I need you, I love you…

Today’s wee snippet is on expressing need, love, and hate. Of course, Gaelic doesn’t have verbs for “to love/need/hate”, but instead you have to say that you’ve love/hate/need in you for something/somebody. The nouns for these are:

need: feum
love: gràdh*
hate: gràin*

So, for all you lurvebirds out there:

“Tha gràdh agam ort” – I love you. Literally, ‘there is love at me on you’. Similarly:

“Tha gràdh agad orm” (you love me)
“Tha gràdh aig Effie air Dòmhnaill” (Effie loves Donald)
“Bha gràdh againn aig t-uisge beatha” (we used to love whiskey)

For the less romantic, ‘need’ is expressed similarly:

“A bheil feum agad orm?” (Do you need me?)
“An robh feum aig a’ nighean bheag air pòg?” (Did the little girl need a kiss? Best be careful if asking that sort of question.)

And for those with anger in their hearts:

“Tha gràin agam ort” (I hate you)
“Tha gràin aig Murchadh oirre” (Murdo hates her)
“Nach robh gràin aig Susaidh air lite nuair a bha òg?” (Didn’t Susie hate porridge when she was young?)

And so on. Tha sin gu leòr an-dràsta – tha an t-acras orm.

* Our teacher wrote “graidh” on the board, but the SMO online dictionary has love as “gràdh” with “gràidh” being the genitive form. She also wrote “grainn” on the board, but the dictionary has “gràin”. This could be a spelling error – she admits to being no great shakes at the spelling – or a dialect thing, but she is a native speaker so in my mind overrules a dictionary.

PS: If in doubt about a phrase or word, I find it useful to search in Gaelic Google (link on right of this weblog) for it, to see if it occurs in natural language.

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4 responses to “I need you, I love you…

  1. Hi, I am wondering how to say “I need you” in Gaelic. My email is EJ_1234567@hotmail.com and it is in a romantic context. Thanks

  2. I want to get a tattoo of love in Gaelic on my ribs. I was wondering if you could email me a translation of it because the websites really confuse me. I dont want to have some odd tense or meaning on me. lol. If you could email that would be awesome. My address is Kbryan4@utk.edu. Thanks. Kasey

  3. “Ceilidh gràdh gràin” : ‘Love conceals disgust’
    “Tha feum agam ort” : ‘I have need of you’

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