Adjective Ordering

O Goireasan Akerbeltz
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Languages have a certain order in which you can attach adjectives to the noun they are describing. For example, in English, it sounds odd to a native speaker to talk about a *black beautiful big dog, whereas a beautiful big black dog is perfectly acceptable. In the same way, adjectives in Gaelic are attached in a certain order, as follows:

[Noun] [Size] [Quality] [Colour]

So our canine friend would be described as:

cù mór brèagha dubh

You can either remember the order that way or think of it that way: because size matters, size goes closest to the noun, and because love sees no colour, colour is furthest away. But it doesn't matter which way you remember it as long as you remember it.

Here are more examples:

caileag mhór laghach ruadh
girl big nice red-haired
a nice tall red haired girl
càr beag saor uaine
car small cheap green
a cheap small green car

These aren't ironclad rules, in case someone was going to email in with nighean donn bhòidheach. They're more like strong guidelines although I suspect that our nighean donn bhòidheach may be muddled due to the fact that the composer of this song wanted it to rhyme with the next few lines!

Beagan gràmair
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