Irish Lesson 103

Céad Míle Fáilte!


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Lesson by "The Irish People"


Some of these sentences do not have two parts or clauses, but the meaning should be clear to you. Irish usage is fairly close to English in most situations calling for the conditional (an modh coinníollach).

Mura mbeadh mo mhála ann, cén áit an mbeadh sé ann?

Dúirt Ciaran liom go mbeadh biseach air féin.

B'fhéidir nach mbeidís i Siceágó.

B'fhéidir nach mbeidís i Siceágó, dá mbeimis ann rompu (ROHM-pu).

Nach mbeadh sibh sásta, mura mbeinn ag obair amárach?

D'fhiafraigh sé díom an mbeinn ag dul abhaile tar éis an cheachta (HYAHK*-tuh).

Dúirt mé leis nach mbeinn ábalta bheith (AW*-buhl-tuh ve) in oifig an phoist roimh (rev) a naoi a chlog.

Bheadh bróga nua agam, dá mbeadh am go leor (oum goh lohr) inniu chun iad a cheannach.

Mura mbeifeá tar éis bheith breoite, bheadh Seán ábalta cuairt a thabhairt ort (KOO-ahrt uh HOO-irt OH-ruht) inné.

Key: If my bag weren't there, where would it be? Ciaran told me that he would get better. Perhaps they wouldn't be in Chicago. Perhaps they wouldn't be in Chicago, if we were there before them. Wouldn't you-all be satisfied if I weren't at work tomorrow? He asked me would I be going home after the lesson. I told him that I wouldn't be able to be in the post office before nine o'clock. I would have new shoes if I had time enough today to buy them. If you weren't after being sick (hadn't been sick previously), Seán would have been able to visit you yesterday.

Before beginning with the conditional forms for the other verbs beside "tá", go through this practice for "tá":

Cuir Gaeilge ar: I would be. If she were. Wouldn't they be? We would be. If you weren't. You-all wouldn't be. If I were. Would we be? If he had money. He wouldn't have money. They would be afraid. If you weren't afraid.

Key: Bheinn. Dá mbeadh sí. Nach mbeidís? Bheimis. Mura mbeifeá. Ní bheadh sibh. Dá mbeinn. An mbeimis? Dá mbeadh airgead aige. Ní bheadh airgead aige. Bheadh eagla orthu. Mura mbeadh eagla ort.

Remember that each one of the above sentences is usually accompanied by another one, such as in: I would be, if you were here. Or: If you were here, I would be.


All verbs can express conditions. The rules are the same as for "tá". With "má", meaning "if", and "mura", meaning "if not", the condition is one that is possible. An example: Má chuireann sé an nuachtán ar an staighre, feicim é (maw* K*IR-uhn shay* un NOO-uhk*taw*n er un STEYE-re FEK-im ay*); If he puts the newspaper on the stairs, I see it.

The word "má" causes aspiration of the first consonant of the following verb, but "mura" causes eclipsis. An example: Mura gcuireann sé an nuachtán ar an staighre, ní fheicim é; If he doesn't put the newspaper on the stairs, I don't see it.

Several examples with "má" and "mura" for regular verbs:

Má bhriseann tú é, íocfaidh tú as; if you break it, you will pay for it.

Má n-ól sé é, ní fhaca mé é; if he drank it, I didn't see it.

Mura rithimid abhaile, ní fheicfimid d'athair; if we don't run home, we won't see your father.

Má deir sé é sin, creidim é; if he says that, I believe him.

Note that "má" does not aspirate the "d" in "deir" and "dúirt". It causes an "n" sound to precede a verb beginning with a vowel, "a, e, i, o, u".

With the second conjugation - verbs like "imigh" - the usage is similar. For example:

Má n-imím ar a sé a chlog, feicim mo chara; if I depart at six o'clock, I see my friend.

Mura mbailimid an bruscar, cuirimid sa chistin é; if we don't collect the trash, we put it in the kitchen.


When a condition is not possible, "dá" (or "mura") with the modh coinníollach express the meaning. Learn these forms first:

chuirfinn (K*IR-hin), I would put

chuirfeá (K*IR-faw*), you would put

chuirfeadh sé (K*IR-huhk* shay*), he would put

chuirfeadh sí (shee), she would put

chuirfimis (K*IR-hi-mish), we would put

chuirfeadh sibh (shiv), you-all would put

chuirfidís (K*IR-hi-deesh), they would put

chuirfí (K*IR-fee), people would put

Note that the "f" in the forms is given its usual sound in only two cases, for "you would put" and for "people would put".

Learn these forms for "cas" now:

chasfainn (K*AHS-hin), I would turn

chasfá (K*AHS-faw*), you would turn

chasfadh sé (K*AHS-huhk* shay*), he would turn

chasfadh sí (K*AHS-huhk* shee), she would turn

chasaimis (K*AHS-hi-mish), we would turn

chasfadh sibh (shiv), you-all would turn

chasfaidís (K*AHS-hi-deesh), they would turn

chasfaí (K*AHS-fwee), people would turn

Try these practice sentences now:

Chasfainn anseo, dá mbeadh a fhios agam cá bhfuil sí. Mura mbeadh airgead aige, chuirfinn amach é.

Key: I would turn here, if I knew where she was. If he didn't have money, I would put him out.

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