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Review of First Lesson
In A First Lesson in Scots Gaelic we learned the verb tha (to be) with the personal pronouns and some adjectives, so that we can now say:
- “A’ bheil thu fuar?” “Chan eil. “
A nice word to introduce at this stage would be idir [eejir] (at all).This word is used a lot in conversation: sometimes three times in a row!
- “A’ bheil thu fuar?” “Chan eil (mi) idir. “ (Not at all!)
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Exercise 1: Revision
Part A: What would you answer to these questions?
1.A’ bheil sibh trang?
2.Ciamar a tha thu?
3.Nach eil iad sgìth?
Part B: What questions may have prompted these responses?
1.Tha. Tha mi blàth.
2.Chan eil. Tha e mòr.
3.Tha gu math, tapadh leat.
(Sample answers are given at the end of this article.)
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The guide to pronunciation (written in square brackets after each Gaelic word) follows normal English pronunciation, with the following additions:
- X indicates the sound of "ch" in German "ach" and Scots "loch"
- G indicates a guttural "g" sound, getting towards the "r" in French "croissant"
- ö is the sound of "ö" in German "schön" or as in French eau.
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A Few Verbs
These present continuous verbs all have a’ in front (or ag, for those beginning with a vowel).
- a’ tighinn [a chee in] = coming
- a' dol [a doll] = going
- a’ bruidhinn[a bree in] = talking
- a’ smaointean [a smön chin] = thinking
- a’ deanamh[a jay a noo] = doing/making
- ag obair[ag oh bir] = working
- ag ionnsachadh [ag yon su XaG] = studying
- a’ cluich [a klooX] = playing
- a' peantadh [a pentaG] = painting
- ag ithe [ag iXe] = eating
- ag ol [ag oll] = drinking
Click this link to get this list of verbs as a download.
(Some verbs do not fit into this structure, but we will deal with those in a later lesson.)
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Simply use the tha + pronoun structure followed by the verb. For example:
- Tha mi a' tighinn. = I'm coming.
- Tha e ag ionnsachadh. = He's studying.
- A' bheil thu ag obair? = Are you working?
- Tha sinn a' cluich. = We're playing.
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Translate these sentences.
1. Tha mi ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig.
2. A' bheil sibh a' tighinn?
3. A' bheil iad trang? Tha. Tha iad ag obair.
4. Chan eil e a' cluich. Tha e a' peantadh.
5. Tha e a' bruidhinn, nach eil? Chan eil. Tha e a' smaointean.
(Answers are at the end of the article.)
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Sample Answers to Exercise 1
1. Tha. / Tha mi. / Tha. Tha mi trang. / Chan eil. Chan eil mi trang idir.
2. Tha mi gi math, tapadh leat/leibh.
3. Tha, tha iad (glè) sgìth./ Chan eil. Chan eil iad sgìth (idir).
1. A' bheil thu/sibh blàth? / Nach eil thu/sibh blàth?
2. A' bheil e beag? / Nach eil e beag?
3. Ciamar a tha thu/sibh?
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Answers to Exercise 2
1. I'm learning/studying Gaelic.
2. Are you coming?
3. Are they busy? Yes, they're working.
4. He isn't playing. He's painting.
5. He's speaking, isn't he? No, he's thinking.