1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "Dè an uair a tha e? Aon uair…

" an uair a tha e? Aon uair deug."

Translation:What time is it? Eleven o'clock.

April 26, 2020



Ooo but that's a nasty construction, splitting the number in half either side of the noun!


Can anyone give me a sentence breakdown?

  • what?, what is? – the question word, in Gaelic such question words work as a copula (to be) verb, so means what is? rather than just what?,
  • an the – the feminine sg. definite article,
  • uair hour – feminine noun in nom.sg.,
  • a – relative particle, roughly equivalent to English that, which, etc., introduces a relative clause,
  • tha is – present independent form of the bi to be verb,
  • e it, he – pronoun,

literally: what-is the hour that it is?

The question has two parts: dè an uair…? what is the hour…?, and the relative clause a tha e that it is. It is one of the few exceptional cases where one uses tha in Gaelic to directly state what something is (instead of expected a th’ ann; other such case would be dè (a) tha seo? what is this?, lit. what-is-it that this is?).

The structure is similar to questions like dè an t-ainm a th’ ort? what is your name?, lit. what-is the name that is on-you?.


Thank you so much!

Learn Scottish Gaelic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.