Gaelic Lesson 16: Adjectives

As in English, we have two types of adjectives:

  1. the adjectives before the noun (the green man )
  2. the adjectives after the noun (the man is green)

The same rules apply in Gaelic but can be a little bit vague when trying to translate because the adjective comes immediately after the noun (not before) in both cases. As always there are exceptions to this rule and there are some appearing before.

The rules surrounding the lenition of singular adjectives is fairly complicated and I think it is best to learn these “on the go”. More will be said about these as we move forward.


points to note:

some masculine adjectives lenite if they are with prepositions or possessives. Slenderising only happens with the possessive and an article where the adjective is masculine .

Feminine adjectives always lenite, however they also add an E if the noun is in its long form.

In plural adjectives, an “a” is added at the end, otherwise they do not change

brògan ùra

the adjective can be lenited with some  plurals,

balaich bheairteach




Scottish Gaelic Lesson 11 – Practice

In the previous 10 lessons, I have given you the basics of Gaelic Grammar, mainly in English, to set the scene for using the present tense.

We have more than enough information to make Gaelic sentences therefore, this blog will now contine in Gaelic, to force you to practice new vocabulary and grammar.

When we move to more complex grammar topics, I will likely switch to English to explain them.

So, I recommend that you get yourself a good dictionary and start using programs like memrise where you will find free vocabulary flashcards and games.

Scottish Gaelic Lesson 10 – Lenition Examples

As I understand it, lenition is something which has been “evolving” to smooth the letters of the language for many centuries. What we know of lenition today is perhaps the remaining part. Simply the insertion of the letter H into the word after the first letter. Much older forms of lenition have been absorbed into vocabulary and you can see evidence of these in words like sèimh or fliuch which looked very different in the past and whose endings were lenited.

Remember the list of consonants which can be lenited from last time, not all consonants are lenited. C, B, M, D, G, S, T, P, F The letters L, N and R also lenite but are not written, you need to keep this in mind.

Below are the conditions of lenition

Choisich mi past tense *we will discuss that later, along with other tenses which can be lenited

oidhche mhath adjectives with feminine noun

mo bhràthair  possessives mo, do and a, *only these possessives,  always lenite. Possessives also cause the word to insert a vowel near the end of the word, Its called slenderisation. We will talk about that later.

bho, de, do, fo, gun, mar, mu, ro, tro prepositions which cause lenition.

corra deagh, droch, priomh, sàr, seann  adjectives which lenite

glè mhath modifiers glè, fior, ro

aon, dà, a’chiad  these numbers lenite

bu  this verb lenites

cha negative particle lenites.









Scottish Gaelic Lesson 9 – Present Continuous

The continuous present tense is written with ag before the word, abbreviated to a’ to make it easier when we are speaking. It is used more often than in English.

An-diugh, tha mi a ’sgrìobhadh sgeulachdan, (tràth làthaireach). Is mise fear-gèidh,  Tha mi a ’fuireach le mo bhràmair  agus  An-diugh, tha Glaschu glè bhrèagha. an-diugh tha fèis Ghàidhlig ann an Glaschu, le ceòl agus cofaidh