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  5. "The sausage is hot."

"The sausage is hot."

Translation:Tha an t-isbean teth.

January 18, 2020



What did I do wrong? Why does my answer disappear Wee the result is shown. Not able to check it then!


Are you using the app? My advice is don't. You can still use the website on your phone.


Im really confused about when to use Tha an or just start the sentence with An? Help?


Later you will find that an had several meanings but for now it always means 'the'. Here it is an t- which always means 'the' anyway.

Tha means 'am/is/are'.

Provided the sentence has a verb, it will always be at the beginning, so tha goes first.

You may be confused because in some of the sentences you have seen it is not clear what each word means from the English translation. This is a common problem on this course as the design can make it difficult for them to make it clear. But this sentence is simple. It is exactly the same as the English except that they have, as always, put the verb at the beginning.


Thank you. In general I'm loving this course and am enjoying how challenging Gaelic is. Thanks to all the volunteers.


Can you help me with understanding when the t' ought to be used. I've mistakenly used it with oifis.....pleeeeez!


This is a good question and it is highly complicated by the fact that if you list the specific circumstances then that list changes as you learn more Gaelic. But the method I give here is future proof.

We assume you know when an would change to a' and cause lenition (insertion of the h) if the next word begins with a suitable letter, such as a c. (Of course this is the future-proofing bit as you will learn more about this later.) Well there are now two situations:

  • When the an would not cause lenition anyway but the word begins with a vowel:

    an cat.
    an t-isbean.

  • When the an would cause lenition, and the word begins with an s

    a' chathair.
    an t-sùil.

As far as what you have learnt so far is concerned, isbean would not lenite even if it started with a c because it is masculine but oifis would because it is feminine.

The historical explanation is that it was originally part of the an. It has been lost in most situations but not all. The reason for the modern spelling is beyond comprehension if you consider only Gaelic, but can be understood a bit if you look at Irish spelling.


Can you elaborate on when an would cause lenition? Why is it

an cat

But it's

a' chathair



As I said the main complication is that there are a number of uses that you won't have met yet. When you meet a new use, just make a mental note of whether it is leniting things or not. For the moment we have

  • Masculine singular article does not lenite, so we have an cat.
  • Feminine singular definite article does lenite, so we have a' chathair.

Remember you can apply the logic either way round. If you know the gender you can work out the lenition, but just as important, you can use it to revise the gender of nouns every time you meet a clue such as the lenition.

However, there are traps around that you will slowly get used to. The feminine singular article does not lenite d or t, and s does not lenite at all when followed by certain letters.


What exactly happenened to change bean to isbean here?


Bean is a 'wife/woman'. Isbean is a 'sausage'. I'm not quite sure why you want to change one into the other. It apparently comes from Norse í-spen so it is not related to bean in any way.


I don't want to change it, the lesson did. in one exercise it used bean for sausage and in the next it was t-isbean


It was Is bean fuar. Not isbean.


Well perhaps there was a typo, as the question now appears to be isbean fuar.

Is bean fuar does not mean anything in colloquial Gaelic, but if you really wanted to stretch the grammar you could translate it as 'Cold is a woman' where cold is a noun, but that would be pretty weird.


Well it makes a whole lot more sense this way, unless Gaelic men are in the habit of referring to their wives as sausages. A dangerous habit I would think.

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