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  5. More tips and notes have arri…


More tips and notes have arrived for Scottish Gaelic! :D

Just checked, and there's tips and notes available now for Feelings and Pers. Det. (Personal Details)! Not sure how long ago they released them, but it's great that they're here! Thank you to the contributors who wrote them and everyone who helped make the course! I'll edit and add the tips and notes below when I have time for anyone who doesn't have access to them :-) Hope this is helpful.

Added them now! :D Here's the links to the other tips and notes I've uploaded. Thanks again to the contributors for all the work you've done on this course! I think it's a great course and can't wait to see more! Hope it graduates out of beta soon!

As always, you can find the tips and notes on duome.eu and duonotes.fandom.com. I added them to the duonotes wikia, but you can thank the creator of Duome for adding them to her website! :D


Now It's Personal (Pronouns)

A personal pronoun is a word that replaces the name of a person or persons and we are looking here at the basic forms of these. Gaelic also has forms used to show emphasis, which you will stumble upon on your quest in due course.

Personal pronouns in Gaelic are nice and simple. There is no distinction between I and me, he and him, she and her or them and they as we find in English. There is an informal singular word for you (thu) and also a formal / plural (sibh). This follows the same pattern we explored with "leat" and "leibh".

  • mi - me / I
  • thu - you
  • e - he / him / it (when standing in for a masculine word)
  • i - she / her / it (when standing in for a feminine word)
  • sinn - we / us
  • sibh - you (to show respect to someone older or more senior, or for more than one person)
  • iad - they / them

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Just before anyone gets freaked out, saying sorry in Gaelic is pretty easy. We just wanted to shoehorn an Elton John reference in here.

In this skill we explore the use of "duilich" and "gabh mo leisgeul". Both of these can be used to apologise in different contexts.

Tha mi duilich - You would generally use this when you are actually sorry i.e when you are experiencing the actual emotion of sorrow, are sympathising or are apologising with sincerity. Use this when things get real.

Gabh mo leisgeul - This means "excuse me" and would translate word for word into English as "take my excuse". You would more likely use this when you bump into someone or spill their IRN BRU. You can also use it to flag someone down and get their attention.

Gaelic's Golden Rule - Broad with Broad / Slender with Slender

The Gaelic spelling can seem intimidating at first glance, although it is on the whole very sensible and regular once you are accustomed to the rules. This golden rule however will help you know if you are going in the right direction. Gaelic shares this rule with the Irish language.

In Gaelic vowels are regarded as either broad or slender.

  • Broad - a, o, u
  • Slender - i, e

When vowels are split by a consonant, they will either be broad and broad on both sides or slender and slender. This won't tell you exactly how to spell a word, but will generally rule out many wrong combinations.

Examples in the Feelings skill include:

  • Broad with Broad - brònach, spòrsail, ciamar, Seumas
  • Slender with Slender - leisgeul, duilich, toilichte

There are a few exceptions, but let's ignore them for now. These are usually words that were formerly a composite of two words that have been squished together.

Personal Details

To Be Or Not To Be - Using the verb "Bi".

Like Spanish, Gaelic has two verbs which mean to be:

  • Bi - we have encountered two presents tense forms so far:
  • Tha - The present tense positive form:
  • E.g Tha Mòrag snog. - Morag is nice.
  • Chan eil - the present tense negative form:
  • E.g. Chan eil Mòrag snog. - Morag is not nice.

I Am From - Using "Bi"

To describe where you are from you in Gaelic you can use the verb "bi" in combination with a preposition:

  • à - from
  • Tha mi à Alba. - I am from Scotland.
  • Tha IRN BRU à Alba - IRN BRU is from Scotland
  • Chan eil mi à Alba - I am not from Scotland.
  • Chan eil IRN BRU à Sasainn - IRN BRU is not from England.

None of the place names you come across in this unit have a definite article in front of them, we will explore this later on it the course.

To ask someone else where they are from you would use:

  • Cò às a tha thu? - One person who is not significantly older or with more seniority
  • Cò às a tha sibh? - More than one person or someone older or with more seniority

Is Mise Duo

The other verb that means to be is the copula "is". Forms of "bi" like "tha" and "chan eil" are more often used to describe things. The verb "is" is often used to define things:

  • Is mise Mòrag - I am Morag

Morag knows who she is. We hear ya Morag. Morag is not describing, but defining herself as Morag.

Spoiler: We can, and will do a lot more with this verb as we explore further.

"Mise" is the emphatic form of the personal pronoun "mi".

To ask someone who they are you would use:

  • Cò thusa - One person who is not significantly older or with more seniority
  • Cò sibhse - More than one person or someone older or with more seniority

There is also a phrase for "what is your name" that we will encounter, but for the moment this will do the same job.

Emphatic Personal Pronouns - a first glimpse

"Mise" is the emphatic form of the personal pronoun "mi".

Likewise, 'thusa'' is an emhatic from of "thu" and "sibhse" is an emphatic form of "sibh".

Emphatic forms will be explored in detail, but remembering these as part of these common phrases will be really helpful at this stage of the tree.

Congratulations, you have used the two most common verbs in Gaelic! You are smashing this out of the park!

December 9, 2019



Thanks it is very helpful.


Tapadh leibh!! I love the way these are written, very nice, engaging, humorous and enjoyable!

I've just had a breakthrough myself, although I'm sure most folks registered this long ago in their journey. The difference between long and short vowels - is not the definition of long and short pronunciations as in English, it's literal - and explains soooo much for me! The cadence/lyrical nature of spoken and sung Gaelic is one of the things I love the most and understanding (finally) that a long vowel is literally spoken longer and drawn out makes so much sense! Short vowels are almost clipped. This realization has helped so much, as have the videos on the Learn Gaelic website. I may actually be successful, after almost 30 yrs of trying on my own to teach myself. Gun robh mìle math agad!


Than you that is very helpful.

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