The best way to go about comparing two things in Gaelic is by using the aptly named comparatives. These would be words like “better/worse,” “bigger/smaller,” etc., in English. Gaelic comparatives are fairly simple, however there are some exceptions! Watch the video below for some helpful tips for using comparatives in Gaelic.
The general rule for forming a comparative out of an adjective is that nas is used before the adjective, the last vowel is slenderised, and “e” is added to the end:
- young → younger
- nice → nicer
- handsome → more handsome
There are several common adjectives that are exceptions to this rule.
Math agus dona – good and bad
The opposites, math (good) and dona (bad), are two exceptions to the general comparatives rule. Let’s start with math:
- good → better
- The goat cheese is good, but crowdie is better.
- bad → worse
- Sweet juice is bad for your teeth, but a full spoon of sugar is worse.
Mòr agus beag – big and small
Another exception can be found in mòr (big) and beag (small):
- big → bigger
- The bannock is big, but the cake is bigger.
- small → smaller
- A strawberry is small, but a cherry is smaller.
Fada agus goirid – long and short
Fada (long) and goirid (short) are also exceptions:
- long → longer
- A carrot is long, but spaghetti is longer.
- short → shorter
- A cake fork is short, but a teaspoon is shorter.
Furasta agus doirbh – easy and difficult
Finally, furasta (easy) and doirbh (difficult) are exceptions as well:
- easy → easier
- If you are good at cooking it is easy to cook meat, but broth is easier.
- difficult → more difficult
- It is difficult to cook black pudding, but white pudding is more difficult.