If-type Conjunctions

1. Rendering the Meaning If

Using Ma

The conjunction Ma was introduced in . This conjunction is limited to the positive relative verb and can be used with only: (1) the Present, Past and Future tenses of the verb To Be; (2) the Present tense of the Assertive Verb; (3) the Past (Finite) and Future tenses of other verbs. The meaning is factual rather than conjectural :
Verb Tense Example
To Be Present Ma tha thu fuar, cuir ort do chta - If you're cold, put on your coat
(lit. If you are in fact cold, put on your coat)
Past Ma bha thu sona ann, carson a dh'fhg thu? - If you were happy there, why did you leave?
Future Ma bhios sde mhath ann, gabhaidh sinn cuirm-chnuic air an trigh - If the weather is (will be) good, we'll have a picnic on the beach
Assertive Present Mas e do roghainn e, ceannaich e - If it's your preference, buy it
Mas ann fuar a bhios an l, cha ghabh sinn cuirm-chnuic air an trigh -  If the day is cold, we will not have a picnic on the beach
All Others Past Bidh e fhathast ann, ma dh'fhg thu an sin e - It will still be there if you left it there
Future Bidh tu nas cofhartaile, ma chuireas tu dhot do chta -  You'll be more comfortable, if you take off your coat

Ma + is (Assertive Verb) combines to give Mas

Using Nan / Nam

The conjunction Nan / Nam is always used with the dependent form of the verb and can be used with only: (1) the Conditional tense of verbs; (2) the Conditional tense of the Assertive Verb; (3) the Past tense of the verb To Be. In contrast to Ma, the meaning of Nan / Nam is conjectural and is used to introduce a conditional clause :
Verb Tense Example
To Be Past

Nan robh mi na bu shine, phsainn a-mireach thu - If  I were older I would marry you tomorrow

Nan robh thu smhach chluinneadh tu mi - If you were quiet you would hear me
Assertive Conditional

Nam b' e an-diugh an-d, cha bhitheadh tu cho grach - If today were yesterday, you would not be so foolish

Nam b' ann an-d a thisich thu, bhiodh tu deiseil an-diugh - If you had started yesterday, you would be finished today
All Others Conditional

Nam biodh tu smhach chluinneadh tu mi - If you would (= were to) be quiet you would hear me

Nan suidheadh sibh sos bhiodh sibh na bu chofhartaile - If you would sit down you would be more comfortable

With Nan / Nam the Past and Conditional tenses of the verb To Be are identical in meaning

The use the Past tense of the verb To Be in Gidhlig is analogous to English. The mood is subjunctive :

Nan robh thu deanadach, gheibheadh tu tuarastal math - If you were industrious, you'd get a good salary

Nan robh iad glic, cha choisicheadh iad air deigh thana - If they were wise they wouldn't walk on thin ice

The last two examples can equally well be represented by the Conditional tense of the verb To Be :

Nam biodh tu deanadach, gheibheadh tu tuarastal math - If you were industrious, you'd get a good salary

Nam biodh iad glic, cha choisicheadh iad air deigh thana - If they were wise they wouldn't walk on thin ice


2. Asking an Indirect Question

To ask an indirect question simply follow the main clause in a sentence by an interrogative :
Statement Meaning

A bheil fhios agad an robh i aig a' chilidh

lit. Do you know, was she at the ceilidh?
= Do you know whether she was at the ceilidh?
= Do you know if she was at the cilidh?

Chan fhaca mi an robh cr r aige

lit. I didn't see, did he have a new car
= I  didn't see whether he had a new car
= I didn't see if he had a new car

Dh'fhaighnich e an do cheannaich iad taigh r

lit. He enquired, did they buy a new house
= He enquired whether they bought a new house
= He enquired if they bought a new house


3. Rendering the Meaning Unless

The conjunction Mur / Mura was introduced in . It is mentioned again here for completeness. It can be translated as Unless or If Not and is followed by the dependent form of the verb :
Mura dan thu an obair, chan fhaigh thu duais - Unless you do the work, you will not get an reward
Mura bi thu smhach, disgidh tu an leanabh - If you are not quiet, you'll waken the baby

Mur ith mi an drsta, bidh an t-acras orm fhathast - If I don't eat just now, I'll be hungry later

Mur eil thu tinn, siuthad - Unless you are ill, carry on / If you are not ill carry on

‡ Mur is used before a vowel
† Eil always replaces Bheil after Mur

4. Rendering the Meaning Even If

The conjunction Ged was introduced in with the meaning Though. It can also have the meaning Even If or Even Though :
Bidh sinn a' dol a shnmh ged a tha an t-uisge fuar - We'll be going swimming even if the water is cold
Am bi sibh a' dol ann ged nach eil ticead agaibh? - Will you be going even if you don't have a ticket?


NEW WORDS

Adverbs
a dh'oidhche - at night, of a night air chall - lost, astray

coma - indifferent, without a care


Nouns

cairt-iil (m) - map

deireadh-sheachdain (m) - weekend
putan (m) - button sgilean-uisge (m) - umbrella
tuarastal (m) - wage, salary
cin (f) - fine comain (f) - favour, obligation
cs (f) - tax dil (f) - delay
mearachd (f) - mistake obair-dachaigh (f)  - homework
roghainn (f) - choice, preference slinte (f) - health
ticead (f) - ticket

Pronouns
an dithis againn / an triir againn / &c - the two of us / the three of us / &c
an dithis agaibh / an triir agaibh / &c - the two of you / the three of you / &c
an dithis aca / an triir aca / &c - the two of them  / the three of three / &c

Verbs
disg, dsgadh - wake, awaken ist, isteachd (ri) - listen (to)
feith, feitheamh (air) - wait (for) fuaigheil, fuaigheal - sew

nigh, nighe - wash

put, putadh - push
rach air chall, dol air chall - get lost, go astray tadhail, tadhal (air) - visit

Verbal Phrases
nam chomain / nad chomain / na chomain / &c - in my favour / in your favour / in his favour / &c
Tha mi nad chomain - I am obliged to you
Tha mi fada nad chomain - I am much obliged to you


EXERCISE 1 Translate into English

1.Ma tha fios agad far a bheil i, innis dhomh gun dil

2.Mura cm thu ri d' obair anns an sgoil chan fhaigh thu obair mhath
3.Chan eil fios agam an tid mi dhan chilidh 4.Nam bu mhise do mhthair chuirinn chun an t-semair agad thu
5.Mur ist thu rium cha bhi fios agad mar a n thu e 6.Ma thid thu a Ghlaschu, tadhail air mo phrantan
7.Mur urrainn dhut innse dhomh an sgeul, faighnichidh mi de dhuine eile 8.Mur toil leat cl, fg air oir an truinnseir e
9.Nam b' urrainn dhut sin a dhanamh dhomhsa, bhithinnsa fada nad chomain 10.Nan laigheadh tu sos, thuiteadh tu nad chadal
11.Mura leugh sinn gu ceart e, n sinn mearachd 12.Ith an cl, ged nach toil leat e
13.Ged a tha e beartach, feumaidh e feitheamh mar a h-uile duine eile 14.Nan robh fios agam an-d na tha agam an-diugh
15.Mura dan iad an obair-dachaigh, gheibh iad peanas anns an sgoil a-mireach 16.Ma rinn sibh gu cerr e, danaibh a-rithist e
17.Ma phutas tusa is mise an cr gluaisidh e 18.Mur eil cairt-iil agaibh, thid sibh air chall

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig

1.If you are in good health you may climb the mountain

2.If you don't have an umbrella you will get (become) wet
3.If you were strong you could (would) lift that great weight 4.Will you wash the dishes for me if I give you a pound?
5.If the pair of us were to push the car I am sure it would start 6.I asked her if she would sew a button on my shirt
7.If we were to paint the walls white the room would be brighter 8.If they were to lock the door at night, the house would be much safer
9.If you were sit up straight, your back wouldn't be sore 10.Even if you don't care, I'll keep an eye on them
11.If you don't listen to my advice, you'll get be lost 12.If they don't pay the taxes soon they will need to pay a fine
13.If you don't wash the dishes you won't get any money at the weekend 14.Even if I don't like them, I wouldn't like to see them without food and a place to stay
15.If the children do not play quietly, I will send them outside 16.If they were to write more slowly, their writing would be neater

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 1
1.If you know where she is, tell me immediately (without delay) 2.If you don't keep at your work in school you'll not get a good job
3.I don't know whether (if) I'll go to the cilidh 4.If I were your mother I would send you to your room
5.Unless you listen to me you won't know how (as) you'll do it 6.If you go to Glasgow visit my parents
7.If you can't tell me the story, I will ask someone else 8.If you don't like cabbage, leave it on the edge of the plate
9.If you could possibly do that for me, I would be much obliged to  you 10.If you were to lie down, you would fall asleep
11.If we don't read it correctly, we'll make a mistake 12.Eat the cabbage, even if you don't like it
13.Even if he is wealthy, he will need to wait like every one else 14.If I knew yesterday what I know today
15.If they don't do their homework, they will get a punishment in school tomorrow 16.If you did it wrong, do it again
17.If you and I push the car it will move 18.If you don't have a map you'll get lost

ANSWERS - EXERCISE 2
1.Ma tha thu ann an deagh shlinte faodaidh tu a' bheinn a streap 2.Mur eil sgilean-uisge agaibh fsaidh sibh fliuch
3.Nan robh thu lidir thogadh tu an cudrom mr sin 4.An nigh thu na soithichean air mo shon ma bheir mi nota dhut?
5.Nam putadh an dithis againn an cr tha mi cinnteach gun tisicheadh e 6.Dh'fhaighnich mi dhith am fuigheileadh i putan air mo line
7.Nam peantadh sinn na ballachan geal, bhiodh an semar na bu shoilleire 8.Nan glaiseadh iad an doras a dh'oidhche, bhiodh an taigh na bu shbhailte
9.Nan suidheadh tu gu dreach, cha bhiodh do dhruim goirt 10.Ged a tha thusa coma, cmaidh mi sil orra
11.Mur ist sibh ri mo chomhairle, thid sibh air chall 12.Mura pigh iad na csean a dh'aithghearr, feumaidh iad cin a phigheadh
13.Mura nigh thu na soithichean, chan fhaigh thu airgead aig an deireadh-sheachdain 14.Ged nach toil leam iad, cha bu toil leam am faicinn gun bhiadh is ite-fuirich
15.Mura cluich a' chlann gu smhach, cuiridh mi a-muigh iad 16.Nan sgrobhadh iad na bu mhaille, bhiodh an sgrobhadh aca na bu sgiobalta

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