Possession using 'Aig'
Gaelic has no verb 'have' . Instead sentential possession is indicated by using the verb Bi (irregular verb) (Tha, Bha, Bithidh etc) followed by the possessed element followed by the preposition aig and then the possessor:
Tha leabhar aig Calum Be.pres book at Calum Calum has a book
When the possessor is pronominal one of the inflected forms of aig (e.g. agam, agad, aige, etc.) is used:
Tha leabhar aige Be.pres book at.3sm He has a book
Idioms using Tha ... agam
- Need: Tha feum agam dòl "I need to go"
- Love: Tha gaol agam ort "I love you
- Love: Tha gràdh agam ort "I love you"
- Hate: Tha gràin aca oirnn. "They hate us"
- Know: Tha fios agam "I know"
- Remember: Tha cuimhn' agam air "I remember him"
Possession using Le
To indicate a more intimate kind of possession, such as ownership, Gaelic uses a structure parallel to the one above, using the preposition Le (preposition) meaning with, instead of aig. Just as Gaelic doesn't have a verb have it also doesn't have a verb "own:
Tha leabhar le Calum Be.pres book with Calum Calum owns a book
When the possessor is pronominal one of the inflected forms of le (e.g. leum, leat, leis, etc.) is used:
Tha leabhar leis Be.pres book with.3sm He owns a book
- Genitive case
- Possessive Pronouns
- how to indicate the perfect (I have eaten): Viewpoint Aspect
- how to indicate obligation (I have to go/I need to go): Modality
- Fisher, Muriel (2004) Scottish Gaelic: level 1. Seattle: Each-Mara Publications