Introduction to the Simple Prepositions

To help recognise trends the Simple Prepositions are best placed into distinct groups :

aig - at
aig doras - at a door
aig an doras - at the door
air - on
air leabaidh - on a bed
air an leabaidh - on the bed
gun - without
gun ch - without a dog *
gun an c - without the dog
mar - as, like
mar dhuine - like a man *
mar an duine - like the man

* mar and gun lenite indefinite nouns except those beginning with l, n, r, sg, sm, sp or st.  (You probably recognise these exceptions from lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)four.gif (1009 bytes)).

These prepositions all lenite an indefinite noun except those beginning with l, n, r, sg, sm, sp or st.
All combine with the singular definite article an.
The definite article an loses its initial a; e.g. bho + an >> bhon
bho / o - from
bho leabhar / o leabhar - from a book
bhon leabhar / on leabhar - from the book
de - of, off
de theine - of fire
den teine * - of the fire
dha / do - to
dha taigh  / do thaigh - to a house
dhan taigh / don taigh - to the house
fo - under, below
fo thruinnsear - under a plate
fon truinnsear - under the plate
mu - about
mu dhealbh - about a picture
mun dealbh - about the picture
ro - before
ro thubaist - before a accident
ron tubaist - before the accident
tro - through
tro dhoras - through a door
tron doras - through the door

* den often appears as dhen in both the spoken and written language
dha does not lenite the following indefinite noun. do is the preferred preposition with the indefinite noun

do has the special reduced form a (a dh' before a vowel) when used before placenames:
a Ghlaschu - to Glasgow a dh'Inbhir Nis - to Inverness


These prepositions have separate forms for definite and indefinite nouns. The prepositions assume a final s before definite articles.
(s - with definite noun)  - from, out of
taigh - out of a house
s an taigh - out of the house
ann an (anns - with definite noun) - in
ann an leabaidh - in a bed
ann am bta - in a boat *
anns an leabaidh - in the bed
gu (also: gus - with definite noun) - to, until
gu taigh - to a house
gun taigh (also: gus an taigh) - to the house
le (leis - with definite noun) - with, by
le leabhar - with a book
leis an leabhar - with the book
ri (ris - with definite noun) - to, at, against
ri sgthan - against a mirror
ris an sgthan - against the mirror

* Use ann am for nouns beginning with b, f, m or p

Simple prepositions are often the second element in a complex preposition. The first element never changes in this group :
faisg air leabhar - near a book faisg air an leabhar - near the book

An Idiomatic Use of ann
One important idiomatic use of ann is where it denotes presence or existence or when something is happening :
Tha Calum ann - Calum is present / Calum is here
Bha mi ann? - I was present / I was there
Tha cilidh ann a-nochd - There is a ceilidh on tonight


ach - however

c (m) - dog dealbh (m) - picture
rm (m) - room, free space taigh-sta (m) - hotel
truinnsear (m) - plate
sgeilp (f) - shelf sgeul (f) - story
tubaist (f) - accident toit (f) - smoke

Dn ideann - Edinburgh Glaschu - Glasgow
Inbhir Nis - Inverness Sternabhagh - Stornoway

(s - with a definite noun ) - from (place), out of aig - at
air - on ann an (anns - with a definite noun ) - in
bho /o - from dha / do - to
de - of, off fo - under, below
gu (gus - with a definite noun ) - to, until gun - without
le (leis - with a definite noun ) - with, by mar - as, like
mu - about ri (ris - with a definite noun ) - to, at, against
ro - before tro - through
cmhla ri(s) - together with cuide ri(s) - together with
faisg air - near seachad air - past
thairis air - across

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.An robh thu anns an eaglais? 2.Tha an gille anns an rm
3.Cha robh duine aig an doras 4.A bheil thu aig an sgoil? Tha
5.Bha i tinn agus cha robh i aig an sgoil 6.Tha mi gl bhlth faisg air an teine
7.Bha iad ris an doras 8.Bha sinn ri sgeilp
9.Nach robh sibh air an leabaidh? 10.Tha e Inbhir Nis
11.Bha iad bhon taigh tron oidhche 12.Nach eil an c fon leabaidh?
13.Bha i cmhla ris an duine 14.Tha a' chaileag air an lr cuide ri c
15.Bha leabhar ann

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.The man is busy on the road 2.There is a girl in a boat on the river
3.He is from Stornoway 4.She was in school however he was not
5.Are  they not from Edinburgh?, No 6.She is from Glasgow and he is from Edinburgh
7.They were in the hotel, however I was at home 8.We weren't very hot at the fire
9.There is a letter from that girl (nighean) 10.He was in the picture of that story
11.The room was dirty with the smoke 12.The boy was in the house
13.There isn't an empty room in this house

1.Were you in (the) church? 2.The boy is in the room
3.There was no-one (a man) at the door 4.Are you at (the) school? Yes
5.She was ill and wasn't at school 6.I am very warm near the fire
7.They were at (against) the door 8.We were at(against) a shelf
9.Were  you not on the bed? 10.He is from Inverness
11.They were (away) from home through the night 12.Is the dog not under the bed?
13.She was (along) with the man 14.The girl is on the floor (together) with a dog
15.There was a book there

1.Tha am fear trang air an rathad 2.Tha caileag ann am bta air an abhainn
3.Tha e Sternabhagh 4.Bha i anns an sgoil ach cha robh e
5.Nach eil iad Dn ideann? Chan eil 6.Tha i Glaschu agus tha e Dn ideann
7.Bha iad anns an taigh-sta, ach bha mi aig an taigh 8.Cha robh sinn gl theth aig an teine
9.Tha litir ann bhon nighean sin 10.Bha e anns an dealbh den sgeul sin
11.Bha an semar salach leis an toit 12.Bha am balach anns an taigh
13.Chan eil rm falamh anns an taigh seo

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