"My marvelous wife."

Translation:Mo bhean mhìorbhaileach.

September 6, 2020

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Why does do bhean have mìorbhaileach and mo bhean has mhìorbhaileach?


Your marvelous wife would also be do bhean mhìorbhaileach.

You probably saw the sentence tha do bhean mìorbhaileach – but notice that here the grammar is completely different. It’s not your marvelous wife but your wife is marvelous.

In the first case the adjective attributes – directly describes – the wife, creating a single noun phrase: bhean mhìorbhaileach marvelous wife. In the second case the adjective is a predicate to the verb to be: tha (do bhean) (mìorbhaileach) (your wife) is (marvelous) – and predicative adjectives in Gaelic always stay in their base form.

You can see the same in plural, eg.:

  • big cats is cait mhòra
  • but the cats are big is tha na cait mòr.
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