"many years"

Translation:bliadhnaichean mòra

January 30, 2020



"Moran taing" is OK, why not "moran blianaichean"?


Possibly 'moran bliadhna' would be better (blaidhna stays in the singular when counting, I think). 'bliadhneachan mora' does imply 'big years', as in 'those were the big years of my life'.


I believe that when mòran is followed by a plural noun, that noun is lenited. "Mòran bhliadhnaichean" was accepted for me.


Yes. This is one of those cases where the best translation ('many years') will mislead you about the grammar. Mòran isn't actually an adjective - it's a noun, so you will see what happens if you translate it as a lot or lots: you need to represent the of afterwards. There are two ways possible with this particular word. Either use the preposition de 'of' which causes lenition, but I think that is usually used with a definite noun ('a lot of the people'). Or you can use a genitive (which you may not have met yet). Genitive plurals are sometimes difficult but in this case there is no change. And they are lenited if there is no article. That is the origin of your rule. Mòran bhliadhnaichean is correct.


I second the question


Why not use "iomadh"


Yes, as is usual there are many ways to say the same thing. If asked to translate into Gaelic then iomadh bliadhna should be accepted, but it is correct for them to introduce bliadhnaichean mòra as you need to understand it.


I don't have a typo since I was clicking on your words and moran wasn't offered.


There's often more than one way to say something in any given language. One of the features of the click-on tiles is that they can make you practise the various different ways to say something. If you read the other posts on this page you will see they wanted you to say bliadhnaichean mòra and I am sure there were the right tiles for that. If you do manage to find another correct solution with the tiles provided that is well and great, but they do not (and cannot) provide the tiles for all possible correct answers. In this particular case, there is a further problem, also discussed on this page, and that is that the grammar for mòran bhliadhnaichean has not actually been covered yet, so that could not be the intended answer, even if it is an accepted answer when you are asked to do the typing yourself.

If you clicked on the tiles for *mòra bliadhnaichean you were actually quite lucky as you were only one letter out in each word, and that counts as a typo.


Mòra not lenited after a plural noun?


No, gender of nouns in the plural does not affect lenition of the associated adjective. However, adjectives qualifying plural nouns are lenited if the final vowel of the plural noun is an i, so,

  • caileagan mòra - big girls
  • balaich mhòra - big boys

I think it is true to say that the vast majority of nouns that form their plural in the way balach does (i.e. by inserting of an i before the final consontants) are in fact masculine nouns. An interesting example that occurs in this course concerns the alternative forms of the plural of the masculine noun, curran, which, with the adjective geal can be either curranan geala or currain gheala.

One feminine noun that I can think of that has i as its final vowel in the plural is caora (sheep), so comparing the plural of two feminine nouns:

  • mucan beaga - small pigs
  • caoraich bheaga - small sheep


I accept everything you say but I would like to point out that Janine never said anything about gender. She may well have seen some currain mhòra and wondered why the same wasn't happening here.

Your point about most nouns that slenderize being masculine is intriguing. I think there were far more in Old Irish, although the slenderization may have taken a different form, so we would need to look at some examples to see what happened over time. There is of course one obvious feminine noun in English that pluralizes by slenderization and that is woman.


Thanks for your reply Sorry not to have made myself clearer. I had noticed that following bliadhna, math is lenited to mhath while following bliadhnaichean math is not lenited to mhath and I think I noticed the same in other words, where there was lenition in the adjective following the singular noun, whilst there was no lenition following the plural noun as also happens following a good high school/good high schools àrd school mhath/àrd sgoiltean math


Your answer makes the problem clear. Because they do not give you clear rules in the first place, you were not really sure what the problem was. You were not saying that it either was or was not related to gender. Your question was really. "What is the rule?" which is a valid question that lots of people have, but not everyone asks. Well to give a simple answer, adjectives lenite after nouns in two separate situations (for the moment)

  • after feminine singular nouns
  • after plural nouns that pluralize by slenderization

These two different situations can lead to a lot of confusion as to what the rules are if you are trying to guess (because they have not been explained clearly). You can have all four combinations for when you get the lenition

  • singular only: sùil mhòr – sùilean mòra 'big eye(s)'
  • plural only: cat mòr – cait mhòra 'big cat(s)'
  • both: caora mhòr – caoraich mhòra 'big sheep'
  • neither eilean mòr – eileanan mòra 'big island(s)'

A lot of the confusion is caused by grammar books – and Duolingo – saying that 'feminine nouns cause lenition'. This is not true. The correct version is 'feminine singular nouns cause lenition'. They forget to say it because they tell you this in the context of singular nouns, but it causes confusion when people then get on the plural and they remember the rule they were taught, not realizing that it no longer applies. So please, any writers of grammars in Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, German, or any other language where there are rules that apply in the singular but not the plural, please include the word singular in the rule every time you mention it, just to avoid confusion. Some writers make claims such as 'nouns lose their gender in the plural' or 'nouns change gender in the plural' (especially in Welsh). This is simply not true, either logically or historically, and, most importantly, it causes massive confusion amongst learners, especially if they are used to languages like French and Spanish where most gender rules do apply equally in the singular and plural. [End of rant.]


Thanks for clarifying the rules following feminine singular nouns etc . I kept getting the particular plural examples I gave wrong, though to be fair they were usually marked as typos, so I wanted to find out what the rule was. Thanks for that.

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