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An-drasta and A-nis

What is the difference between those two ?

I know they are used to say "now". But are they interchangeable?

December 3, 2019



There was something about it in one of the sentence discussions that made me jot down a-nis = now; an-dràsta = right now.

Actually, here's the link with the explanation: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/35347228


Gaelic has this weird quirk with certain words which imply movement or immediacy as opposed to something happening in some time frame. The language goes into immense detail with its vocabulary and meaning in a way that English doesn't quite do. As Zia177448 said an-dràsta is immediate whereas a-nis is less immediate.

Other examples are:

a-mach and a-muigh. Both mean out, but a-mach implies movement but a-muigh implies the movement is done. Tha mi a' dol a-mach an dòras ri fhaicinn a' chraobh a tha a-muigh. (I am going out the door to see the tree that is outside).

A-steach and a-staigh both mean "in". Similar to the above a-steach implies movement and a-staigh doesn't.

and any verb in an active form versus using it with nam. Tha mi a'seasamh - I am standing (engaging in the act of doing so). Tha mi nam sheasamh - I am stood.

For example. Welcome to the wide world of Gaelic vocabulary.


I don't totally agree with the linked definition, or that one is especially more or less immediate. I'd say you could typically substitute them with the following in English:

  • an-dràsta = at the moment
  • a-nis = "now", contrasting with "then" in the past (often marking that something has changed)
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