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  5. "Nach eil dà bhràthair agad?"

"Nach eil bhràthair agad?"

Translation:Don't you have two brothers?

December 9, 2019



She sounds mhathair not bhrathair


At which number do you start using the plural form? 1 & 2 both appear to use singular.


And even the ones that use "aon" are marking the "h" forms of the words correct.


"aon" and "dà" both add the "h"


This is an error – should be "dithis bhràithrean"


'Dithis' is "a pair (of)". Also, if you wanted to go that route, it'd be 'dithis bràthar', anyway, if I recall correctly (noun following 'dithis' remains singular and takes the genitive case).


No. You use the genitive plural. Confusion arises because this sometimes (but not here) resembles the nominative singular.

Dithis bhràithrean is correct.


This is a direct quote from the Tips: There is a specific word used for counting two people. Strictly speaking, this is the correct way of two counting people: dithis bhràthair - two brothers.
Which is correct?


When they first wrote this course they seemed to be unaware of this way of counting people as they were using ordinary numbers, which is completely wrong. This may be why they do not know how to use these personal numbers. A search through Mark's dictionary (2003) revealed the following {with my notes in curly brackets}:

  • dithis is foll. by the gen pl or the relevant prep poss's of de or aigdithis mhac two sons □ an dithis aca the two of them / both of them □ an dithis againn both of us □ thàinig dithis dhiubh air ais two of them returned □ b' e dithis eòlach fhileanta a bha aig na coinneamhan it was an expert and eloquent pair who were at the meetings □ 's e clann an dithis bhràithrean a bha annta they were children of two brothers (lit. it is children of the two brothers that were in them) □ sgrìobh còmhradh eadar dithis sam bith write a conversation between any two people □ a bheil clann agaibh? tha, tha dithis agam do you have [any] children? Yes, I have two
    Note the following: seo mar a thachair do dhithis bheaga a … this is what happened to two children (lit. a little pair) who… □ it should be noted that here dithis is accompanied by an adj which has a pl adj ending, but is lenited as for a sing noun (cf. clann and luingeas q.v.) □ dithis òga a tha a' fuireach san sgìre a couple of young people who live in the district

  • 2.4 Numerical nouns
    Gaelic also has numerical nouns ranging from one to ten, and used only of persons. From dithis upwards, they govern the genitive plural case, e.g. dithis mhac two sons.

Gaelic English Gaelic English
aonar one person sianar six persons
dithis two persons seachdnar seven persons
triùir three persons ochdnar eight persons
ceathrar four persons naoinear nine persons
còignear five persons deichnear ten persons
  • Similarly, when used with the numerical nouns dithis, triùir etc. and other nouns which require a gen pl after them, clann is frequently lenited as if it were in the gen pl rather than the gen sing [...] □ dithis chloinne a couple of children
  • an dithis fhear

{When the word pluralizes by slenderization, the gen pl resembles the nom sing. But the lenition proves it is gen pl as there is no reason for the nom sing to be lenited.}

  • dithis sheinneadairean

{Typical form form for a word that adds -(e)an to make the nom pl. The gen pl is the same as the nom pl, but we know it is gen pl because of the lenition.}

  • bha dithis nighean

{Words that end in -an in the singular can contribute to the confusion, as grammars tend to say the gen pl is nigheanan like the nom pl. However you will often hear nighean (like the nom sing as well. The best-known example is probably Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 'The Western Isles Council'.}

{There were a few more, similar, examples, but none which couldn't be gen pl.}


When they first wrote this course they seemed to be unaware of this way of counting people as they were using ordinary numbers, which is completely wrong. This may be why they do not know how to use these personal numbers.

I can't be sure as I wasn't involved, but I genuinely think it was an oversight. It's a lot easier now, as there are a few of us working on the course and so we can easily pick up on typos/grammatical errors etc. The new tree is being proofread a number of times over. As you said above, dithis bhràithrean is absolutely correct, and this skill has been fixed in Tree 2 :)


Ah! Dithis bhràithrean is absolutely correct! I'll fix the Tips now, sorry!


Thank you Daibhidh and Joanne for your comments and corrections to the Tips. Excellent service.


You are absolutely correct. This construction is mandatory with small numbers of people.

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