"England is in the United Kingdom."
Translation:Tha Sasainn anns an Rìoghachd Aonaichte.
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It is not ‘anns instead of ann in anns an’ – that’s wrong way to look at it.
Think of ann an on its own as a single word meaning in, eg. in:
- ann an Glaschu in Glasgow,
- ann am bàta in a boat,
- ann am bailtean-mòra in cities,
- ann an eileanan in islands.
But it (the whole ann an business) changes just to anns before the definite article. So it’s the whole ann an that changes into anns and the following an is another word. See:
- anns an Rìoghachd Aonaichte in the United Kingdom – here only anns means in and an is actually the definite article the,
- anns a’ bhàta in the boat,
- anns na bailtean-mòra in the cities – notice the definite article in plural form na,
- anns na h-eileanan in the islands – as above.
Historically the word for in was just an (and you still might encouter things like tha mi an Glaschu for I am in Glasgow) – perhaps because it looked like the definite article the people started adding redundant ann ‘there, in it’ before it to make it clear that they mean location (so that ann am bàta clearly means ‘in a boat’ and not ‘the boat’).
See also the Ann an article on the Akerbeltz wiki: http://www.akerbeltz.org/index.php?title=Ann_an