More Interrogative Pronouns

The Interrogative Pronoun C

1. C + 3rd person singular prepositional pronoun + relative clause forms interrogative prepositions. From the examples below you can see that in many cases it's essential to know the preposition a verb takes :
Preposition Interrogative

aig - at

C aige tha an taigh sin? - Whose house is that? (lit. Who at is that house?)
air - on

C air a tha thu a' coimhead? - Who are you looking at? (Who on are you looking?)

s - from, out of

C s a tha thu cinnteach? - Who are you sure of? (lit. Who of are you sure?)

bho - from

C bhuaithe gheibh thu sin? - Who will you get that from? (lit. Who from will you get that?)

do/dha - to C dha thug thu a' chomhairle? - To whom did you give the advice? (Who to did you give the advice?)
de - of, off

C dheth a dh'fhaighnich thu? - Of whom did you enquire? (Who of did you enquire?)

fo - under,
C fodha a chuir thu a' chluasag? - Who did you put the pillow under? (lit. Who under did you put the pillow?)
le - with

C leis a tha an cr? - Who owns the car? (lit. Who with is the car?)

gu - to C thuige a tha an litir a' dol? - Who is the letter going to? (lit. Who to is the letter going?)
mu - about C uime tha i a' bruidhinn? - Who is she speaking about? (lit. Who about is she speaking?)
ri - to,
C ris a bha thu a' bruidhinn? - Who were you speaking to? (lit. Who to were you speaking?)

Notice that the relative pronoun a is not required after a prepositional pronoun ending in a vowel.

As shown in the following the translation of C in the above examples could equally well be What, Where, or Which depending on the context :
C air a tha thu a' coimhead? - What are you looking at?
C uime tha i a' bruidhinn? - What is she speaking about?
C fodha a chuir thu a' chluasag? - What did you put the pillow under?
C s a tha thu cinnteach? - What are you sure of?
C s a tha thu ? - Where are you from?

2. C + definite noun + relative clause. Again the meaning Who, What or Which is understood from the context :
C am fear a chunnaic an tubaist? - Who's the one (man) who saw the accident?
C a' chaileag a ghlac am breac? - Who's the girl who caught the trout?
C a' bhth a tha seo? - What/which shop is this?

3. C + dhiubh (3rd person plural prepositional pronoun of de) + relative clause meaning Whether :
C dhiubh a bhios mi ann no nach bi - Whether I'll be there or not
C dhiubh a bha mi ann no nach robh - Whether I was there or not
C dhiubh a tha thu ga iarraidh no nach eil - Whether you want it or not

The or not part is provided by the negative relative clause using the same verb as the primary clause

The Interrogative Pronoun
Cia mheud

Cia mheud is used to ask How many. It is always followed by the singular noun :
Cia mheud duine ?- How many people?
Cia mheud taigh ?- How many houses?
Cia mheud boireannach ?- How many women?

To extend the question add the relative clause :
Cia mheud duine a tha anns an dealbh? - How many people are in the picture?
Cia mheud taigh a tha air an t-srid? - How many houses are on the street?
Cia mheud boireannach a bha anns a' chisir? - How many women were in the choir?

The Interrogative Pronoun

1. D + na (relative pronoun meaning all that) can be used in a similar fashion to Cia mheud to ask How many but also depending on context can be translated as How much :
D na tha sin? - How much is it? (lit. What all that is that?)
D na bha ann anns a' bhta? - How many were in the boat? (lit. What all that was in the boat?)

2. D + na + relative clause + de again meaning either How many or How much depending on the context :
D na tha ann de dh'airgead? - How much money is there? (lit. What all that is there of money?)
D na bha ann de bhtaichean? - How many boats were there? (lit. What all that was there of boats?)

3. A common extension of Example 2 above is in combination with the preposition aig :
D na tha agad de dh'airgead? - How much money do you have? (lit. What all that is there at you of money?)
D na bha aca de leabhraichean? - How many books did they have? (lit. What all that was there at them of books?)

The dh' before an indefinite noun beginning with a vowel is very common after the preposition de

4. D + cho + adjective + 's + relative clause to enquire of an attribute :
D cho rd 's a tha do bhrthair? - How tall is you brother?- lit. How so tall is your brother?

D cho trang 's a bhios tu? - How busy will you be? - lit. How so busy will you be?

D cho cruaidh 's a bha thu ag obair? - How hard were you working? - lit. How so hard were you working?

5. Use D + dimension + relative clause + ann to ask about dimensions. The meaning can be similar to Example 4 above. The dimensions are :
fad - length (also faide) irde - height
doimhne - depth leud - width, breadth
cudrom - weight tde - time, duration
D am fad a tha anns an t-srid? - What length is the street? (mean. How long is the street?)
D an irde a tha anns an togalach? - What height is the building? (mean. How high is the building?)
D an doimhne a tha anns an uisge? - What depth is the water? (mean. How deep is the water?)
D an leud a bha anns an abhainn? - What width was the river? (mean. How wide was the river?)
D an cudrom a tha innte? - What weight is she? (mean. How heavy is she?)

The prepositional pronouns of ann are used when referring to a pronoun object

There are two ways to respond to type 4 and 5 questions above. Both use the contracted form a of the word de (of) :
a dh'fhaide - of length a dh'irde - of height
a dhoimhne - of depth a leud - of width
a chudrom - of weight a thde - of time

† a dh'fhaid and a dh'ird are acceptable alternatives.

Tha an t-srid ceud slat a dh'fhaid
Tha ceud slat a dh'fhaid anns an t-srid
The street is one hundred yards long
The an togalach d mhle troigh a dh'ird
The d mhle troigh a dh'ird anns an togalach
The building is two thousand feet high
Tha an t-uisge deich irlich a dhoimhne
Tha deich irlich a dhoimhne anns an uisge
The water is a ten inches deep
Bha dusan meatair a leud anns an abhainn
Bha an abhainn dusan meatair a leud
The river was a dozen metres wide
Tha lethcheud cileagram a chudrom innte
Tha i lethcheud cileagram a chudrom
She is fifty kilograms in (of) weight


niseanta - national pailt - plentiful, abundant
pinc - pink

ceudameatair (m) - centimetre cileagram (m) - kilogram
co-ogha (m) - cousin crannchur (m) - lottery
cudrom (m) - weight dusan (m) - dozen
iasad (m) - loan meatair (m) - metre
irleach (m & f) - inch pasgan (m)  - parcel
ridio (m) - radio semar-suidhe (m) - sitting room, lounge
taigh-beag (m) - toilet tiodhlac (m) - gift, present
uncail (m) - uncle
irde (f) - height antaidh (f) - aunt
cluasag (f) - pillow cisir (f) - choir
doimhne (f) - depth faide (f) - length [alternative to fad (m)]
leud (f) - width mle (f) - mile
slat (f) - yard (measure)

buannaich, buannachadh - win gabh, gabhail - hold (contain)
pigh, pigheadh - pay
EXERCISE 1 Translate into English

1.C aige tha fios?

2.Cia mheud duine a ghabhas do chr? Ceathrar
3.D cho tric 's a bhios tu a' tighinn an seo? 4.C s a tha do mhthair? Tha i Inbhir Nis
5.C uime bha sibh a' faighneachd? 'S ann mu Mhiri 6.D cho pailt 's a tha na bric anns an loch seo?
7.Chan eil fios agam cia mheud slat a tha ann am mle 8.C air tha thu a' smaointinn? Mo sheanair
9.Cia mheud turas a bha sibh ann am Portrgh? 10.C air a tha an cnatan? 'S ann ormsa
11.D cho fada 's a bhios e a' fuireach leibh? 12.Chan eil fios agam idir c bhuaithe gheibh mi iasad
13.D an irde a tha annad? Meatair is seasgad ceudameatair 14.A bheil fios agad na tha agam de dh'airgead? Chan eil
15.D na phigh thu airson an taigh? 16.C an t a bhuannaich an crannchur niseanta? 'S e t Dn ideann
17.C uime a bha iad a' sgrobhadh? 18.D cho leathan 's tha an semar-suidhe?
19.C dha dh'innseas mi an sgeul? Innis do Mhiri i 20.Cia mheud irleach a tha ann an slait?

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig

1.How long were you working at sea? Three years

2.Who were they talking about? About themselves
3.I don't know where he's from 4.How many fish did you catch yesterday? One
5.How many times do (will) I need to say that 6.Who owns the big house on the hill? Its Calum's
7.Whose is the red pen? It's mine 8.Who did you grasp by the hand?
9.How much change do you have in your pocket? 10.Who was she writing to (gu)? (It's) to her grandmother
11.Who has the toothache? She has 12.To whom did you give the present? (It's) to my friend
13.Who was wearing the pink dress? Miri 14.Who's the man that caught the biggest fish? (It's) Calum
15.What were you listening to on the radio? 16.How much did the book cost? Six pounds
17.Who did you send the parcel to? (It's) to my uncle 18.Who did you get the parcel from? (It's) from my aunt
19.Did you see how many people were there? 20.Who knows when we will see them again?

1.Who knows? 2.How many people can (will) your car take (hold)? Four
3.How often do you come here? 4.Where is your mother from? She's from Inverness
5.Who were you enquiring about? (It's) about Miri 6.How abundant are the trout in this loch?
7.I don't know how many yards there are in a mile 8.Who are you thinking about (on)? My grandfather
9.How many times were you in Portree? 10.Who has a cold? (It's on) me
11.How long will he be staying with you? 12.I don't know at all who I can (will) get a loan from
13.What height are you? One metre and sixty centimetres 14.Do you know how much money I have? No
15.How much did you pay for the house? 16.Who's the woman that won the national lottery? (It's) a woman from Edinburgh
17.Who/What are you writing about? 18.How broad is the sitting room?
19.Who can (will) I tell the story to? Tell it to Miri 20.How many inches are there in a yard?

1.D cho fada 's a bha sibh ag obair aig muir? Tr bliadhna 2.C uime a bha iad a' bruidhinn? 'S ann umpa fhin
3.Chan eil fios agam c s a tha e 4.Cia mheud iasg a ghlac thu an-d? A h-aon
5.Cia mheud turas a dh'fheumas mi sin a rdh 6.C leis a tha an taigh air a' chnoc? Is le Calum e
7.C aige tha am peann dearg? 'S agamsa e 8.C air a rug thu air an limh?
9.D na tha agad de dh'iomlaid nad phcaid? 10.C thuige bha i a' sgrobhadh? 'S ann gu a seanmhair
11.C air a tha an dideadh? 'S ann oirrese 12.C dha thug sibh an tiodhlac? 'S ann do mo charaid
13.C air a bha an dreasa phinc? 'S ann air Miri 14.C am fear a ghlac an t-iasg as motha? 'S e Calum
15.C ris a bha thu ag isteachd air an ridio? 16.D na chosg an leabhar? Sia notaichean
17.C thuige a chuir thu am pasgan? 'S ann gu m' uncail 18.C bhuaithe a fhuair thu am pasgan? 'S ann bho m' antaidh
19a.Am faca tu na bha ann de dhaoine?
19b.Am faca tu cia mheud duine a bha ann?
20.C aige tha fhios cuin a ch sinn a-rithist iad

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