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  5. "Faclan ann am faclair."

"Faclan ann am faclair."

Translation:Words in a dictionary.

December 3, 2019



Ah, didn't realise yet that "ann am" uses the definite article as well.


It’s not the definite article here. It is a preposition that in Scottish happens to have the same form as the definite article.

ann an (or ann am) just means ‘in (a)’. Why two words? Because the preposition is repeated, occurs twice. Why? Because of its history.

I am not entirely sure how it came to be but my hypothesis is as follows:

  1. it comes from Old Irish i (causing eclipsis),
  2. in Scottish eclipsis was lost, in its place nasal consonant (n or m) appears after vowel: old i / a became an,am, becoming identical to the definite article,
  3. it made it hard to differentiate the two, so it started to be doubled: ann an instead of simple an (to mean ‘in a dictionary’, instead of older am faclair, one started to say ann am faclair, literally ‘there, in a dictionary’ or ‘in it, in a dictionary’).


If you want to say "in the" you use annS an or sa

if you are using sa. In the dictionary would would be san fhaclair (anns an and sa both cause lenition, and because the next letter in faclair is a vowel sa gets an n as a suffix to become san).


I answered this correctly, it told me I answered in English. Then I changed the last word to fhaclin, and it told me I was wrong and that my original answer was correct.

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