Scots Learners’ Grammar

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9. Conjunctions


Scots conjunctions tend to work harder than English ones, and generally cover a range of English synonyms. As a result of this and the use of prepositions to extend meaning described above, Scots texts often seem more concise and direct than their English translations. A few illustrative equivalents are given below.

afore  before, previous to, earlier than, prior to, ahead of, rather thanan and, althoughas asathoot unless, except, save, but for

but but, excluding, other than, save for

efter after, following, subsequent to

forbye besides, except, apart from, excluding, bar, aside from, with the exception of

for aw that despite

hooaniver however, nevertheless

or or

sae so, as a result, thus, therefore, subsequently, accordingly, hence, consequently

sae bein provided that, sinceseein as given that, given the fact that, seeing that, considering, bearing in mind, in view of the fact that, sincesyne from the time that tho though, although, even if, despite the fact that

whan when

whaur where

wioot without, devoid of, lacking.

There are two words for ‘if’ in Scots, if and gin (pronounced with a hard ‘g’). The first covers matters of fact If ye’r that smert, you dae it (if you are so smart, you do it), the other for speculation  – and nowadays more a written than spoken  form- Gin ye gat the job, whit wid ye dae? (if you got the job, what would you do). ‘As if’ in Scots is like as if.