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Third Method of Creating Plurals

April 25, 2011

The third of Roderick MacKinnon’s nine methods of creating plurals:

  • Substitute i for the last broad vowel (a, o, u) or for ea in the nominative singular.


  • each, eich   (i replaced a: each, aych)   horse, horses
  • fear, fir   (i replaced ea: fer, feer )   man, men
  • coibhneas, coibhneis   (i replaced a: KOHV-nes, KOHV-nish)   kindness, kindnesses
  • ceann, cinn   (i replaced ea: kyoon*, keen )   head, heads

*very approximate on the pronunciation

Try using these and previous plurals in sentences using verbs and prepositions you have learned.  Use them with aon and , using the correct lenition, and with all the other numbers.


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)

Numbers and Lenition

  •  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
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