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Steve Savage Publishers Ltd
CoverGaelic Verbs

Systemised and Simplified

Colin Mark
sample extract
isbn 9781904246138 rrp 14.99 sewn paperback illustrated 288 pages

This extremely useful book was written with the purpose of not only explaining the formation and function of all parts of the Scottish Gaelic verb, but also to go beyond the frequently terse descriptions given in most course books. It is packed with step-by-step explanations, numerous examples in a wide range of registers, and copious notes. Within its covers you will find help with all those aspects of Gaelic verbs which can be so troublesome to learners, including Verbal Nouns, the Assertive Verb, Defective Verbs and Irregular Verbs. In addition, while perusing it, the student may glean much incidental vocabulary, grammar, and sound examples of usage.


Born in 1936 in Campbeltown, Colin B. D. Mark was raised in the North-East of Scotland. He was educated at Peterhead Academy and subsequently at Aberdeen University and at Aberdeen Teacher Training College. He worked in the field of Primary Education in various parts of Scotland over the next thirty-nine years.

In the winter of 1975-76 he fulfilled a long-held desire to study Scottish Gaelic, and attended an evening class in this language. He quickly developed such an interest in Gaelic that he wrote the first edition of this book on the subject of Gaelic verbs. Thereafter he devoted much of his spare time over the next quarter of a century to the compilation of a modern Gaelic-English dictionary which was published shortly after his retirement. During this period he also had four short stories published in the all-Gaelic quarterly magazine Gairm. Colin Mark died in 2020.

Praise for the revised edition:

'Colin Mark can only be thanked for his hard work in bringing this book out again, and adding to it ... for those who have been involved with Gaelic for some time, and who want to be sure that their speech and grammar are as accurate as possible (and doesn't that include fluent speakers who work professionally?) it has some extremely useful information'.
-- Cothrom

'Bu chòir do gach neach-ionnsachaidh a cheannach agus a sgrùdadh, oir chan eil dad nas cudromaiche na gnìomhairean, 's chan eil cùil dorcha den chuspair nach eil Cailein a' toirt an t-solais thuice. Sgrùd na h-eisimpleirean, leugh na chanas e mun ghràmar, agus till chun nan eisimpleirean.'
-- Raghnall MacilleDuibh, An t-Albannach.

Praise for the first edition:

'Undoubtedly the clearest, most comprehensive explanation of Gaelic verbs and their convolutions! Highly recommended for serious learners.'
-- David Wright, Web developer and software engineer, Isle of Skye

'Gaelic Verbs, by Colin B.D. Mark, provides both the newcomer to Gaelic and the seasoned learner an immensely varied and immediately useful set of maps into the heart of the all-important Gaelic verb.
   'Gaelic Verbs unravels, simply and accessibly, the mystery of how Gaelic verbs work and how they may be applied in everyday conversation. Mark's book would be an invaluable reference work in the library of any Gaelic learner.'
-- Toirstean MacRobainn, Director, Scottish Gaelic Learners Association of the Bay Area

'I find Gaelic Verbs a very good resource for the learner, and also for the native speaker who wants to know how the language works. To those with experience only of English, Gaelic verbs may seem somewhat difficult and complicated. Colin Mark's simplified and systemised approach serves to maximise the student's understanding of how they work. But the idiomatic use of verbal forms, which may not always follow cold logic, is not ignored, and Mr Mark's work gives appropriate expression to the beauty and uniqueness of Gaelic phraseology and idiom.'
-- Ruairidh MacIlleathain, Gaelic broadcaster (BBC Alba), journalist, and writer