1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Scottish Gaelic
  4. >
  5. "They were having a drink too…

"They were having a drink too!"

Translation:Bha iadsan a' gabhail deoch cuideachd!

August 3, 2020



Why "iadsan" rather than "iad" here?


Grammatically iad would be OK, but looking at the sentence using the emphatic iadsan is more natural. That’s because they were having a drink too! suggests a direct comparison – stop scolding just us, that’s unfair, they are also at fault, they were having a drink too! or maybe we weren’t selfish and didn’t drink everything ourselves – they were having a drink too – and emphatic pronouns are very often used in such comparisons, to show the change of focus from one person to another.

See also something like:

‘Dè an t-ainm a th’ ort?’ (What is your name?)

‘Seumas a th’ ormsa. Agus dè an t-ainm a th’ ortsa?’ (James is my name. And what’s your name?)


‘An robh thu ann an Albainn a-riamh?’ (Have you ever been to Scotland?)

‘Bha. An robh thusa an-sin?’ (I have. Have you been there?)


‘A bheil cat agad?’ (Do you have a cat?)

‘Chan eil. Ach tha cat aicese.’ (I don’t. But she has a cat.)

But it is just an emphasis for change-of-focus. As I said, grammatically both iad and iadsan are valid.


Fantastic explanation!

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