shop
'Calum is in the shop.'

Inverted Copular Constructions

As indicated by the name of the construction, the word order is copular-predicate-subject. Copular-subject-predicate order is ungrammatical.

Is mòr an duine sin.
cop.pres big that man
'That man is big.'
*Is an duine sin mòr.
cop.pres that man big
Is tidsear Calum.
cop.pres teacher Calum
'Calum is a teacher.'
*Is Calum tidsear.
cop.pres Calum teacher

Augmented Copular Constructions

Word order: Defective copular-pronominal augment-subject-predicate

'S e Calum an tidsear.
cop.pres aug Calum the teacher
'Calum is the teacher.'
'S e Sean Hamlet a-nochd.
cop.pres aug Sean Hamlet tonight
'Sean is (playing) Hamlet tonight.'
*'S e Hamlet Sean a-nochd.
cop.pres aug Hamlet Sean tonight
Intended: 'Sean is (playing) Hamlet tonight.'

See Also