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Beginners (A1)- Unit 3 - Explaining where you live and where you belong to
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 3 - Explaining where you live and where you belong to

Cò às a tha sibh?

Where are you from?

As soon as you have made a basic introduction, a fluent Gaelic speaker will almost certainly ask you where you come from. This unit will help you to understand and respond to such a question.

Two new words appear for the first time in this unit, and às.

Here’s what they mean separately:

co às a tha…?

cò? – who, which?
i.e. cò e? – who is he?

às - from, out of.
às also appears in conversation in the form à:
Tha mi à Glaschu – I am from Glasgow.
Tha mi às na Stàitean Aonaichte – I am from the United States.

Put together as cò às? they mean 'where from?'
Cò às a tha sibh? – Where are you from?
This does not mean where you now live, but your place of origin.

Listen to examples of people explaining where they are from using either sibh or thu for you. Then have a go at Test yourself to see how much you have picked up!

Sibh

Cò às a tha sibh?

Where are you from?

In these examples you can learn how to ask someone where they are from as well as saying where you come from:

Halò. Is mise Calum.

Hello. I’m Malcolm.

Halò, a Chaluim. Cò às a tha sibh?

Hello, Malcolm. Where are you from?

Tha mi à Glaschu. Cò às a tha sibh fhèin?

I'm from Glasgow. Where are you from?
(literally: Where are you from yourself?)

Tha mise Note mise which is the emphatic form of mi. Further down the page you will meet sibhse which is the emphatic form of sibh. You will also meet chan eil, which is the negative equivalent of tha and means 'not' or 'no'. à Pàislig.

I'm from Paisley.

A bheil sibh a’ fuireach ann am Pàislig?

Do you live in Paisley?

Chan eil. Tha mi a’ fuireach ann an Dùn Eideann. A bheil sibhse a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu?

No. I live in Edinburgh. Do you live in Glasgow?

Tha. Tha mi fhathast a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu.

Yes. I still live in Glasgow.

Thu

Thu

You (informal/singular)

In these examples, you hear how to use the thu form of you to ask where someone is from and say where you come from:

Halò. Is mise Note mise which is the emphatic form of mi. Further down the page you will meet sibhse which is the emphatic form of sibh. You will also meet chan eil, which is the negative equivalent of tha and means 'not' or 'no'. Calum.

Hello. I’m Malcolm.

Halò, a Chaluim. Cò às a tha thu?

Hello, Malcolm. Where are you from?

Tha mi à Glaschu. Cò às a tha thu fhèin?

I'm from Glasgow. Where are you from?
(literally: Where are you from yourself?)

Tha mise Note mise which is the emphatic form of mi. Further down the page you will meet sibhse which is the emphatic form of sibh. You will also meet chan eil, which is the negative equivalent of tha and means 'not' or 'no'. à Pàislig.

I'm from Paisley.

A bheil thu a’ fuireach ann am Pàislig?

Do you live in Paisley?

Chan eil. Tha mi a’ fuireach ann an Dùn Eideann. A bheil thusa a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu?

No. I live in Edinburgh. Do you live in Glasgow?

Tha. Tha mi fhathast a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu.

Yes. I still live in Glasgow.

You have Gaelic

In Gaelic, we say 'tha Gàidhlig agaibh' - 'Gaelic is at you', meaning 'you have Gaelic', if you speak the language.

aig + sibh

agaibh

at + you


If you are using the thu form for you in a conversation, you would say 'tha Gàidhlig agad'.

aig + thu

agad

at + you

Conversation 1

In this conversation between James and Catherine, the conversation finally gets on to learning Gaelic. They have just met and are using sibh rather than thu as they don't know each other very well.

Conversation 2

Listen out for the differences from the first conversation here as James and Catherine use the more informal thu instead of sibh.

If you would like to learn how to tell somebody what you have been doing and what you are going to do, you can find out in Unit 4, Làithean na seachdain.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

James:
Halò. Dè an t-ainm a th’ oirbh?
Hello. What is your name?
Catherine:
Is mise Catrìona
I’m Catherine.
James:
Cò às a tha sibh, a Chatrìona?
Where are you from, Catherine?
Catherine:
Tha mi às na Stàitean Aonaichte. Cò às a tha sibh fhèin?
I'm from the United States. Where are you from?
(literally: Where are you from yourself?)
James:
Tha mise à Sasainn.
I’m from England.
Catherine:
A bheil sibh a’ fuireach ann an Sasainn?
Do you live in England?
James:
Chan eil. Tha mi a’ fuireach ann an Alba.
No. I live in Scotland.
Catherine:
Tha mise a' fuireach ann an Alba cuideachd. Tha mi a' fuireach ann an Glaschu.
I also live in Scotland. I live in Glasgow.
James:
Tha sibh às na Stàitean Aonaichte, ach tha sibh a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu?
You come from the United States, but you live in Glasgow?
Catherine:
Tha. Tha sin ceart. Agus tha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig ann an Glaschu.
Yes. That's right. And I’m learning Gaelic in Glasgow.
James:
Tha Gàidhlig mhath agaibh.
You have good Gaelic.
Catherine:
O chan eil! Ach tha Gàidhlig mhath agaibhse.
Oh no! But you have good Gaelic.
James:
Tapadh leibh, ach chan eil Gàidhlig mhath agam idir. Chan eil fhathast!
Thank you, but I don’t have good Gaelic at all. Not yet!

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

James:
Halò. Dè an t-ainm a th’ ort?
Hello. What is your name?
Catherine:
Is mise Catrìona
I’m Catherine.
James:
Cò às a tha thu, a Chatrìona?
Where are you from, Catherine?
Catherine:
Tha mi às na Stàitean Aonaichte. Cò às a tha thu fhèin?
I'm from the United States. Where are you from?
(literally: Where are you from yourself?)
James:
Tha mise à Sasainn.
I’m from England.
Catherine:
A bheil thu a’ fuireach ann an Sasainn?
Do you live in England?
James:
Chan eil. Tha mi a’ fuireach ann an Alba.
No. I live in Scotland.
Catherine:
Tha mise a' fuireach ann an Alba cuideachd. Tha mi a' fuireach ann an Glaschu.
I also live in Scotland. I live in Glasgow.
James:
Tha thu às na Stàitean Aonaichte, ach tha thu a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu?
You come from the United States, but you live in Glasgow?
Catherine:
Tha. Tha sin ceart. Agus tha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig ann an Glaschu.
Yes. That's right. And I’m learning Gaelic in Glasgow.
James:
Tha Gàidhlig mhath agad.
You have good Gaelic.
Catherine:
O chan eil! Ach tha Gàidhlig mhath agadsa.
Oh no! But you have good Gaelic.
James:
Tapadh leat, ach chan eil Gàidhlig mhath agam idir. Chan eil fhathast!
Thank you, but I don’t have good Gaelic at all. Not yet!