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Do agus a

Do and a

What’s the difference between do and a

When talking about going to countries or towns, it’s normal to use a a shortened form of the preposition do Like do, a lenites the name of the place (when possible).   And adds dh before a vowel or fh+vowel.

But as we’ve seen already, some countries and towns in Gaelic start with ‘the’: the France, the Italy, the Little Bay (Oban), the Garrison (Fort William), so we need to say ‘to the’:  don, nowadays usually softened to  dhan.     

Dhan lenites the name in exactly the same way as anns a’ (in the): the consonants c, f, g, m, p change to ch, fh, gh, mh, ph, but d and t don’t change, and s gets knocked out by a t.

Letter | litir Do this | Dèan seo  
b, c, g, m, p lenite (+ h) a Ghlaschu 
s (not sg, sm, sp, st) lenite (+ h) a Shasainn 
a, e, i, o, u, +dh’ a dh’Alba  
+dh’ + lenite (+ h) a dh’Fharrais 
d, h, l, n, r, t, sg, sm, sp, st  a Nirribhidh