Leasan A Tr

[Top] [Next] [Previous]

Lesson 3: The Definite Article, the Nominative and Dative Cases

Copyright (C) 1994

Contents

* 3.1: The Definite Article and the Nominative Case
* 3.2: The Definite Article and the Dative Case
* 3.3: Faclair
* 3.4: Obair
* 3.5: Obair eile

3.1: The Definite Article and the Nominative Case

There are four seperate cases that a noun may exist in. The most basic of these is the nominative case, the case found when the noun is the subject or direct object of a sentence. A couple of examples will show this explicitly:

Tha an c aig an doras.

Bha Calum anns an sgoil.

In the nominative case, the definite article can take on different forms depending on what i the gender of the noun is and ii what letter the noun begins with. These cases follow:

Masculine Noun beginning with b, m, p, f

If the masculine noun begins with the letters b, m, p or f, then the definite article changes from an to am. This sequence of letters will occur very often in the grammatical rules and you will soon be very well acquainted with them.

bta boat
am bta the boat

monadh moor
am monadh the moor

fear male persone, man
am fear the man

peann pen
am peann the pen

Feminine noun beginning with b, m, p, f

If the feminine noun begins with the letters b, m, p, c or g, then the definite article changes from an to a'. In addition, the nominative feminine noun is lenited, i.e. a h is placed after the initial letter which changes the sound of the noun. If the feminine noun begins with an f, lenition still occurs but the article remains an.

briosgaid biscuit, cookie
a' bhriogcaid the biscuit

min meal, oatmeal
a' mhin the meal

pob pipe, bagpipe
a phob the pipe

glas a lock
a' ghlas the lock

caileag a girl, lassie
a' chaileag the girl

frinn truth
an fhrinn the truth

Masculine noun beginning with a vowel

If the masculine noun begins with a vowel then the definite article changes from an to an t-. The sound of the definite article is dependent on whether the initial vowel is slender or broad. Rmemeber that the slender vowels are i and e while the broad vowels are a, o and u.

aran bread
an t-aran the bread

ord hammer
an t-ord the hammer

m butter
an t-m the butter

eagal fear
an t-eagal the fear

Feminine noun beginning with s

If the feminine noun begins with an s followed by an l, n, r or a vowel then the definite article changes from an to an t-. The sound of the definite article is dependent on whether the initial vowel is slender or broad in exactly the same fashion as that case for masculine nominative nouns beginning with a vowel and taking an t-.

sil eye
an t-sil the eye

srid street
an t-srid the street

snthad needle
an t-snthad the needle

seachdain a week
an t-seachdain the week

3.2: The Definite Article and the Dative Case

Masculine Noun beginning with b, m, p, c, g

In the case of a masculine noun beginning with b, m, p, c or g and being in the dative case, i.e. a noun following one of the simple prepositions: air, aig, leis, ris, anns,, the article changes from an to a' and the noun is lenited, e.g.:

anns a' bhta in the boat

anns a' mhonadh on the moor

leis a' pheann with the pen

air a' ch on the dog

ris a' ghille to the boy

N.B.: These are special cases showing the form when no definite article is present:

le c with a dog

ann am bta in a boat

ri gille to a boy

Feminine noun beginning with b, m, p, c, g, f

For the feminine noun, the dative case introduces the first of several situations where a word must be slenderized, a process that changes the final syllable of a word and makes the vowel sound softer or closer to a slender vowel sound.

Slenderization entails either:

inserting an i after the last broad vowel or

substituting i for the last broad vowel.

If the final vowel is already slender or the noun ends in a, no slenderization takes place.

a' bhriosgaid the biscuit
air a' bhriosgaid on the biscuit
air briosgaid on a biscuit

a' mhin the meal
anns a' mhin in the meal
ann an min in meal

a' phob the pipe
leis a' phb with the pipe
le pb with a pipe

a' ghlas the lock
anns a' ghlais in the lock
ann an glais in a lock

a' chaileag the girl
air a' chaileig on the girl
air an caileig on a girl

an fhrinn the truth
leis an fhrinn with the truth
le frinn with truth

a' bhrg the shoe
air a' bhrig on the shoe
air brig on a shoe

a' ghealach the moon
anns a' ghealaich in the moon
ann an gealaich in a moon

a' mhala the eyebrow
air a' mhala on the eyebrow
air mala on an eyebrow

Masculine and Feminine nouns beginning with a vowel

In the dative case, both feminine and masculine nouns beginning with a vowel take an as the definite article. In addition, femine nouns slenderize where possible.

anns an aran in the bread

leis an ord with the hammer

ann an m in butter

leis an eagal with the fear

air an eala on the swan

ris an uinneig to the window

air aid on a hat

anns an eaglais in the church

Masculine and Feminine nouns beginning with s followed by l, n, r, vowel

If the masculine or feminine noun begins with an s followed by an l, n, r or a vowel then the definite article changes from an to an t-. Once again, femine nouns slenderize where possible.

air an t-seanair on the grandfather

anns an t-saoghal in the world

aig an t-saighdear at the soilder

leis an t-snth with the thread

anns an t-sil in the eye

air an t-srid on the street

leis an t-snthaid with the needle

aig an t-seachdain at the week

3.3: Faclair

bta m. boat
fear m. man, male version of one
t f. woman, female version of one
duine m. person
peann m. pen
briosagaid f. biscuit
min f. meal, oatmeal
mil f. honey
pob f. pipe, bagpipe
pob-mhr f. great highland bagpipe
poban f. smallpipe
glas f. lock
caileag f. girl, lassie
balach m. lad
gille m. boy
frinn f. truth
aran m. bread
m m. butter
ord m. hammer
saor m. carpenter, joiner
eagal m. fear
acras m. hunger
sil f. eye
srid f. street
rathad m. road
snth m. thread
snthad f. needle
seachdain f. week
am m. time
brg f. shoe
gealach f. moon
gran f. sun
mala f. eyebrow
eala f. swan
eun m. bird
Iain m. Ian, John
uinneag f. window
ad f. hat
eaglais f. church
seanair m. grandfather
bodach m. old man
seanmhair f. grandmother
cailleach f. old woman
saoghal m. world
saighdear m. soilder
sgreagag f. shrivelled old woman; penurious, stingy woman
sgreagair m. shrivelled old man; close-fisted, stingy man
ceann m. head
sgreab-chinn f. dandruff
sgian f. knife

3.4: Obair

am bta, am fear, an t, an duine, am peann, a' bhriosgaid, a' mhin, a' mhil, a' phob, a' ghlas, a' chaileag, am balach, an gille, an fhrinn.
an t-aran, an t-m, an t-ord, an saor, an t-eagal, an t-acras, an t-sil, an t-srid, an rathad, an snth, an t-snthad, an t-seachdain.
an t-am, a' bhrg, a' ghealach, a' ghran, a' mhala, an eala, an t-eun, an uinneag, an ad, an eaglais, an seanair, an t-seanmhair.
am bodach, a' chailleach, an saoghal, an saighdear, an sgreagag, an sgreagair, an ceann, an sgian.

aig a' bhta, air an , leis an t, ri duine, le peann, air a' bhriosgaid, anns a' mhin, ann an min.
leis a' phb-mhr, leis a' ghlais, aig a' chaileig, aig a' bhalach, air a' ghille, leis an fhrinn.
anns an aran, air an m, aig an ord, ri an t-saor, anns an eagal, leis an acras, ri sil, air an t-srid, air rathad.
air an t-snth, anns an t-snthaid, air an t-seachdain, aig an am, anns a' bhrig, air a' ghealaich, anns a' ghrn.
le mala, aig an eala, air an eun, aig an uinneig, air an aid, ri an eaglais, air an t-seanair, air an t-seamhair.
aig a' bhodach, aig a' chailleaich, anns an t-saoghal, aig an t-saighdear, le sgreagag, leis an sgreagair, air a' cheann, leis an sgian.

3.5: Obair eile

lit:

[Top] [Next] [Previous]

To the Gaelic homepage