Irish Lesson 105

Céad Míle Fáilte!


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Lesson by "The Irish People"


These lessons' pronunciation of "-inn" at a word end was at first given as (ing) and then interspersed with (in). The pronunciation guide's symbol for the sound is logically (ny), but because the beginner might be confused by this, the actual pronunciation has been deferred. Practice pronouncing (nnn-yuh) and then shorten the (yuh) until it nearly disappears. Practice with words: sinn, binn, linn, rinn, tinn. All are one-syllable words, each with a trace of the (yuh) at the end. Then try: seinn, thagainn, d'fheicinn. The sound is there even in "Sinn Féin," pronounced slightly differently from "sin féin." The lessons will still give (n) as pronunciation for "-inn" at word end, so you must remember to add the trace of (yuh).


Read these sentences aloud to get their sense and to visualize the subject (whether it is I, you, he, etc.):

Cheapfá é sin, dá bhfeicféa a athair (daw* VEK-faw* uh A-hir).

Ní dhéanfaimis (YAY*N-hi-mish) an obair, mura nglanfaí an garáiste ar dtús (MU-rung LUHN-fwee un guh-RAW*SH-te er doos).

Dá ndíolfadh Diarmuid a bhád, ní fhanfadh a dheartháir (nee AHN-huhk* uh yri-HAW*-ir) anseo.

Thitfinn (HIT-hin) san uisce, dá ngearrfá an téad (daw*ng YAHR-faw* un tay*d).

Dá bhfágfadh (VWAW*K-huhk*) Máire a rothar (ROH-huhr) amuigh, nach ngoidfí é (nahk* uhng IT-fee ay*)?

An ligfidís (LIK-hi-deesh) dom dul abhaile, mura mbeadh mo cheacht críochnaithe (muh hyahk*t KREE-uhk*-nuh-he)?

Mura mbeidís anseo, ní chreidfinn tú (nee HYRET-hin too).

Key: You would think that, if you were to see his father.

We wouldn't do the work, if the garage weren't cleaned first.

If Diarmuid were to sell his boat, his brother wouldn't stay here.

I would fall into the water if you were to cut the rope.

If Maire were to leave her bicycle outside, wouldn't it be stolen?

Would they let me go home if my lesson weren't finished?

If they weren't here, I wouldn't believe you.


Notice that there are two of the irregular verbs above: feic and déan. Both are regular in the modh coinníollach, however.


Má ólann tú é, beidh tú tinn. Mura n-éisteann tú liom, ní thuigeann tú na focail. Má fhilleann sé abhaile, nach bhfanann sé ann?

Dá n-ólfainn é, an ólfá é? Mura n-éistfidís liom, díólfaidís an t-uisce.

Key: If you drink it, you will be sick. If you don't listen to me, you don't understand the words. If he returns home, doesn't he stay there?

If I were to drink it, would you drink it? If they wouldn't listen to me, they would drink the water.


Verbs such as "imigh" and "ceannaigh", which are in the second conjugation, also have different forms in the modh coinníollach. The forms resemble the future tense, but word endings differ from those of the future tense.

Learn these forms by repeating them aloud until you can say them without hesitation. For each one, visualize the action and the subject:

cheannóinn (hyan-OH-in), I would buy

cheannófá (hyan-OH-faw*), you would buy

cheannódh sé (hyan-OHK* shay*), he would buy

cheannódh sí, she would buy

cheannóimis (hyan-OH-i-mish), we would buy

cheannódh sibh (hyan-OHK* shiv), you-all would buy

cheannóidís (hyan-OH-i-deesh), they would buy

cheannófaí (hyan-OH-fwee), people would buy


For the negative, "ní" (nee) precedes these forms. For example, "ní cheannódh sé é" means "he wouldn't buy it".

Other forms, with "an, nach, dá, mura" before them, have the initial consonant aspirated if it can be.

Learn these forms for "dá" with "ceannaigh":

dá gceannóinn (daw* gyan-OH-in), if I were to buy

dá gceannófá (daw* gyan-OH-faw*), if you were to buy

dá gceannódh sé (daw* gyan-OHK* shay*), if he were to buy

dá gceannódh sí, if she were to buy

dá gceannóimis (daw* gyan-OH-i-mish), if we were to buy

dá gceannódh sibh (daw* gyan-OHK* shiv), if you-all were to buy

dá gceannóidís (daw* gyan-OH-i-deesh), if they were to buy

dá gceannófaí (daw* gyan-OH-fwee), if people were to buy

Samples of other forms: An gceannófá é? Would you buy it? Nach gceannóidís teach? (Wouldn't they buy a house?) Mura gceannódh sí cóta, If she weren't to buy a coat.

If the second-conjugation verb ends in "-igh" instead of "-aigh", there is a slight difference in pronunciation and spelling. The example here is "bailigh". "I would collect, etc." becomes:

bhaileoinn (vwahl-YOH-in), I would collect

bhaileofá (vwahl-YOH-faw*), you would collect

bhaileodh sé (vwahl-YOHK* shay*), he would collect

bhaileodh sí, she would collect

bhaileoimis (vwahl-YOH-i-mish), we would collect

bhaileodh sibh, you-all would collect

bhaileoidís (vwahl-YOH-i-deesh), they would collect

The other forms are similar in their relation to those for "ceannaigh". For example: "ní bhaileoinn", I wouldn't collect; "an mbaileofá?", would you collect?; "nach mbaileoimis?", wouldn't we collect?; mura mbaileofaí", if people weren't to collect; "dá mbaileoinn", if I were to collect.


Chríochnóinn é (hyreek*-NOH-in ay*). An labhrófá Gearmáinis (un lou-ROH-faw* GYAR-maw*-nish)? Ní mhíneoidís é (nee veen-YOH-i-deesh ay*). Dá n-imeoimis (daw* nim-YOH-i-mish). Ní ullmhódh sí é (nee UL-vwohk* shee ay*). Mura n-imreodh Seán (MU-ruh NIM-rohk* shaw*n).

Key: I would finish it. Would you speak German? They wouldn't explain it. If we were to depart. She wouldn't prepare it. If Seán wouldn't play.

Note that verbs ending in "-ir" or "-air," such as "imir" or "labhair," drop out a syllable. Instead of "labhaireodh sé," we say "labhródh sé" for "he would speak." This occurs in other tenses, as well, and is called "syncopation." It is not the usual meaning of the word "syncopation" that you know in music.

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