FaclairDictionary EnglishGàidhlig

Little by Little Beag air Bheag

Beginners (A1)- Unit 6 - Explaining your work or profession
Luchd-tòiseachaidh (A1) - Aonad 6 - Explaining your work or profession


‘S e oileanach a th’ annam

I am a student

It is useful to be able to explain your work or profession in conversation and ask somebody else what they do for a living.

In Unit 5, we meet ann and anns e.g. Tha mi anns an taigh – I am in the house.

Here we use the preposition ann in a composite form known as a prepositional pronoun.

There are examples of prepositional pronouns in Unit 2,
e.g. when air (on) and thu (you) are combined we get ort:
Dè an t-ainm a th’ ort? – What is your name? (Literally, what name is on you?)

Similarly in Unit 3 we see tha Gàidhlig agaibh – you have (i.e. speak) Gaelic. Agaibh is a prepositional pronoun, combining aig (at) and sibh (you).

Here are the prepositional pronouns associated with ann:

annam (ann + mi) in me
annad (ann + thu) in you
(singular, inf)
ann (ann + e) in him
innte (ann + i) in her
annainn (ann + sinn) in us
annaibh (ann + sibh) in you
(plural, formal)
annta (ann + iad) in them

Tell people what job you have

‘S e oileanach a th’ annam

I am a student

Listen to the following phrases. You will see how you can use ann to explain your work or profession. What you are saying literally with ’S e oileanach a th’ annam is 'it is a student that is in me', starting with the assertive verb is, also used in Unit 4.


Is and ann are also used to express identity or nationality e.g. ’S e Albannach a th’annam - 'I am a Scot'.

'S e oileanach a th' annam.

I am a student.

An e dotair a th’ annad?

Are you a doctor?

’S e tuathanach a th’ ann.

He is a farmer.

An e tidsear a th’ innte?

Is she a teacher?

’S e Albannaich a th’ annainn.

We are Scots.

An e Ameireaganaich a th’ annaibh?

Are you Americans?

’S e luchd-lagha a th’ annta.

They are lawyers.

Note the use of luchd above. This is a commonly used word which, when combined with another noun (in its genitive or possessive case), can be used to describe many professions or occupations.

Luchd is the plural form and neach is the gender-neutral singular form e.g. neach-lagha - lawyer, luchd-lagha - lawyers. Look out for both of these in later parts of this unit.

Occupations, professions and nationalities

Listen to this list of nationalities. You can hear some of them in the conversation between Pàdraig and Anna in Conversation 2.

Albannach Scot
Ameireaganach American
Canèidianach Canadian
Cuimreach Welsh Person
Èireannach Irish Person
Frangach French Person

Now try the two conversations.

Conversation 1

Listen to Iain and Helen talking about work and occupations while you follow the conversation.

Conversation 2

Hear Peter and Anne’s more general conversation, bringing in the is … ann phraseology developed in this unit.

Learn some useful conversation about the weather in Unit 7, An Aimsir.

Conversation 1

Listen to the conversation:

Dè an obair a th’ agad, Eilidh?
What work do you do, Helen?
’S e dotair a th’ annam. Dè an obair a th’ agad fhèin?
I’m a doctor. What do you do?
Chan eil obair agam fhathast. ’S e oileanach a th’ annam.
I don’t work yet (literally: I don’t have work yet.). I am a student.
Dè an obair a th’ aig Pàdraig? No an e oileanach a th’ ann cuideachd?
What is Peter’s work? (literally: What work does Peter have?) Or is he a student as well?
Chan e. ’S e neach-lagha a th’ ann.
No. He is a lawyer.
O, cha robh fios agam air sin.
Oh, I didn’t know that.
’S e luchd-lagha a th’ anns na pàrantan aige.
His parents are lawyers.
An dithis aca?
Both of them?
’S e. ’S e luchd-lagha a th’ annta.
They’re lawyers.
Agus Anna? An e dotair a th’ innte cuideachd?
And Anne? Is she a doctor as well?
'S e. Tha i ag obair ann an ospadal mòr.
Yes. She works in a big hospital.
An e dotair math a th’ innte?
Is she a good doctor?
O, ’s e. ’S e dotair math math a th’ innte.
Oh, yes. She is a very good doctor.
Is an e dotair math a th’ annad fhèin?
And are you a good doctor?
Chan eil fhios agam. Tha mi an dòchas gur e.
I don’t know. I hope so.
’S e droch oileanach a th’ annamsa. Tha mi leisg!
I’m a bad student. I am lazy.
Obh! Obh! Tha sin truagh!
Oh dear! That’s poor!
Ach ’s e dotair math a bhios annam nuair a bhios mi deiseil!
But I’ll be a good doctor when I’m finished!

Conversation 2

Listen to the conversation:

Halò. Is mise Pàdraig. Dè an t-ainm a th' oirbh?
My name is Peter. What is your name?
Is mise Anna, a Phàdraig. Tha mi toilichte coinneachadh ribh.
I'm Ann, Peter. I'm pleased to meet you.
Gu dearbh. Is dè an obair a th' agaibh?
Indeed. And what work do you do?
Tha mi ag obair ann am bùth.
I work in a shop.
An e neach-reic a th' annaibh?
Are you a salesperson?
Chan e. 'S e cunntasair a th' annam.
No. I'm an accountant.
An e bùth mhòr a th' innte?
Is it a big shop?
'S e. 'S e bùth mhòr mhòr a th' innte. Dè an obair a th' agaibhse?
Yes. It is a very big shop. What do you do?
'S e dràibhear-làraidh a th' annam.
I am a lorry driver.
Càit' am bi sibh a' dràibheadh?
Where do you drive?
Eadar Alba agus an Fhraing.
Between Scotland and France.
Carson? Dè bhios sibh a' giùlan?
Why? What do you carry?
Tha mi a' toirt biadh Frangach do na bùthan mòra ann an Alba.
I take French food to the supermarkets in Scotland.
Is na dràibhearan eile anns a' chompanaidh, an e Albannaich a th' annta?
And the other drivers in the company, are they Scots?
Chan e. 'S e Frangaich a th' annta.
No. They are French.
Ach 's e Albannach a th' annaibh fhèin, nach e?
But you are a Scot, are you not?
Chan e. 'S e Èireannach a th' annam.
No, I'm an Irishman.
Cò às a tha sibh ann an Èirinn?
Where are you from in Ireland?
Tha mi à Baile Atha Cliath.
I'm from Dublin.