ClàrMenu
FaclairDictionary EnglishGàidhlig

Language morsels Criomagan Cànain

About Gaelic grammar Beagan fios air gràmar

Masculine and feminineBoireann is fireann

In Gaelic, nouns are either masculine or feminine. English makes this distinction only rarely; for example, a ship is referred to as "she". Anns a' Ghàidhlig, tha ainmearan boireann is fireann ann. Chan eil an leithid seo ann am Beurla, ach mar eisimpleir, le bataichean.

Masculine (m) = fireann, often abbreviated as (f) or (fir)Masculine (m) = fireann, air a ghiorrachadh mar (f) neo (fir)

Feminine (f) = boireann, often abbreviated as (b) or (boir) Feminine (f) = boireann, air a ghiorrachadh mar (b) neo (boir)

NamesAinmean

In Gaelic people's names change when you talk to them or call to them. This is called the vocative case. So:

Anns a' Ghàidhlig, bidh ainmean dhaoine ag atharrachadh nuair a bhios tu a' bruidhinn riutha. ’S e (tuiseal) gairmeach a tha seo. Mar sin:

  • Màiri (Mary) = a Mhàiri
  • Seumas (James) = a Sheumais
    • and explains why we have the names and spellings such as Mhairi and Hamish. Agus tha seo ag innse mar a tha ainmean mar Mhairi agus Hamish againn ann am Beurla.

      Where are you from?Cò às a tha thu?

      Leòdhas (Lewis) Leòdhasach = Lewis person
      Leòdhas (Lewis) Leòdhasaich =Lewis people

      Muile (Mull) Muileach = Mull person
      Muile (Mull) Muilich = Mull people

      ArticlesAltan

      There is no word for "a" (indefinite article) in Gaelic.

      If you are referring to a window, for example, you say "uinneag". This can mean "window" or "a window". The context will give the meaning.

      However, there are many versions of the word "the" (definite article), but you will pick these up as you go along.
      Chan eil alt neo-chinnteach ("a") mar a tha e a' nochdadh sa Bheurla, ann an Gàidhlig.

      Ma tha thu a' bruidhinn air "uinneag", mar eisimpleir, ’s e an co-theacsa a dh'innseas dhuinn dè tha sin a' ciallachadh: uinneag, no uinneag sam bith.

      Ach tha tòrr diofar altan anns a’ Ghàidhlig, ach togaidh tu iad fhad ’s a tha thu ag ionnsachadh.

      You and YouTHU agus SIBH

      There are two forms of you in Gaelic.

      Thu
      for one person (singular)

      Sibh
      for more than one (plural); or
      when speaking to an older person; or
      in a formal situation
      Tha thu ann agus sibh ann.

      Thu
      airson bruidhinn ri aon neach

      Sibh
      airson còrr is aonan; no
      airson cuideigin nas sine; no
      ann an suidheachadh foirmeil

      LettersLitrichean

      There are 18 letters in the Gaelic alphabet.

      A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U

      A "v" sound can be created by combining bh or mh.

      Tha ochd litrichean deug san aibidil.

      A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U

      Tha bh no mh còmhla a' dèanamh an fhuaim "v".

      SpellingLitreachadh

      Even though written Gaelic may look complicated with more letters in each word, once you master the basic rules, Gaelic spelling is more consistent than English. Ma dh'fhaodte gu bheil coltas na Gàidhlig ann an clò gu math iomadh-fhillte sa chiad shealladh, ach ged a bhios barrachd litrichean anns na faclan, mar as trice, tha na riaghailtean gu math seasmhach.

      Caol ri caol, leathann ri leathann (Slender to slender and broad to broad) Caol ri caol, leathann ri leathann

      Which states that either side of consonants, certain vowels are paired together. Bu chòir fuaimreagan dhen aon seòrsa a bhith suidhichte air gach taobh de chonnrag.

      e, i = narrow vowels e, i = fuaimreagan caola
      a, o, u = broad vowels a, o, u = fuaimreagan leathann

      So: Mar sin:

      Buidhe (yellow) i and e are slender either side of dh Buidhe (yellow) tha i agus e caol gach taobh de dh
      Mòrag (Morag) o and a are broad vowels either side of r Mòrag (Morag) tha ò is a leathann gach taobh de r

      ColoursDathan

      Gaelic colours are different.Tha dathan sa Ghàidhlig eadar-dhealaichte/diofraichte.
      Gorm for the green of grass and the blue of the sky.Gorm airson an fheòir, agus airson an adhair.
      Ruadh is used to describe red hair, butRuadh airson falt ach
      Dearg is used for red as a colourDearg airson an dath air rudan eile
      Liath can be light blue or greyLiath = light blue no grey)
      Glas can be grey or greyish greenGlas = grey neo greyish green)

      To be (or not to be) Bi

      Bi Bi toilichte! Be happy!
      Bi Am bi thu toilichte? Will you be happy?
      Bidh Bidh thu toilichte. You will be happy.
      Bithidh Bithidh. You will.
      Bithibh Bithibh toilichte! Be happy! (plural)
      Bhi Cha bhi mi toilichte I will not be happy.
      Bhith Tha mi gu bhith toilichte I am going to be happy.
      Bhith Tha mi air a bhith toilichte I have been happy.
      Bhith Tha mi toilichte a bhith … I am happy to …