Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Did you know?

We also have Bitesize study guides covering many subjects at National 4 and National 5 on our Knowledge & Learning BETA website.

Home > Gaelic > Grammar > The Definite Article

Gaelic

The Definite Article

1. The definite article in the nominative singular case - an

1. (a)

an is used before feminine words beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, and u).

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
aibidil an aibidil the alphabet
aghaidh the face
eaglais the church
eala the swan
ìne the nail
inntinn the mind
òrdag the thumb
osag the breeze
uaimh the cave
ùeir the wire

1. (b)

an is also used before masculine nouns beginning with c, g, and s.

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
cleasaiche an cleasaiche the actor
cliabh the creel
gruth the crowdie
grùthan the liver
sluagh the crowd
soitheach the vessel

1. (c)

an is also used before masculine and feminine nouns beginning with d, l, n, r, and t.

Remind yourself of how to use an before these masculine nouns:

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
dòchas an dòchas the hope
lòn  the pool
neach  the person
reothadh  the frost
trosg  the cod

Remind yourself of how to use an before these feminine nouns:

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
dìleab an dìleab the inheritance 
lèine  the shirt 
nighean  the girl
rèis  the race
targaid  the target

1. (d)

an is also used before feminine nouns beginning with the letter s apart from those beginning with sl, sn, sr, or s+ vowel

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
sgeulachd   an sgeulachdthe story
sgait the skate (fish)
sgealbag the skelf 
sgiath the shield
smaoin the thought
spèil  he ice skate
spiris the perch
strì the conflict
stoidhle the style

1. (e)

an is also used before feminine nouns beginning with the letter f followed by a vowel. A feminine word like this requires the letter h to be inserted before the vowel when using the definite article. Take faoileag (a seagull), for example. It becomes an fhaoileag.

The definite article

Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
faiceall an fhaiceall the care
fàilte the welcome 
fearg the anger
fèill the sale, market
fiacail the tooth
fois the peace
fuaimreag the vowel
fuil the blood

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.