Adjective Phrases

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Adjectives in Scottish Gaelic

Adjective Agreement in Scottish Gaelic

beag Singular Plural
'small' Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Nominative beag bheag b(h)eaga b(h)eaga
Genitive bhig bige beag(a) beaga
Dative b(h)eag bhig b(h)eag(a) b(h)eag(a)
Vocative bhig bheag beag(a) beag(a)
(Lamb 2001)

Adjective Ordering in Scottish Gaelic

  • The relative ordering between three classes of adjectives such as size, quality and color is size > quality > color.
mòr briagha dubh
dog big beautiful black
'a big beautiful black dog.' (MacAulay 1992)


  • Adverbs as adjectival intensifiers
fior dhroch latha
truly bad dat
'a truly bad day.'
latha glè mhath
day very good
'a very good day.'
latha uabhasach dona
day terribly bad
'a terribly bad day.'
  • Adjective repetition as adjectival intensification
latha math math
day good good
'a good, good day.'

Comparative and superlative adjectives

  • Basic
an t-eun glas
the bird gray
'a gray bird.' (MacAulay 1992)
  • Indefinite comparative
eun nas glaise
bird more gray.comp
'a grayer bird.' (MacAulay 1992)
  • Definite comparative
an t-eun a 's glaise
the bird wh-C cop gray.comp
'the grayer bird.' (MacAulay 1992)
  • Superlative (only definite; no indefinite superlative)
an t-eun as glaise
the bird cop.rel gray.comp
'the grayest bird.' (MacAulay 1992)
  • More examples
Tha an t-eun nas glaise na 'n chat
be the bird more gray.comp than 'n cat
'The bird is grayer than the cat.' (MacAulay 1992)
Tha an t-eun cho glas ris a' chat
be the bird so gray with the cat
'The bird is as gray as the cat.' (MacAulay 1992)

See Also