The Dative Singular Case of Feminine Nouns

Features in Common with the Nominative Singular Nouns
The definite article and definite nouns are identical to nominative singular definite nouns (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)three.gif (1008 bytes)).

Features in Common with the Dative Singular Masculine Nouns
Combined forms of the definite article with the simple prepositions ending in a vowel   bho, de, do, fo, mu, ro and tro are identical to dative singular masculine nouns
  (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)five.gif (1001 bytes)).

Additional Features of Dative Singular Feminine Nouns
Additionally, feminine dative singular nouns show a variety of  internal modifications. These changes are the same for both definite and indefinite feminine singular nouns. The general principle is to make the final vowel of a word narrow, i.e. an i. This practice is  known as slenderisation.

In spoken Gidhlig the internal modifications of the dative singular are frequently not used; the nominative form sufficing, particularly when the noun is indefinite. However, they are used in formal speech and show less erosion in the written language.

To help you recognise the changes they are best placed into distinct types. The nominative definite singular noun is given as a reference point.

Type 1
In monosyllabic nouns a letter i is inserted after the last broad vowel after a change in the final broad vowel
Most common changes are a >> oi and o >> ui :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' chas - the leg air a' chois - on the leg air cois - on a leg
an long - the ship air an luing - on the ship air luing - on a ship

Type 2

In both mono- and polysyllabic nouns a letter i is inserted after the broad vowel a :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
an lmh - the hand air an limh - on the hand air limh - on a hand
a' mharag - the pudding leis a' mharaig - with the pudding le maraig - with a pudding
an t(i)n - the rump air an tin - on the rump air tin - on a rump

Type 3
In  polysyllabic nouns the final vowel group ea will change to ei
Most common change is the ending  -eag >> -eig :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' chaileag - the girl aig a' chaileig - at the girl aig caileig - at a girl
an uinneag - the window ris an uinneig - against the window ri uinneig - against a window

Type 4
The vowel group ea will change to i :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' chailleach - the old woman dhan chaillich - to the old woman do chaillich - to an old woman
a' chearc - the hen fon chirc -  under the hen fo chirc - under a hen

Type 5
In monosyllabic nouns the diphthong ia will change to i :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' ghrian - the sun fon ghrin - under the sun fo ghrin - under a sun

Type 6

In monosyllabic nouns the diphthong o will change to i :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' chroch - the boundary aig a' chrch - at the boundary aig crch - at a boundary

Type 7

There is no change when the noun ends in a vowel or -chd,  or if the last vowel is already an i :
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' chaora - the sheep fon chaora - under the sheep fo chaora - under a sheep
an naidheachd - the news leis an naidheachd - with the news le naidheachd - with news
a' chilidh - the ceilidh aig a' chilidh - at the ceilidh aig cilidh - at a ceilidh

In a very few cases the dative is irregular or shows no change
:
Nominative Definite Singular Dative Definite Singular Dative Indefinite Singular
a' bhth - the shop anns a' bhth - in the shop ann am bth - in a shop
a' bhean - the wife leis a' mhnaoi - with the wife le mnaoi - with a wife

NEW WORDS

Adjectives
dubh - black geal  - white
olc  - evil sbhailte - safe

Conjunctions
oir - for, because

Nouns
The datives are given in this lesson. For others see the Vocabulary section
bth (f) - shop cailleach, caillich (f) - old woman
caora (f) - sheep cas, cois (f) - leg,foot
cearc, circ (f) - hen, chicken cilidh (f) - ceilidh
croch, crch (f) - end, boundary feannag, feannaig (f) - crow
fearg, feirg (f) - anger Gdhlig (f) - Gidhlig language
grian, grin (f) - sun lmh, limh (f) - hand
madainn (f) - morning muir (f) - sea
naidheachd (f) - news poit (f) - pot
sgeulachd (f) - story, tale slat, slait (f) - rod, wand
sgiath, sgith (f) - wing, shield srid (f) - street
t(i)n, tin (f) -  rump, backside ine (f) - time, spell
uinneag, uinneig (f) - window

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
(In brackets are common spoken forms. These should not be written)
1.Tha an litir seo dhan chaillich (dhan chailleach) 2.Bha a' ghrian blth anns a' mhadainn
3.Nach robh iad aig a' mhuir tron oidhche? Bha 4.Bha i anns an leabaidh tron mhadainn
5.Bha sgeul mun chaileig (mun chaileag) sin anns an naidheachd 6.Tha a' Ghidhlig gl inntinneach, nach eil?
7.Bha sgeulachd inntinneach anns an litir 8.Tha an nighean ris an uinneig (ris an uinneag) oir tha a' ghrian blth
9.Bha slat fhada r ann anns a' bhth 10.Tha bth r ann air an t-srid sin
11.Nach robh iad ine fhada anns a' bhaile 12.Tha an sgeulachd ghoirid seo anns a' Ghidhlig
13.Bha an c donn air an fheur ris a' ghrin (ris a' ghrian) 14.Bha sgiath dhonn air a' chirc (air a' chearc)

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.The old woman was in the shop in the morning 2.She was at the shop along with the girl
3.The girl was safe under the shield 4.The evil hand was on the wand
5.I wasn't at the window in the morning 6.He was in bed through the night
7.He was red with anger 8.The chicken is in the pot
9.The black sheep (sing.) is very hot under the sun 10.Weren't you at the ceilidh? Yes, I was there a short spell
11.The dog was near the girl 12.Crows are black, but there is a white wing on that crow
13.The girl is wet because she was in the sea 14.The story was terrible at the end

ANSWERS EXERCISE 1
1.This letter is for the old woman 2.The sun was warm in the morning
3.Were they not at (the) sea through the night? Yes 4.She was in (the) bed during (through) the morning
5.There was a story about that girl in the news 6.Gidhlig is very interesting, isn't it?
7.There was an interesting story in the letter 8.The girl is at the window because the sun is warm
9.There was new long (fishing) rod in the shop 10.There is a new shop on that street
11.Weren't they a long time in (the) town? 12.This short story is in Gidhlig
13.The brown dog on the grass was (exposed) to the sun 14.The hen had a brown wing (lit. There was a brown wing on the hen)

ANSWERS EXERCISE 2 (In brackets are common spoken forms. These should not be written)
1.Bha a' chailleach anns a' bhth anns a' mhadainn 2.Bha i aig a' bhth cmhla ris a' chaileig (ris a' chaileag)
3.Bha a' chaileag sbhailte fon sgith (fon sgiath) 4.Bha an lmh olc air an t-slait (air an t-slat)
5.Cha robh mi aig an uinneig (aig an uinneag) anns a' mhadainn 6.Bha e anns an leabaidh tron oidhche
7.Bha e dearg le feirg (le fearg) 8.Tha a' chearc anns a' phoit
9.Tha a' chaora dhubh gl theth fon ghrin (fon ghrian) 10.Nach robh thu ann aig a' chilidh? Bha, bha mi ann ine ghoirid
11.Bha an c faisg air a' chaileig (air a' chaileag) 12.Tha feannagan dubh, ach tha sgiath gheal air an fheannaig sin (air an fheannag sin)
13.Tha an nighean fliuch oir bha i anns a' mhuir 14.Bha an sgeulachd uabhasach aig a' chrch (aig a' chroch)

This lesson in PDF format

Lessons.gif (3478 bytes)

dmlelland - Faodar na leasanan seo ath-riochdachadh le aithneachadh dhan ghdar
dmlelland - These lessons may be reproduced with credit to the author