Apostrophes are a frequent occurrence in written Gaelic, consequently knowing when and when not to use an apostrophe can take some getting used to. Watch the video below for some helpful guidelines!
The definite article
Use an apostrophe when using the definite article (the word “the” in English) before nouns beginning with bh, ph, mh, ch, and gh:
- I've got money in the bank.
- I jumped into the car.
- I went to the shop.
Additionally, apostrophes are used with verbal nouns that begin with a consonant. It may be helpful to remember that verbal nouns in English end with the suffix ‘ing’.
- I was buying a new coat, and I was looking at long warm coats.
- I was searhing for a long warm coat.
'S and b'
Occasionally, you may also use apostrophes to replace missing letters in shortened versions of the Gaelic words is, agus, and bu.
- I liked a red one and a blue one, but I would prefer a green one.
- I was well pleased when I saw how cheap it was.
M' and d'
The possessive pronouns mo and do can be shortened with the use of an apostrophe to represent the missing letters when the following noun begins with a vowel or fh followed by a vowel:
- I counted my money carefully before I handed my money over.
- I knew there would be a smile on your face.
Apostrophes can be used to replace the ‘a’ in tha or bha for use in words such as bh’ annam.
- I was quite a cheerful person.
Finally, an apostrophe is used after dh with verbs that begin with either ‘f’ or a vowel:
- I left the shop with my new coat and I went home.