Make a real connection to your Irish heritage
Feeling like you could never crack Irish Gaelic?
Break it down into easy Bitesize portions, with the free "Irish for Beginners" email course by Bitesize Irish.
Enter your name and email address below to get started (and we'll never spam you):
Lesson by "The Irish People"
The last part
of the aimsir ghnáthchaite or past habitual tense concerns
the irregular verbs. In every one of these, the aimsir ghnáthchaite
derives directly from the present tense, with the changes you are
familiar with for first conjugation verbs, such as dún or caith.
Tar has tagaim
for "I come." "I used to come" is thagainn. The
rest of the forms are: thagtá, thagadh sé, sí,
thagaimis, thagadh sibh, thagadís, thagtaí. The negative
begins with; níthagainn. The questions begin with: an dtagainn?
For the other
go. Théinn (HAY*-in), I used to go,; théití,
people used to go.
Feicim, I see.
D'fheicinn (DEK-in), I used to see, d'fheictí, people used
Cloisim, I hear.
Chloisinn (K*LISH-in), I used to hear, chloistí, people used
Deirim, I say.
Deirinn (DER-in), I used to say, deirtí, people used to say.
I do. Dhéanainn (YAY*N-in), I used to do, dhéantaí,
people used to do.
Beirim air, I
seize him. Bheirinn air, I used to seize him, bheirtíair, people
used to seize him.
faighim, I get.
D'fhaighainn (DEYE-in), I used to get, d'fhaightí(DEYE-tee),
people used to get.
Tugaim, I give.
Thugainn, (HUG-in), I used to give, thugtaí, people used to
I eat. D'ithinn (di-hin), I used to eat, d'ití, people used
leis an aimsir ghnáthchaite
habairtíseo leanas (LAN-uhs) agus cum pictiúr i d'intinn
faoin ghníomh agus faoin ghníomhaire. Read the following
sentences and form a picture in your mind of the action and of the
dtéitíann sa samhradh. Níbhfaighinn airgead roimh
(rev) an Aoine. Thagadh séabhaile taréis an chluiche
(K*LI-he). Nach n-ithidísíasc? An dtugadh sibh seanleabhair
don ospidéal? Chloistígo minicésin. Cloisim go
bhfeicteáan múinteoir ar an traein. Deireadh sía
paidreacha roimh a naoi a chlog. Dhéanamis bábóga
sa mhonarcha sin.
Key: I think that
people used to go there in the summer. I didn't used to get money
before Friday. He used to come home after the game. Didn't they used
to eat fish? Did you-all used to give old books to the hospital? That
used to be heard often. I hear that you used to see the teacher on
the train. She used to say her prayers before nine o'clock. We used
to make dolls in that factory.
(KOH-ruh KEYEN-te) or idioms
In Irish, as in
every language, there are special ways of expressing ideas that employ
prepositions. For example, in English, relying on someone may become
"counting on him." Or a person may "live off"
(er) means "on" most of the time, but it has other meanings.
Here are some examples of idiomatic use. Several you may have met
(AW*-huhs) orm, I am happy. Cloisim go mbíodháthas ar
Sheán, I hear that Seán used to be happy.
(FAR-ruhg) air, he is angry. Bheadh fearg ar Mháire, dámbeadh
an bus mall, Mary would be angry if the bus were late.
air, he is sad. Beidh brón ar Sheán, Seán will
(NAW*-re) air, he is ashamed. Bhínáire ar a iníon,
his daughter was ashamed.
(OU-ruhs) air, he is doubtful. Bíonn amhras ar mo mháthair,
my mother is always doubtful.
(OON-uh) air, he is surprised.
arár n-athair dábhfeicfeadh sééseo, our
father would be surprised if he saw this.
Often, the reason
for the emotion must be added, to tell what has caused it. With the
expressions above, except for "fearg", the word faoi (fwee),
meaning "under" follows. Examples:
orm faoin mbronntanas seo, I am happy about this present.
An bhfuil brón
ort faoi do mhadra?, are you sad about your dog?
orm faoin droichead sin, I used to be doubtful about that bridge,
I used to have doubts about that bridge.
An mbeidh ionadh
ort faoin bpraghas (breyes)?, will you be surprised at the price?
With fearg, a
person is angry "with" something or someone. For example:
Bhífearg orm le Nóra, I was angry at (with) Nóra.
To speak about
fear, this is the form: Táeagla (AH-gluh) orm. Another form
is: Táfaitíos (FWAH-tees) orm. In Irish, one is afraid
"before" rather than "at". Táeagla orm
roimh (rev) an mbus, I am afraid of the bus, the bus frightens me.
Táeagla orthu roimhe (REV-e). They are afraid of him.
The forms for
roimh with the pronouns are:
When more explanation
is needed, a sentence such as: Táeagla orm go bhfuil an doras
dúnta, I'm afraid that the door is closed, is typical.
Not as close to
orm as mo mhac, I am proud of my son. In Irish, you are proud "out
of", rather than "of".
the difference is even greater. Táéad orm leat, I am
jealous of you. Bhíodhéad air le Séamas, he used
to be jealous of Séamas.
leis na réamhfhocail
Feictear dom go
bhfuil amhras ar an ndochtúir faoin othar (OH-huhr) sin. It
seems to me that the doctor has doubts about that patient.
ar gach duine faoin aimsir, dámbeadh an ghrian amuigh. Everyone
would be happy about the weather if the sun were out.
ort faoi do mhadra, you will be ashamed of your dog.
eagla ort roimh eitilt (E-tilt)? Didn't you used to be afraid of flying?
ar na héisteoirífaoi bhás an cheoltóra
sin. The listeners were sad over the death of that musician.
orm le Dóirín. Chuirfeadh sífearg ar dhuine ar
bith. I am angry at Dórín. She would make anyone angry
(put anger on anyone).
you like to learn Irish Gaelic with audio pronunciation?
can really start to learn to speak Irish with Bitesize Irish.
It's a full online learning program.
Then take the free
for Beginners email course by Bitesize Irish. Every couple
of days, you'll get a mini-series of free Irish language lessons. Each
lesson is full of interactive audio recordings.
- Would you like
to make a connection with Ireland?
- And speak the
native language of the Irish?
- Do you find
it difficult to learn from reading only text?
Irish with Irish for Beginners, by Bitesize Irish.
to top of page>>