The Genitive Singular Case of Feminine Nouns

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

General statement
Polysyllabic genitive singular feminine nouns are for the most part identical to the dative singular forms. Except for a few irregular nouns the monosyllabic genitive singular feminine nouns are the same as the dative singular forms save for the addition of a terminal e.

lessonbl.gif (3196 bytes)seven.gif (1304 bytes)exemplifies the changes associated with the dative singular feminine nouns.

The definite article in all instances is Na (Na h- before a vowel). 
The singular noun is never lenited in the genitive singular.

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 final e added to the dative singular :
Dative Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Definite
le circ -  with a hen biadh circe - the food of a hen biadh na circe - the food of the hen
(- the hen's food)
air cois - on a leg cl coise - the back of a leg cl na coise - the back of the leg
aig crch - at a boundary callaid crche - the fence of a boundary
(- a boundary fence)
callaid na crche - the fence of the boundary
(- the boundary fence)
air limh - on a hand cl limhe - the back of a hand cl na limhe - the back of the hand
air luing - on a ship neart luinge - the power of a ship
(- a ship's power)
neart na luinge - the power of the ship
(- the ship's power)
le sgian - with a knife oir sgeine - the edge of a knife
(- a knife edge)
oir na sgeine - the edge of the knife
(- the knife edge)

Type 2
Polysyllabic nouns are the same as the dative singular, with an optional terminal e (becoming less common in the spoken langauge) :
Dative Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Definite
ri caileig - to a girl falt caileig(e) - the hair of a girl
(- a girl's hair)
falt na caileig(e) - the hair of the girl
(- the girl's hair)
le caillich - with an old woman ad caillich(e) - the hat of an old woman
(- an old woman's hat)
ad na caillich(e) - the hat of the old woman
(- the old woman's hat)
le maraig - with a pudding mlsead maraig(e) - the sweetness of a pudding mlsead na maraig(e) - the sweetness of the pudding
fo uinneig - under a window glainne uinneig(e) - the glass of a window glainne na h-uinneig(e) - the glass of the window

Type 3
Nouns ending in -ir add -rach/- reach. A few monosyllabic nouns ending in -ail add -lach :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite
anns an litir - in the letter sgeul na litreach - the story of the letter
anns an obair - in the work fallas na h-obrach - the sweat of the work

leis an dil - with the delay

fad na dlach - the length of the delay

Type 4
Many words which end in -ainn & -eann lose this syllable and add -ne :
Dative Singular Definite Genitive Singular Definite
fon abhainn - under the river brn na h-aibhne - the water of the river
(- the river water)
anns a' bhuidheann - in the group daoine na buidhne - the people of the group

anns a' mhadainn - in the morning

solas na maidne - the light of the morning
(- the morning light)

Type 5

There is no change with nouns ending in -chd :
Dative Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Definite
ann an roghachd - in a kingdom
ceann roghachd - the head of a kingdom ceann na roghachd - the head of the kingdom

Some common irregular genitives are best learned :
Dative Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Indefinite Genitive Singular Definite
ann am bth - in a shop uinneag btha - the window of a shop
(- a shop window)
uinneag na btha -  the window of the shop
(- the shop window)
le caora - with a sheep ceann caorach - the head of a sheep
(- a sheep's head)
ceann na caorach - the head of the sheep
(- the sheep's head)
ann an sil - in an eye oisean sla - the corner of an eye oisean na sla - the corner of the eye
air trigh -on a beach allt trghad - the stream of a beach
(- a beach stream)
allt na trghad - the stream of the beach
(- the beach stream)
le mthair - with a mother mac mthar - the son of a mother
(- a mother's son)
mac na mthar - the son of the mother
(- the mother's son)
ri piuthar - to a sister leabhar peathar - the book of a sister
(- a sister's book)
leabhar na peathar - the book of the sister
(- the sister's book)
le seanmhair - with a grandmother cidsin seanmhar - the kitchen of a grandmother
(- a grandmother's kitchen)
cidsin na seanmhar - the kitchen of the grandmother
(- the grandmother's kitchen)

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.

blas brn na h-aibhne - the taste of the water of the river (- the taste of the river water)

blths gainmheach na trghad - the warmth of the sand of the beach

The possessive adjective can also be used with a genitive noun, e.g.
bean mo charaid - the wife of my friend (- my friend's wife)
brthair mo mhthar - my mother's brother (- my maternal uncle)
cis ar litreach - the subject of our letter



blas (m) - accent, taste

cl (m) - back side

fad (m) - length

fallas (m) - sweat

guth (m) - voice

mlsead (m) - sweetness

neart (m) - energy, strength

oisean (m) - corner
smal (m) - mark

ad (f) - hat

bas (f) - palm (of hand)

buidheann (f) - group

callaid (f) - fence

glainne (f) - glass

ite (f) - feather
piuthar (f) - sister saothair (f) - labour, toil
seanmhair (f) - grandmother

glais/glas, glasadh - lock

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English

1.Dh'fhuirich mthair na caileig(e) aig an taigh

2.Bhris am balach uinneag na btha

3.Tha brn na h-aibhne seo salach

4.Bha doras na h-eaglais(e) glaiste

5.Bha na daoine aig iasgach na mara

6.Nach robh iad a-staigh fad na h-ine?

7.Bha solas na grine a' tighinn tron uinneig

8.Tha smal ann air cl a limhe

9.Tha falt na caillich(e) fada

10.Tha blas na Gidhlig(e) aca

EXERCISE 2 Translate into English

1.bus na h-oidhche; ad mo mhthar; loch na mara; dideag a pheathar

2.guth na h-uiseig; biadh na maidne; fuaim na mara
3.doras na sgoile; lmh na sgeine; casan na leapa
4.fileadh toite; gob circe; ite sgithe; glainne na h-uinneig
5.callaid na pirce; saothair obrach; neart na stoirme
6.dath a sla; gainmheach na trghad; eun coille
7.mullach na beinne; pian bochdainn; mlsead a pige
8.dath na h-ite; meud a h-aid; fallas mo shaothrach

1.The girl's mother stayed at home 2.The boy broke the shop window
3.The water of this river is dirty 4.The church door was locked
5.The men were at sea fishing 6.Weren't they in(side) all (of) the time?
7.The sunlight was coming through the window 8.There is a mark on the back of her hand
9.The old woman's hair is long 10.They have a Gidhlig accent

1.the night bus; my mother's hat; the sea loch; his sister's toy
2.the lark's voice; the morning meal; the sound of the sea
3.the school door; the handle of the knife; the legs of the bed
4.smell of smoke; a hen's beak; a wing feather; the window glass
5.the park's fence; toil of work; the power of the storm
6.the colour of her eye; the beach sand; a forest bird
7.the top of the mountain; pain of poverty; the sweetness of her kiss
8.the colour of the feather; the size of the hat; the sweat of my labour

This lesson in PDF format

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