Numbers in Gaelic can be confusing, as singular and plural numbers are not always as straightforward as they are in English. Numbers in Gaelic can be confusing, as singular and plural numbers are not always as straightforward as they are in English.
If you need to refresh your memory of Gaelic numbers, use our Fichead Facal list of Gaelic numbers 1-20.
When counting objects, aon (the number one) always uses the singular and lenites words which begin with b, c, f, g, m and p.
D, t and s, if they are followed by a vowel at the beginning of a word, lenite under different circumstances:
Words starting with other consonants do not lenite when following aon.
Dà (the number two) always uses the singular, unlike in English, and lenites the following word unless they begin with h, l, n, r or a vowel:
Dà also lenites adjectives:
Two black sheep, two spotted cows, two sheepdogs, and two small foals
Numbers that take the singular
Other numbers that always use the singular include dusan (12), fichead (20), all the other tens, ceud (100), mìle (1,000) and millean (1,000,000):
Nouns that always take the singular
Some nouns remain singular when counting multiples. These include bliadhna, latha, oidhche, and sgillinn:
It is also worth noting that the question "Cia mheud?" (How many?) also uses the singular:
And finally, if you are counting between two and ten people, there are special numbers that are used. These are only used for people:
Further numbers are made up by adding "nar" or "near" to the original number.