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One absolutely frightening thing about Gaelic is that when you think you know a word, suddenly that word appears looking very very different leaving the reader very very confused. Some of these differences we have already spoken about, like an H coming in after the first letter, or an I being added at the end (lenition and slenderisation).
In Slenderisation particularly, when the I is added, another vowel letter sometimes changes. This happens a lot, but today we want to focus on short nouns because these usually change when they are in the possessive.
Try to examine the following and complete the ones which are missing:
Ceann becomes cinn / mo chinn / my head
fear becomes fir / còta an fhir mhòir / coat of the big man
mac becomes mic / ainm a mic / name of her son
falt becomes fuilt
eun becomes eòin
bard becomes bhùird
Please see page 32 of Gràmar na Gàidhlig by MIchael Byrne
As in English, we have two types of adjectives:
- the adjectives before the noun (the green man )
- the adjectives after the noun (the man is green)
The same rules apply in Gaelic but can be a little bit vague when trying to translate because the adjective comes immediately after the noun (not before) in both cases. As always there are exceptions to this rule and there are some appearing before.
The rules surrounding the lenition of singular adjectives is fairly complicated and I think it is best to learn these “on the go”. More will be said about these as we move forward.
points to note:
some masculine adjectives lenite if they are with prepositions or possessives. Slenderising only happens with the possessive and an article where the adjective is masculine .
Feminine adjectives always lenite, however they also add an E if the noun is in its long form.
In plural adjectives, an “a” is added at the end, otherwise they do not change
the adjective can be lenited with some plurals,
Some nouns can have more than one plural form but here are a few examples of what they look like:
plurals ending in an
plurals ending in ichean
and also notice this one> bràithrean
other endings you will see are tan, tean, annan, achan, aidhean as well as special irregular ones
Bha mi a ’sgrìobhadh leabhar.
|Imperative||English Translation||Past Tense||English Translation|
Dè dh‘ionnsaich thu anns an obair sin?
It is formed by exactly the same rules as the continuous present tense.
Is mise Seosaidh, Tha mi a Cill Bhreannain agus tha mi nam mhaighstir-sgoile. Tha mi a ‘fuireach ann am Pàislig. Thàinig mo theaghlach à Ìle.
Is mise fear-gèidh, bàrd, bruadaire, agus cluicheadair piàna.
Cur-seachadan agus ùidhean
- ´Stoil leam a bhith a ‘leughadh agus a’ sgrìobhadh
- Is toigh leam a bhith a’ coiseachd ann an coilltean
- A’ coimhead telebhisean
- A’ leughadh
- ag èisteachd ris an rèidio.
Agus a’ bruidhinn ri mo charaidean air-loidhne, ’S e tidsear a th’ annam, Air-loidhne.
Cànan nan Gàidheal
Try to write something about yourself:
Is mise Joseph agus tha mi a´fuireach ann an Alba. Bha mi a´fuireach ann an flat ann am Pàislig, Tha am beagan Gaìdhlig. Tha mi ag ionnsachadh….
a bheil Ghaìlig agad / an robh Ghaìlig agad
chan eil Ghaìlig agad / cha robh Ghaìlig agad
Nach eil Ghaìlig agad / nach robh Ghaìlig agad