Sentential possession

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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

see also


  • Fisher, Muriel (2004) Scottish Gaelic: level 1. Seattle: Each-Mara Publications