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Introduction question

I just wanted to ask something, this may be a stupid question but better know than not

Would introducing yourself (Me for example) be "is mise Ryder" or "Tha mi Ryder"

Or can it be both? I checked with Google and both detect the same

December 4, 2019



Always "Is mise [name]"

Never "Tha mi [name]"

The latter is ungrammatical. "Tha" can only be used for describing (e.g. with adjectives, prepositions etc.), never defining (saying what something is).

NB: Google Translate isn't reliable for Gaelic.

(Before anyone points it out, yes there is an idiomatic structure for saying what something is using "tha" (e.g. Tha mi nam oileanach"), but grammatically that's a prepositional phrase).


Ahhh, alright. Just starting to get the hang of Tha and Chan eil lol, so would "Tha mi Ryder" be something like "i is Ryder"?


There cannot be any tha mi Ryder because Ryder is a noun, and a noun cannot be the predicate of a tha sentence.

You can only say things like tha mi + adjective (eg. tha mi beag ‘I am small’), or tha mi + prepositional phrase (tha mi anns an taigh ‘I am in the house’), or tha mi + adverb (tha mi an sin ‘I am there’, tha mi gu math ‘I am well’) but you cannot use tha to directly say what or who someone is.

You can say tha mi nam oileanach for ‘I am a student’, but that literally means ‘I am in my student’ (and being in somebody’s something is an idiomatic way to say that somebody (currently) is something, acts as something) – but again, nam oileanach ‘in my student’ is a prepositional phrase.


Hm, oh alright. So always "is mise".


That, or something else using "is", e.g.

"'S e Ryder an t-ainm a th' orm" = "My name is Ryder" (lit. "Ryder is the name that is on me")


Wew, Gaelic is confusing. Not to expand the conversation but on Tha and nouns, country names are nouns right? Does "Tha mi à Alba" work or is right? I'm currently on Pers. Det. lesson and they're using "Tha mi à Alba" for I'm from Scotland


Tha mi à Alba is ok, because à Alba (from Scotland) is a prepositional phrase, but if you wanted to say that you are Scotland, you’d need to say is mise Alba. ;-)


I think i understand now, just a teen tryna learn Gaelic :) Thanks for the help and advice tho


I see a lot of parallels with other Indo European languages. For example In French "Elle est belle, Oui, c'est une belle fille." You can't say "Elle est une belle fille" because that construction is only used for adjectives and initial adjectives are considered part of the noun.

One of the mods should take note :)


It's just ungrammatical. When defining, you have to use the verb "is" (in one of its forms).


No, ( tha mi ) can't be used with names as far as I understand.

Try to get more of the basics & grammar



I have heard of "Is mise + name" only for introducing oneself.


yes. Tha mi à Alba works.

You would use tha here thanks to the à as it is describing you as being from Scotland.

If you really wanted to emphasise the fact you are from Scotland you could use a form of 'S e for that phrase, but you would have to reorder the sentence slightly.


Wait country names are nouns but describing you're from a country is an adjective.


That is a prepositional phrase; you're saying you're FROM Scotland, not that you ARE Scotland. That's the difference.


If you wanted to emphasise that then you would have to say 'S ann à Alba a tha mi (~ 'It's from Scotland that I am'). 'S e is only used with nouns, 's ann with adjectives and prepositional phrases.

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