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Today in my Q&A's I had Mairi bhochd and Una cearr. Why was it not Una chearr?

July 17, 2020



Is it possible that the sentence you had was something like "Tha Ùna ceàrr"?

In that case, it is because the grammatical structure in the two sentences is a bit different. If the adjective (bochd, ceàrr) is stuck directly to the noun or name in the English sentence (e.g. "Poor Mairi is crying", "The wrong book is on the desk"), the adjective lenites if the noun is feminine and the letter in question can be lenited. If the adjective is not directly stuck to the noun/name in the English sentence (e.g. "Mairi is poor", "Una is wrong"), the adjective does not lenite.

It can be a bit more difficult to tell apart in Scottish Gaelic because of the VSO (verb first) word order (e.g. "Tha Màiri bochd" (Mairi is poor), "Tha Ùna ceàrr" (Una is wrong)) which can make it look like the noun and the adjective are stuck together when they aren't really, but you can usually tell which one it is by looking at the meaning of the sentence or by translating it into English.


Yep, to add on to this, the sentence was:

  • Tha Màiri agus Ùna ceàrr. - Mairi and Una are wrong.

Ùna cheàrr would translate as "wrong Una".

Màiri bhochd is "poor Mairi".


This explanation makes more sense to me.


There is one lady, she sounds an older woman, who is reading some of the sentences in level 2 , she seems to pronounce some Gaelic words / sounds differently from other people who speak words/sentences

Can you tell me where her accent is from?

I was wondering if it was for example Islay ( the only reason being the first full sentence I heard her say was something to do with Islay)

Eg she say “Cha” as “keesh or heesh” and “Sibh” as “shoo”

I spent 15 mins trying to work out a two word sentence then gave up - it was Black bat , but I couldn’t work out that she was saying “ialtag” I tried using the duolingo help but I was typing in words beginning with “e”

Best wishes Geraldine

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