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  5. "She is not tired, he is tire…

"She is not tired, he is tired."

Translation:Chan eil i sgìth, tha esan sgìth.

March 27, 2020



is there a rule, or guide that helps determine when 'ise' and 'isan' are used in place of 'i' and 'e'? for she and he?


So ise and esan are the emphatic forms of i and e. In the above example, you would need to use the emphatic in the second clause as you are making a comparison between the two people. In English, this would be achieved by putting emphasis on the word 'he':

  • "She is not tired, he is tired."

Here's a section about it from the Tips for this skill:

Emphatic Pronouns - Pronouns with OOMPH

Emphatic pronouns are extra special forms of pronouns that show emphasis. They don't have a direct equivalent in English. You would just use stress and tone of voice.

Emphatic Pronoun English Translation
mise me
thusa you
esan him / it (masculine)
ise her / it (feminine)
sinne we / us
sibhse you (plural / polite)
iadsan they / them

1. Use emphatic pronouns when you want to emphasise

  • Tha thusa fuar. - YOU are cold.

  • Tha esan fuar. - HE is cold.

  • Tha iadsan fuar. - THEY are cold.

2. You generally use them when identifying.

This commonly happens when the pronoun appears by itself or when using the Gaelic verb is:

  • Mise! - Me!

  • Thusa a-rithist! - You again!

  • Is mise Calum. - I am Calum.

  • Is sinne Calum agus Mòrag. - We are Calum and Morag.

We will have lots more opportunities to practice this as the course progresses, and we will explore phrases with is + emphatic pronouns in more detail as the course expands.


Thank you for sharing this! I wish the Tips were available for those of us who use the app on a phone instead of accessing it with a computer


Yes, thank you for posting this and reminding me to read the tips more frequently.


Why does "tired" not follow the same pattern as "hungry" or "scared" in sentence construction?


The main reason is that there is no reason why Gaelic should follow the English in using the same construction. Why doesn't the English follow the Gaelic?

But the detailed answer is that the words usually translated as 'hungry' and 'scared' don't actually mean that at all as they are nouns not adjectives. You say

Tha an t-acras orm -[There] is the hunger on-me.
Tha an t-eagal orm - [There] is the fear on-me.

But there is a word for 'tired', so you can say

Tha mi sgìth - I am tired.


Chan eil ise sgìth, tha esan sgìth. In my Gaelic dialect, I have used the emphatic pronoun, in such comparisons for decades and consider it correct to do so.


I think it is more a question of context than dialect. If, as you suggest, you are making a direct comparison between a female and a male, then emphasising both would be quite natural. Indeed it would be quite odd in any language to treat the two parts differently.

But suppose you weren't making a comparison to start with - and then you decided to make a comparison later on:

(Discussing your daughter)
Carson nach eil i na cadal? 'Why isn't she asleep?'
Chan eil i sgìth. 'She is not tired.' (No need for emphasis here, but you continue, now pointing at your zonked-out son) Tha esan sgìth. 'But HE is tired.'


I was thinking that very thing today when i got frustrated. I can be so danged Anglo-centric. Thanks for the explanation. It helped.


Can this be reversed? ie Chan eil ise sgìth, tha e sgìth.


You could use either "i" or "ise" in the first clause, but you'd always use "esan" in the second clause :)

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