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  5. "Trèana dhearg."

"Trèana dhearg."

Translation:A red train.

January 13, 2020



Do we know, in the missing word form of this question, that the missing word is trèana because the plural option given is spelt wrong?


These questions cause a lot of confusion because they are written as translation questions then Duolingo presents then without the English using random alternatives. Sometimes these happen to be valid. Then people complain without saying that there was no English or what the alternatives were and the mods cannot see the problem.

Here you make it clear there was no English and other people's comments suggest the plural was wrong. Dearg, dhearg and dhearga are all wrong. Dearga is the only correct answer so if that wasn't on the list then this can't be plural.

Note that the course does not yet cover the situation where you would use dhearga but I'm sure they're working on it.

But if you are doing this question before the plural adjective has been covered then this question is impossible and should be removed.


I do not think plural adjectives are covered in the tree before this question is reached.


Well this question is impossible then.

Someone needs to report it again as clearly the mod's detailed response shows it was not made clear what the problem was.


Why could the answer not be red trains


It's because 'trèanaichean' is the plural. :)


so what marker did I miss that tells me whether it is singular or plural?


trèana is 'train'

trèanaichean is 'trains'

Have you read the Tips and Notes for this skill? It gives a brief outline of plural formation:


Gaelic has a few different ways to make a noun plural. The following isn't an exhaustive or overly technical list, but it will give you an overview of some of the most common ways of doing so!

1. Adding -ean / -an

Keep the broad with broad (a, o, u) and slender with slender (i, e) rule in mind when looking at these examples:

  • stèisean > stèiseanan

    (station > stations)

  • eilean > eileanan

    (island > islands)

  • tiocaid > tiocaidean

    (tickets > tickets)

2. Adding -aichean / -ichean

  • càr > càraichean

    (car > cars)

  • bàta > bàtaichean

    (boat > boats)

  • trèana > trèanaichean

    (train > trains)

  • bus > busaichean

    (bus > buses)

3. Slenderising the Noun

Nouns are slenderised by adding an i before the last consonant:

  • cat > cait

    (cat > cats)

  • òran > òrain

    (song > songs)

Irregular Plurals

Gaelic can make a noun plural using some regular ways not listed above and also in ways that follow few or no rules at all (dangerous rebel noun):.

  • cù - coin

    (dog > dogs)

  • piuthar > peathraichean

    (sister > sisters)

The key here is not to get bogged down in trying to memorise every possible plural formation. Gaelic's plurals aren't overly complicated, but the best way to learn them is spotting patterns through gradual exposure.

The Plural Article

Gaelic has only two plural articles in the nominative case and they aren't affected by the gender of the noun! Yay!


Use this before consonants:

  • càraichean > na càraichean

    (cars > the cars)

  • coin > na coin

    (dogs > the dogs)

  • bàtaichean > na bàtaichean

    (boat > the boats)

Na h-

Use this before vowels. Gaelic vowels hate hanging out next to each other and so we need a bouncer 'h-' to keep them separate:

  • uinneagan > na h-uinneagan

    (windows > the windows)

  • eileanan > na h-eileanan

    (islands > the islands)


The multiple choice question, where we are given a set of tiles to pick from, did not indicate whether whatever was red where singular or plural. As both Trèana and Trèanaichean was available - But plural was not accepted. Is this an error in that question or would plural be dearg rather than dhearg?


Found it, in the "Home2" Tips & Trix:

Magic elongating adjectives Adjectives that have only one syllable become longer when attached to a plural:

taighean matha - good houses

taighean beaga - small houses

taighean mòra - big houses

taighean dearga - red houses

taighean ùra - new houses


That was a mistake, I fixed it earlier :)

Oh sorry, I misunderstood your question. Yeah, the plural wouldn't work in that example, it has to be singular. Plural would need 'dearga'.


There's often more than one way to tell things. In this example you can tell from the noun or the adjective. So far in the course, adjectives have only lenited after nouns when they are feminine singular. Spoiler alert: it can happen in the plural but that has not been taught yet, so you can ignore it until it is.

And there is the -a on the end that joannejoanne12 mentions above.

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