"Ministear ann an eaglais."

Translation:A minister in a church.

August 16, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Why is it a church and not the church? The hints have both A and The. Thanks.


Because there is no word for the in this sentence. It is word-for-word:

  • Ministear – ‘a minister’,
  • ann an – ‘in’,
  • eaglais – ‘a church’.

Ann an is basically a single word meaning in. In older language it would be just an eaglais as the word meaning in was an – but that looked the same as the church so probably to disambiguate people started saying ann an eaglais, doubling the preposition in. You can read about it in the Ann an article on the Akerbeltz wiki.

To say in the church you’d need anns an eaglais, as ann an changes to anns* before the definite article, so it would be:

  • ministear – ‘a minister’,
  • anns – ‘in’ (instead of ann an, because it changes before the article),
  • an – ‘the’,
  • eaglais – ‘church’.

Similarly ann an coilltean is in woods and anns na coilltean is in the woods.


Tapadh leibh a Shilmeth.

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