0. Contents


  1. Syntax
  2. Semantics

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

1. Syntax


a. The definite variant of do is don/dhan. 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 this is elided).

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

b. The conjugated prepositions for do are as follows:

singular


masc
fem
plural
first
dhomh
dhuinn
second
dhu(i)t
dhuibh
third
dha
dhi
dhaibh

For example:
  • dhomh (to me) should be used instead of *do mi.
  • dhaibh (to them) should be used instead of *do iad.

c. There is also a set of emphatic conjugated prepositions for do:

singular


masc
fem
plural
first
dhòmhsa
dhuinne
second
dhutsa
dhuibhse
third
dhàsan
dhìse
dhaibhsan

d. The optional possessive prepositions for do are as follows:

singular
plural
first
dom/dham
dor
second
dod/dhad
dhur
third
?
doN/dhaN

For example:
  • dham thaigh (to my house) may be used instead of do mo thaigh.
  • dhur n-eaglaisean (from your churches) may be used instead of do ur n-eaglaisean.

e. When the preposition do is followed by a noun(?) beginning with either a vowel or f- (which reduces to a vowel when lenited), the noun is prefixed with dh' (in a form of reduplication).

For example:
  • do dh'Anna (to Ann).
  • do dh'Iain (to John).
  • do dh'eaglais (to a church).
  • do dh'eaglaisean (to churches).
  • do dh'fhalt (to hair).

f. The preposition do is frequently reduced to a, especially before place names.

For example:
  • a Ghlaschu (to Glasgow) is a variant on do Glaschu.
  • a dh'Inbhir Nis (to Inverness) is a variant on do dh'Inbhir Nis.

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2. Semantics


a. Ability:
  • Is urrainn do Chalum. (Malcolm can)
  • B' urrainn dhomh. (I could)

b. Knowing a person:
  • Is aithne do Sheumas Màiri. (James knows Mary)
  • Is aithne dhomh e. (I know him)
  • An aithne dhuibh a chèile? (Do you know one another?)

c. Obligation:
  • Bu chòir do Mhàiri. (Mary should.)
  • Cha bu chòir dhut. (You shouldn't)

Data:
  • Chaidh mi a dh'Inbhir Nis. (I went to Inverness)
  • Chaidh mi dhan bhaile. (I went into the town)

CM:
  • Feumaidh sinn a bhith dìleas do na geallaidhean a thug sinn. (We must be faithful to the promised that we made)
  • Chaidh i suas do a seòmar fhèin. (She went up to (and into) her own room)
  • Thug e an sgian dheàlrach ùr don bhalach. (He gave the shiny new knife to the boy)
  • Thoir tiotal don sgeulachd (give the story a title)
  • dhan a' Ghàidhlig (for Gaelic)
  • Thug mi do dh'Iain e. (I gave it to John)
  • Tha sinn a' dol do Inbhir Nis/do dh'Inbhir Nis/a dh'Inbhir Nis. (We are going to Inverness)
  • Thug e leabhar dhomh. (He gave me a book)
  • Rugadh dithis chloinne dhaibh. (Two children were born to them)
  • Thug mi dhi e. (I gave it to her)
  • Thoir dha e (give it to him)
  • Co dha a thug e aoigheachd? (To whom did he give hospitality?)
  • Bha litir aig a' phosta do a mhàthair. (The postman had a letter for his mother)
  • Tha litir agam an seo agus 's ann dhutsa a tha i. (I have a letter here and it's for you)
  • Chan eil càil an seo dhomhsa. (There is nothing for me here)
  • Chan eil math do dhuine a bhith a' smaoineachadh air rudan mar sin. (It's not good for a person to be thinking about things like that)
  • Tha an leabhar seo anabarrach saor dha mheudachd. (This book is awfully cheap for its size)
  • chan e sin do bhàrdachd MhicC... (not so for MacC's poetry)
  • Tha mi taingeil airson na tha thu a' dèanamh dhomh. (I am thankful for what you are doing for me)
  • do dh'eilean beag tha mòran de bhàrdachd a' tighinn às (for a little island, a lot of poetry comes out of it)
  • Tha e na charaid dhomh. (He is a friend/relative of mine)
  • Bha e na fhìor nàmhaid do Chalum. (He was a real enemy of Calum)
  • 'S e ogha do Sheumas Beag a tha ann an Tòmas. (Thomas is a grandson of little James)
  • Seo dhut! (I told you so!)

Chaidh sinn dhan taigh-dhealbh. (We went to the cinema)
Chaidh i fhèin agus Anna a dh'Inbhir Nis. (She and Anna went to Inverness)
Chuir mi an càr dhan gharaids. (I put the car in the garage)
Chaidh mi dhan bhanca. (I went to the bank)

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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