The Genitive Singular Case of Masculine Nouns

The Genitive Case is the form of the noun used to express possession and attributes

The masculine genitive singular noun exhibits identical initial consonant changes as the masculine singular dative nouns (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)).

There is also a number of internal vowel modifications analogous to those of the feminine singular dative nouns (see Lessons.gif (3478 bytes)seven.gif (1304 bytes)). These modifications are the same for both definite and indefinite nouns. The general principle is, by the process of slenderisation, to make the final vowel of a word narrow, i.e.  i.

To help you recognise the changes they are placed here as close as possible into the same distinct types as the feminine singular dative nouns of Lessons.gif (3478 bytes)seven.gif (1304 bytes).

Initial changes in the noun and definite article are the same as the masculine dative singular definite noun so these are given as a reference point.

Only the genitive noun can have the definite article. The meaning of a preceding noun, whether a or the, is understood from the context.

If you are not sure or are looking for the genitive of any noun used in this course then go to the section

Type 1
In monosyllabic nouns a letter i is inserted after the last broad vowel after a change in the final broad vowel
Most common changes are a >> ui, o >> ui ( >> i) :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
leis a' bhall - with the member lmh a' bhuill - hand of the member
(- the member's hand)
lmh buill - hand of a member
(- a member's hand)
air a' bhrd - on the table cas a' bhird - leg of the table
(- the table leg)
cas bird - leg of a table
(- a table leg)
air a' chnoc - on the hill mullach a' chnuic - top of the hill
(- the hill top)
bun cnuic - base of a hill
(- a hill base)

Type 2

In both mono- and polysyllabic nouns a letter i is inserted after the last broad vowel or ao group:
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
anns a' bhrn - in the water blas a' bhirn - taste of the water
(- the taste of the water)
blas birn - taste of water
(- a taste of water)
leis a' ghaol - with the love blths a' ghaoil - the warmth of the love blths gaoil - the warmth of love

anns an leabhar - in the book

cmhdach an leabhair - cover of the book
(- the book cover)
cmhdach leabhair - cover of a book
(- a book cover)
air an t-sagart - on the priest taigh an t-sagairt - house of the priest
(- the priest's house)
taigh sagairt - house of a priest
(- a priest's house)

Type 3

In  polysyllabic nouns the final vowel group ea will change to ei or i (common in the group -each >> -ich) :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
air an eilean bidhchead an eilein - beauty of the island
(- the beauty of the island)
bidhchead eilein - beauty of an island
(- the beauty of an island)
leis an Ileach - with the Islayman bta an Ilich - boat of the Islayman
(- the Islayman's boat)
bta  Ilich - boat of an Islayman
(- an Islayman's boat)

anns a' phipear - in the paper

dath a' phipeir - colour of the paper
(- the paper colour)
dath pipeir - colour of a paper
(- a paper colour)

Type 4

The monosyllabic nouns the vowel group ea will change to i :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
ris an fhear - to the man cta an fhir - coat of the man
(- the man's coat)
cta fir - coat of a man
(- a man's coat)
anns a' pheann - in the pen gob a' phinn - nib of the pen
(- the pen nib)
gob pinn - nib of a pen
(- a pen nib)

Type 5

In a small number of monosyllabic nouns the diphthong ia will change to i :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
leis an fhiadh - with the deer biadh an fhidh - the deer food biadh fidh - deer food

Type 6

In a small number of monosyllabic nouns the diphthong o will change to :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
leis an t-sol - with the seed plaosg an t-sl - the seed pod plaosg sl - a seed pod

Type 7

In a small number of monosyllabic nouns the diphthong eu will change to ei :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
anns a' bheul - in the mouth oir a' bheil - the edge of the mouth oir beil - the edge of a mouth
leis an eun - with the bird sgriach an ein - the screech of the bird sgriach ein - the screech of a bird
anns an fheur - in the grass fileadh an fheir - the smell of the grass fileadh feir - the smell of grass

Type 8

In a small number of monosyllabic nouns the vowel group e will change to ii :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
leis a' chel - with the music grdh a' chiil - the love of the music grdh ciil - the love of music
air an t-sel - on the sail oir an t-siil - the edge of the sail oir siil - the edge of a sail

Type 9
Nouns Showing no Change
When the noun ends in a vowel or if the last vowel is already an i or if the nound ends in -chd :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite

anns a' bhta - in the boat

sel a' bhta - the boat's sail sel bta - a boat's sail

leis a' bheachd - with the opinion

adhbhar a' bheachd - the cause of the opinion adhbhar beachd - a cause of opinion
anns a' bhogsa - in the box ceann a' bhogsa - the top of the box ceann bogsa - the top of a box

aig a' ghille - at the boy

c a' ghille - the boy's dog c gille - a boy's dog

ris an iasgair - to the fisherman

lmh an iasgair - the fisherman's hand lmh iasgair - a fisherman's hand

Some common irregular genitives are best learned. All family members lose the final i :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite Genitive Singular Indefinite
leis an athair - with the father taigh an athar - the father's house taigh athar - a father's house
ris a' bhrthair - to the brother cr a' bhrthar - the brother's car cr brthar - a brother's car
leis a' ch - to the dog earball a' choin - the tail of the dog earball coin - the tail of a dog
aig a' mhac - at the son c a' mhic - the son's dog c mic - a son's dog
leis a' mhr - with the piece meud a' mhre - the size of the piece meud mre - the size of a piece
air an taigh - on the house mullach an taighe - the roof of the house mullach taighe - a roof of a house

Where there is more than one noun in the genitive then only the final one can take the genitive form and only this noun can have a definite article, e.g.
dath earball an ein - the colour of the tail of the bird (- the bird's tail colour)
mullach taigh an fhir - the roof of the house of the man (- the man's house roof)
dath aghaidh a' bhalaich - the colour of the face of the boy (- the colour of the boy's face)

The possesive adjective can also be used with a genitive noun, e.g.
lmh mo mhic - my son's hand
meud do bheil - the size of your mouth
blths a chridhe - the warmth of his heart / blths a cridhe (- the warmth of her heart)

NEW WORDS

Adjectives
cbhraidh - fragrant goirid - short
goirt - sore, sour milis - sweet

Nouns
adhbhar (m) - reason, cause beachd (m) - opinion
blas (m) - taste blths (m) - warmth
bidhchead (m) - beauty brn (m) - fresh water
coigreach (m) - stranger cmhdach (m) - cover
cridhe (m) - heart dath (m) - colour
deireadh (m) - end earball (m) - tail
fileadh (m) - smell fuachd (m) - cold, coldness
gaol (m) - love gob (m) - beak, nib

grdh (m) - love

gunna (m) - gun
iasgair (m) - fisherman meud (m) - size
mr (m) - piece mullach (m) - roof, ceiling
r (m) - gold pos (m) - piece

plaosg (m) - pod (normally of a legume)

sabhal (m) - barn
sgriach (m) - shriek Slnaighear - Saviour, healer

sreath (m) - row, series

taillear (m) - tailor

tuathanach (m) - farmer

uachdar (m) - surface, cream

aghaidh (f) - face

oir (f) - edge
prs - price (f) spg (f) - paw, claw

Verbs
cuir, cur - plant, put, place srac, sracadh - tear

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English

1.Bha lmh a' bhalaich air limh a leannain

2.Tha e na sheasamh aig doras an taighe

3.Ruith c an tuathanaich tron t-srid

4.Tha ceann a' bhogsa sracte

5.Bhiodh fileadh cbhraidh an fhraoich cho bidheach

6.A bheil sibh ag iarraidh pos arain?

7.Tha dath a' phinn agam gorm

8.Bha an taigh aca aig ceann an rathaid

9.Bha spg a' chait goirt

10.Nach eil cas a' bhird briste?
11.Tha earball c mo bhrthar goirid 12.Tha blas uisge an uillt milis

EXERCISE 2 Translate into English

1.lmh a' bhodaich; doras an t-semair; botal bainne; cas balaich

2.brthair m' athar; bogsa guail; lr an talla; dath a' chta
3.rathad a' ghlinn; sersa duine; airgead an sgthain; meud an rim
4.earball isg; fraoch a' mhonaidh; allt a' chladaich; blas uisge
5.prs ir; sabhal a' chruidh; mullach an t-sabhail
6.dath an t-solais; lmh a' chopain; obair saoir
7.sgriach pin; falt mo chinn; doras a' bhanca
8.balla a' phuirt; taigh a' mhinisteir; gunna saighdeir
9.searmon an t-sagairt; sgeul bird; balla a' chaisteil
10.sgeilp leabharlainn; bidhchead an t-seallaidh; cat a' bhoireannaich
11.leabaidh an leanaibh; aghaidh coigrich; cel an eilein
12.c mo bhrthar; cat a mic; taigh a h-athar
13.gaol brthar; talla a' bhaile; ballachan an taighe agam

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 1
1.The boy's hand was on his girlfriend's hand 2.He was standing at the door of the house
3.The farmer's dog ran through the street 4.The lid of the box is torn
5.The fragrant smell of the heather would be so beautiful 6.Do you want a piece of bread?
7.The colour of my pen is blue 8.Their house was at the end of the road
9.The cat's paw was sore 10.Isn't the table leg broken?
11.The tail of my brother's dog is short 12.The taste of the stream water is sweet

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 2
1.the old man's hand; the room door; a bottle of milk; a boy's leg
2.my paternal uncle; a box of coal; the hall floor; the colour of the coat
3.the glen road; sort of man; the silver of the mirror; the size of the room
4.a fish tail; the heather of the moor; the shore burn; a taste of water
5.price of gold; the cattle barn; the barn roof
6.the colour of the light; the cup handle; work of a joiner
7.a cry of pain; the hair of my head; the door of the bank
8.the wall of the port; the minister's house; a soldier's gun
9.the priest's sermon; the poet's tale; the castle wall
10.a library shelf; the beauty of the view; the woman's cat
11.the baby's bed; a stranger's face; the island music
12.my brother's dog; her son's cat; her father's house
13.a brother's love; the town hall; the walls of my house

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