The Definite Article

5. The definite article in the nominative case (plural) - na or na h-

In English, the definite article the is the same whether it used for a singular or a plural noun. In Gaelic, however, when the noun is plural the definite article changes to na or na h-.

  • na is used when the noun begins with a consonant, eg na faoileagan (the seagulls) or na daoine (the people).
  • na h- is used when the noun begins with a vowel, eg na h-òrain (the songs) or na h-eich (the horses).

The definite article

The definite article
Indefinite formDefinite formMeaning
boireannaichna boireannaichthe women
caileaganna caileaganthe girls
glainneachanna glainneachanthe glasses
pòcaideanna pòcaideanthe pockets
seacaideanna seacaideanthe jackets
uisgeachanna h-uisgeachanthe waters
adhbharanna h-adhbharanthe reasons
uiseaganna h-uiseaganthe larks
aibhnicheanna h-aibhnicheanthe rivers
oilthigheanna h-oilthigheanthe universities
ospadalanna h-ospadalanthe hospitals
eisimpleireanna h-eisimpleireanthe examples