0. Contents


  1. Syntax
  2. Semantics

This page is about the leniting, dative-governing preposition de. Many of its properties are already described on the page about prepositions.

1. Syntax


a. The definite variant of de is d(h)en. The former cannot be immediately followed by a singular/dual form of the definite article (i.e. leniting an); the latter must be immediately followed by a singular/dual form of the definite article (unless it is elided).

For example:
  • de chaileig (of a girl), de chaileagan (of girls), de na caileagan (of the girls).
  • *de a' chaileig (of the girl).
  • dhen a' chaileig (of the girl).
  • *dhen na caileagan (of the girls).
  • dhen chaileig (of the girl) is a variant on dhen a' chaileig, not to be confused with de chaileig (of a girl).

b. The conjugated prepositions for de are as follows:

singular


masc
fem
plural
first
dhìom
dhinn
second
dhìot
dhibh
third
dheth
dhith
dhuibh

For example:
  • dhìom (of me) should be used instead of *de mi.
  • dhiubh (of them) should be used instead of *de iad.

c. There is also a set of emphatic conjugated personal pronouns:

singular


masc
fem
plural
first


second


third




d. The possessive prepositions for de are as follows:

singular
plural
first
d(h)em
d(h)er
second
d(h)ed
d(h)ur
third
dhe
d(h)eN

For example:
  • dhem thaigh (of my house) may be used instead of de mo thaigh.
  • dhur n-eaglaisean (of your churches) may be used instead of de ur n-eaglaisean.

e. Prefixes dh' to an immediately following word beginning with a vowel or fh-. [i.e. reduplication]

For example:
  • de dh'fhalt (of hair)

f. Often weakened to "a".

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2. Semantics


latha dheth (a day off)
Bha latha dheth agam. (I had a day off)

Tha na 129 buill de Phàrlamaid na h-Alba a’ sireadh gaisgich ionadail air feadh na h-Alba. (The 129 members of the Scottish Parliament are searching for local heroes throughout Scotland)

Mar phàirt den chaismeachd, coisichidh na gaisgich còmhla ri 1,500 de dh’Albannaich a’ gabhail a-steach clann-sgoile, luchd-pàrlamaid, luchd-stiùiridh creideimh agus aoighean eile bhon t-saoghal phoblach. (As part of the march, the heroes will walk along with 1,500 Scots, including schoolchildren, parlamentarians, faith leaders and other visitors from the public world.)

Tha na h-oifisean aca air an dàrna ùrlar de thogalach nam ball, còmhla rin càirdean Tòraidheach a rinn cùisean cho doirbh dhaibh. (Their offices are on the second floor of the members building, along with the Tory friends who made things so difficult for them)

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