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  5. "Tha mi a-muigh ach tha mi a'…

"Tha mi a-muigh ach tha mi a' dol a-steach."

Translation:I am outside but I am going in.

February 19, 2020



Why sometimes "a' dol a-staigh" and sometimes "a'dol a-steach"?


It's never a' dol a-staigh.

a-steach and a-mach imply movement. You are going in, or going out.

A-staigh and a-muigh imply you are stationary. I am inside. I am outside.


For anyone interested in the history, mach and steach were originally the accusatives of nouns. Staigh and muigh were the locatives of the same nouns that later became the datives. A was a preposition that, like many in older languages such as Old Irish and Latin, implied movement with the accusative and location with the locative/dative.


It's never a' dol a-staigh.

I must say that in colloquial usage, a' dol a-staigh can be heard, if technically incorrect. It's very common in Uist especially.

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