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  5. "Good afternoon, Eva."

"Good afternoon, Eva."

Translation:Feasgar math, Eubha.

April 3, 2020



Sorry if dumb question, but when do you use "a" in front of a person's name? Like, why isn't this "Feasgar math, a Eubha"?


The Vocative Case

Gaelic has four cases. The perfect amount for any language. Much of what we have looked at has been in the nominative case - which could be described as the basic way of doing things. Think of it as vanilla flavour.

Here is a sentence in the nominative case:

<pre>Tha Seumas math. </pre>

Gaelic has a special case that we use when addressing people or even things (saying hello, how are you, etc.). This is called the vocative case. Think of it as strawberry flavour.

In the following sentence the word Seumas is in the vocative case:

<pre>Madainn mhath, a Sheumais. </pre>

There are two other cases in Gaelic which we do not explore in detail at this stage - the dative case (pistachio flavour) and the genitive case (chilli flavour).

We will break down below exactly how the vocative case works. It is one of Gaelic's many interesting features.

  1. Lenitable Consonants - B, C, D, G, M, P, S, T (but not F for now)


<pre>Add an a before the noun. This is known as a vocative particle. Lenite the word (add an 'h' after the initial consonant) and slenderise (add an 'i' before the last consonant). </pre>


<pre>Calum > Madainn mhath, a Chaluim. Tormod > Madainn mhath, a Thormoid Pàdraig > Halò, a Phàdraig. Seumas > Feasgar math, a Sheumais. </pre>


<pre>Add vocative particle a. Lenite the word. Feminine names don't slenderise. </pre>


<pre>Mairead > Halò, a Mhairead Beathag > Madainn mhath, a Bheathag </pre>
  1. Names that begin with a consonant or comination that does not lenite - L, N, R, SG, SM, ST, SP


<pre>Add vocative particle a. Slenderise when possible. </pre>


<pre>Niall > Halò, a Nèill. Ruairidh > Halò, a Ruairidh. </pre>

N.B. The name Ruairidh is already slenderised and you can't double slenderise or your tongue would fall out, obviously.


<pre>Add vocative particle a. </pre>


<pre>Raonaid > Halò, a Raonaid. Leagsaidh > Halò, a Leagsaidh. </pre>
  1. Names that begin with F

Names that begin with F followed by a consonant follow pattern number 1.


<pre>Frìseal > Halò, a Fhrìseil. Flòraidh > Halò a Fhlòraidh. </pre>

Names that begin with F followed by a vowel follow a slightly different pattern. The vocative particle a is omitted. Masculine names lenite and slenderise. Female names only lenite.


<pre>Fionnlagh > Halò, Fhionnlaigh. Fearghas > Halò, Fhearghais. </pre>

Copy/pasted from https://duome.eu/tips/en/gd


You don't need to use the vocative particle a before names that begin with a vowel (or effectively begin with a vowel when lenited - i.e. names beginning with F + vowel, which lenites to a silent Fh + vowel)

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