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Plurals and More Plurals

April 23, 2011

Continuing with the first two methods of creating plurals.

  • add an (or ean if the last vowel is e or i)
  • place i after the last broad vowel (a, o, or u)


  • aon òran, dà òran, seachd òrain  (oon AWR-un, dah AWR-un, shechk AWR-en) one song, two song(s), seven songs
  • aon torman, dà thorman, ochd tormanan (oon TOHR-mun, dah HOR-mun, ochk TOHR-muh-nen) one murmur, two murmur(s), eight murmurs
  • aon tonn, dà thonn, naoi tonnan  (oon town, dah hown, NOO-ih TOWN-en) one wave, two wave(s), nine waves


Try using these and previous plurals in sentences using verbs and prepositions you have learned.


  •  a h-aon, a dhà, a trì, a ceithir, a còig, a sia, a seachd, a h-ochd, a naoi, a deich. 
  • When using numbers with a noun, drop the a’s and h‘s
  • aon lenites its following noun starting with all letters except l, n, r, d, t, s, and vowels
  • dhà/dà:
    • dhà is free-standing,  is used before nouns. 
    • nouns following dhà/dà take their dative, singular, lenited form 
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ossian permalink
    December 7, 2017 9:46 pm

    So when to use the -an and how do I recognize nouns in which to insert -i ? Because in caileag the last vowel is broad “a” but the plural is still caileagan, not caileaig. Same with tuathan and thormanan . Is it linked to the gender of the nouns? Or is this arbitrary, so one has to learn for each noun singlely which of the both methods to use?

    • January 5, 2018 3:45 pm

      Hi, Ossian, I’m pretty sure I have the answer to that in my grammar books and will try to find that answer for you.

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