Scottish Gaelic/Simple Sentences

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Sentence structure and grammar[edit]

The simple sentence[edit]

In a simple English sentence, such as 'John drank milk' the subject comes first, then the verb, then the object. In Gaelic, however, the verb comes first, then the subject, then the object. An example of a sentence would therefore be:

  • dh'òl Iain bainne
John drank milk
Iain /'iən/ John; dh'òl /γəl/ drank; bainne /'banjə/ milk;
word IPA pronunciation meaning
Iain 'iən John
dh' òl γəl drank
dh' òl Iain γəl 'iən Iain drank
bainne 'banjə milk


Other examples of the same type of sentence construction would be the following:

  • tha Anna fuar
/ha 'anə fuər/
Anna is cold
tha /ha/ is; Anna /'anə/ Anna; fuar /fuər/ cold;
  • dh'òl i sùgh
/γəl i su:/
she drank juice
i /i/ she; dh'òl /γəl/ drank; sùgh /su:/ juice
  • dh'òl e tì
/γəl e ti:/
he drank tea
e /e/ he; dh'òl /γəl/ drank; tì /ti:/ tea
  • chluich ì anns an taigh
/'xluix i 'awnsən təj/
she played in the house
ì /i/ she; chluich /'xluix/ played; anns an /'awnsən/ in the; taigh /təj/ house