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She’s Right on Time

August 30, 2016

Sentences on time:

  • Chan eil e uair fhathast  (Chah nyeel eh OO-ud AHST*) It is not yet one o’clock
  • Bha e ann aig sia uairean.  (VAH ee OWN (rhymes with clown) ake SHEE-uh OO-din)
  • Nach robh i ann aig ceithir?  (nahch roe ee OWN ake KAY-hid (rolled R)?) Wasn’t she there at four?

*A reminder that pronunciations vary.  I have heard fhathast pronounced more like HAHST, also.  Similarly with e: I have heard a number of speakers say it with more of an eh sound, a distinct difference from (she), and on other sites, they sound exactly the same–ee.

A review of THE, remembering these are only two of the (oops, there’s that word again!) four sets of rules governing the many forms of THE:

For singulars, either masculine dative and genitive, or feminine nominative and dative:

  1. an most of the time
  2. a’  /lenite for  b, c, g, m, p
  3. am /lenite for f
  4. an t- for sl, sn, sr, or s + vowel

Examples of  b, m, p

  • banais, a’ bhanais (BAH-nish, ah VAHN-nish) wedding, the wedding
  • mile, a’ mhile (MEE-leh, a VEE-leh) mile, thousand; the mile, the thousand



  1. am before b, f, m, p
  2. an t- before any vowel
  3. an before everything else.

Examples–masculine singular nouns with b, f, m, p

  • blasad, am blasad (BLAH-sit, AHM BLAH-sit) taste, bite; the taste, the bite
  • fad, am fad (faht, ahm faht) length, duration; the length, the duration
  • meadhan, am meadhan (MEE-ahn, ahm MEE-ahn) center, middle; the center, the middle
  • maide, am maide (MAH-cheh, AM MAH-cheh) piece of wood, stick; the piece of wood, the stick

At my other blog today, Part 2 of the interview with Howard Jay Smith on Beethoven in Love Opus 139.  So a little Beethoven today: ceol, music:

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