The Nominative and Dative Plural of Nouns

The nominative and dative plurals are identical
The definite article in all cases is Na (Na h- before a vowel)

Remember, however, the following rules are at best guidelines and that plurals are best learnt when met.

All monosyllabic nouns ending in a vowel, whether masculine or feminine add -than / -thean to the singular:
n (m) - thing nithean - things
cn (f) - nut cnothan - nuts

Masculine Nouns

Typically masculine nouns form their nominative and dative plurals in one of five ways.

1. The nominative plural is identical to the genitive singular. This is nearly always the case for monosyllabic nouns not ending in a vowel. A number of common disyllabic nouns, particularly those with the agent ending -ach, also form their plurals this way :
Nominative Singular Genitive Singular Nominative Plural
albannach - scotsman albannaich - of a scotsman albannaich - scotsmen
balach - boy balaich - of a boy balaich - boys
brd - a table bird - of a table bird - tables
fear - a man fir - of a man fir - men
port - a port puirt - of a port puirt - ports
ran - a song rain - of a song rain - songs

2. By adding ending -an / -ean to the nominative singular. Singular nouns ending in -adh become -aidhean :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
dealbh - a picture dealbhan - pictures (also deilbh as in rule 1)
iasgair - a fisherman iasgairean - fishermen
monadh - a moor monaidhean - moors
pipear - a paper pipearan - papers
taillear - a tailor taillearan - tailors

3. A terminal -a changes to -achan or -aichean and in a few cases to -annan :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
baga - a bag bagannan - bags
balla - a wall ballachan - walls

bogsa - a box

bogsaichean - boxes

cta - a coat

ctaichean - coats

4. A terminal -ar and more rarely -air change to -raichean :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
athair - a father athraichean - fathers
leabhar - a book leabhraichean - books

5. Mostly recently monosyllabic borrowings, adding either  -achan or -aichean :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
bus - a bus busaichean - buses
cr - a car craichean - cars


Feminine Nouns

These normally form their plurals in one of three ways:

1. By adding ending -an / -ean to the nominative singular. A number of common nouns exhibit reduction in their second syllable before adding these endings :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
banais - a wedding bainnsean - weddings
drochaid - a bridge drochaidean - bridges
madainn - a morning maidnean - mornings
marag - a pudding maragan - puddings
slat - a rod slatan - rods

2. A terminal -a changes to either -achan or -aichean and in a few cases to -annan :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural

bliadhna - a year

bliadhnaichean - years
muga - a mug mugannan - mugs
oidhche - a night oidhcheannan - nights

3. A terminal -ar and more rarely -air change to -raichean :
Nominative Singular Nominative Plural
cathair - a chair cathraichean - chairs
mthair - a mother mthraichean - mothers

Since there is also a number of minor rules as well as a number of irregular nouns it is always a good idea to try and learn the nominative plural as you meet each new noun.

NEW WORDS

Adjectives

nenach - strange

domhainn - deep
flathail - majestic

Nouns

cogadh (m) - war

dust (m) - dust

fad (m) - length

n (m) - thing

sgudal (m) - rubbish, junk

Alba (f) - Scotland cn (f) - nut

co-fharpais (f) - competition

craobh (f) -tree

Verbs
sabaid, sabaid (ri) - fight (with, against)

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English

1.An do shabaid a h-athair anns na cogaidhean?

2.Tha iad nan rghrean

3.Bha fuaimean nenach a' tighinn bhon t-semar

4.Bha na coin sin a' comhairtaich fad na h-oidhche

5.Tha deich botail uaine air a' bhalla

6.Leugh mi ceithir leabhraichean an t-seachdain sa chaidh

7.Tha na bliadhnaichean a' dol seachad cho luath

8.Tha na maidnean a' fs gl fhuar a-ns

9.Fhuair mo bhrithrean duaisean anns na co-fharpaisean

10.Tha beanntan na h-Alba cho flathail

EXERCISE 2 Put the following sentences into the plural

1.Tha am fear gl thrang

2.Tha snthad gl gheur

3.Tha an nead falamh

4.Bha an sgoil dinte an-d

5.Tha an loch domhainn

6.Cit a bheil an taigh-sta?

7.An robh an lr fliuch?

8.Tha am bogsa ln de sgudal

9.C bhris an uinneag?

10.An robh sibh a-riamh air a' bhta sin?

11.Tha e (change to iad) na leabaidh

12.D tha iad ag rdh anns an litir?

13.Thilg sinn anns an teine e

14.Tha c ann fon brd

15.A bheil cr aig do bhrthair?

16.Cuir bainne anns a' chopan

17.Tha gunna aig an t-saighdear

18.Tha eun ann an craobh anns a' choille
19.Is toil leam banais 20.Bha an eaglais fuar
21.Bha an l fliuch 22.A bheil peann agaibh?
23.Bidh mo lmh blth 24.Tha leabhar agam nam phcaid
25.Cuir do sgian air falbh 26.Cuir a' chearc anns a' phoit
27.Ghlac mi iasg anns an loch 28.Chaidh sinn dhan bhth
29.Tha mo charaid tinn an-drsta 30.Tha dust nam shil
31.Bha leabhar air an sgeilp 32.Chaidh mi fo dhrochaid
33.Bha am feasgar blth is tioram

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 1
1.Did her father fight in the wars? 2.They are kings
3.There were strange noises coming from the room 4.Those dogs were barking all night long (the length of the night)
5.There are ten green bottles on the wall 6.I read four books last week
7.The years go past so quickly 8.The mornings are becoming (growing) very cold now
9.My brothers got prizes in the competitions 10.The mountains of Scotland are so majestic

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 2
1.Tha na fir gl thrang 2.Tha na snthadan gl gheur
3.Tha na nid falamh 4.Bha na sgoiltean dinte an-d
5.Tha na lochan domhainn 6.Cit a bheil na taighean-sta?
7.An robh na lir fliuch? 8.Tha na bogsaichean ln de sgudal
9.C bhris na h-uinneagean? 10.An robh sibh a-riamh air na btaichean sin?
11.Tha iad nan leapannan 12.D tha iad ag rdh anns na litrichean?
13.Thilg sinn anns na teintean iad 14.Tha coin ann fo na bird
15.A bheil craichean aig do brithrean? 16.Cuir bainne anns na copannan
17.Tha gunnachan aig na saighdearan 18.Tha ein ann an craobhan anns na coilltean
19.Is toil leam bainnsean 20.Bha na h-eaglaisean fuar
21.Bha na lithean fliuch 22.A bheil pinn agaibh?
23.Bidh mo lmhan blth 24.Tha leabhraichean agam nam phcaidean
25.Cuir do sgeinean air falbh 26.Cuir na cearcan anns na poitean
27.Ghlac mi isg anns na lochan 28.Chaidh sinn do na bithean
29.Tha mo chirdean tinn an-drsta 30.Tha dust nam shilean
31.Bha leabhraichean air na sgeilpean 32.Chaidh sinn fo dhrochaidean
33.Bha na feasgaran blth is tioram

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