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> Scottish Gaelic, Lesson 4
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Posted: 18-Mar-2005, 07:57 PM
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Here is a new lesson for you! As always, this lesson is from:


Lesson 4

Introduction to Adjectives

You saw in Lesson 1 that adjectives can be used predicately, following the verb To Be. The adjective never changes in this situation :
Masculine noun - Tha am balach beag - The boy is small
Feminine noun - Tha a' chaileag beag - The girl is small
Plural nouns - Tha na balaich beag - The boys are small
Tha na caileagan beag - the girls are small

However, an adjective must agree in both case and gender with the noun it directly describes. This is called the attribute position. For nominative (basic) forms of nouns these are as follows :
Masculine singular (no change in adjective) Gille mr - A big lad
An gille mr - The big lad
Feminine singular (lenite adjective if possible) ? Caileag mhr - A big girl
A' chaileag mhr - The big girl
Plural nouns (add -a or -e to adjective) * Gillean mra - Big lads
Na gillean mra - The big lads
Caileagan mra - Big girls
Na caileagan mra - The big girls

? All adjectives with initial consonant quality can be lenited except those beginning with l, n, r, sg, sm, sp or st. For example, caileag mhr, caileag bheag but caileag sgth.
* The ending follows the Gidhlig spelling rule. For example, if a syllable ends in a narrow vowel (i.e. i or e) then the following syllable must begin with a narrow vowel. Similarly if a syllable ends in a broad vowel (i.e. a, o or u) then the following syllable must begin with a broad vowel. Hence mr >> mra, glic (wise) >> glice .

The adjectives seo - this / these and sin - that / those never change in any position :
Masculine an gille seo - this lad
an gille mr seo - this big lad
na gillean seo - these lads
na gillean mra seo - these big lads an gille sin - that lad
an gille mr sin - that big lad
na gillean sin - those lads
na gillean mra sin - those big lads
Feminine a' chaileag seo - this girl
a' chaileag bheag seo - this small girl
na caileagan seo - these girls
na caileagan beaga seo - these small girls a' chaileag sin - that girl
a' chaileag bheag sin - that small girl
na caileagan sin - those girls
na caileagan beaga sin - those small girls

All nouns have either masculine or feminine gender in Gidhlig. So when you want to describe something using its pronoun you must refer to it by either e or i for masculine and feminine nouns respectively. Both mean it :

Masculine pronoun

Tha an semar fuar - The room is cold
Tha e fuar - It is cold

Feminine pronoun

Tha an eaglais fuar - The church is cold
Tha i fuar - It is cold


dearg - red
dona - bad
fada - long
goirid - short
gorm - blue, verdant green, bruised black & blue
math - good
inntinneach - interesting
seo - this
sin - that
tinn - ill, sick
r - new

e - it (masculine subject)
i - it (feminine subject)

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.Chan eil an sgoil mhr cho glan
2.Tha an eaglais bheag ln
3.An robh an sgian r geur? Cha robh
4.Bha am peann gorm tioram
5.Tha an litir seo inntinneach
6.Bha an taigh sin falamh
7.Tha an snthad gheur salach
8.Tha an gille dona sin leisg
9.An robh an semar beag blth? Cha robh
10.Cha robh a' chaileag bheag tinn

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.Was the small book wet? No 2.The long river was very dirty
3.Was the new door dry?
4.The short floor was wet
5.That dirty mirror isn't new
6.The long peace was good
7.Was the house not empty? Yes
8.The hot fire was very good
9.That red hand is wet
10.The long night was cold
11.The blue boat isn't full
12.The bad girl wasn't pleased
13.That man is dry and warm
14.That long loch was high

Sln agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tr mo chridhe. 'S i Gidhlig cnan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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