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  5. "The computer is in a school."

"The computer is in a school."

Translation:Tha an coimpiutair ann an sgoil.

April 10, 2020



An is used twice in this sentence but means two different things. Someone please explain.


an can mean lots of things depending on context:

  • the – the definite article, the first an in this sentence,
  • in – most often doubled as ann an (as here the second one), but can stand on its own too, eg. an Glaschu (or ann an Glaschu) in Glasgow,
  • their – eg. an athair would mean their father (vs. an t-athair the father in nominative; but it also could mean the father in dative, eg. ris an athair with the father or with their father – context disambiguates),
  • does?, is?, etc. – the interrogative particle, eg. in an toil leat e? do you like it?, an ith thu e? will you eat it?
  • (with, on, at, to…) which, whom, etc. – the indirect relative particle after a preposition, eg. am fear ris an robh mi a’ bruidhinn the man to whom I was speaking

After ann, though, it can only mean in, ie. ann an always just mean in. And when there is the definite article – the the – after in, then it changes to anns + the article, eg. anns an sgoil in the school, anns a’ bhogsa in the box, anns na h-eaglaisean in the churches.

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