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Lesson by "The Irish People"
briathra; practice on verbs
Below are several
sentences. Read them aloud or have someone familiar with the pronunciation
of Irish read them to you, phrase by phrase. Do not translate them
in your mind. Instead, form a mental picture of the action and of
who or what is doing it. Also, try to form an emotion, such as sympathy,
disappointment, hunger, surprise, joy, etc., about the activity.
If you don't understand
at the first reading or hearing, wait a few seconds and then try again.
You will probably retain a few words of the sentence, and a second
reading or hearing will give you more. Only if you fail after four
or five tries should you look at the key under the sentences.
fir doirse taréis an chéilí.
luíroimh a lón, mura mbeifeáann.
mérud ar bith as catalóg ordúphoist.
soillse sráide nuair a bhítúi d'óige,
airgead ag an gcruinniúseo.
túar an bhfuinneog ar thaobh eile an tí?
ceapairísin, agus gheobhaidh mébuidéal bainne.
go mbeadh an fómhar chomh te agus a bhísériamh.
men closed the doors after the céilí. He would be lying
down before his lunch, if you weren't there.
I won't order
anything out of a mail-order catalog. Were many street lights broken
when you were young, father?
No money is to
be collected at this meeting (Don't let money be collected ). Won't
you knock on the window on the other side of the house?
Keep those sandwiches,
and I will get a bottle of milk. I would say that the autumn would
be as hot as it ever was.
The word "catalóg"
should be obvious to you. It is a direct borrowing from English. The
following word, "ordú," should be close enough to
"order" in English to cause you to connect it with "catalóg"
and think of a mail-order catalog, even if you can not immediately
work out the grammar details.
Nearly the last
important area of Irish that these lessons have not yet covered is
the grouping of sentences or clauses together in ways that are slightly
more complicated than merely saying "and" or "but"
to join two sentences. Up to now, these lessons have encouraged you
to speak, and to write and think, in short sentences. This was done
to help you speak and write without overly long deliberation. By now,
you should be able to reply to someone with an answer that is relevant
to some degree, even if only "Abair arísésin, másédo
The relative clause
form of which:
buachaill a d'imigh abhaile ar maidin; I saw the boy who departed
for home this morning, is an example, improves your style in Irish,
allowing you to speak and write better Irish.
Read these examples
over, out loud of course, several times to understand what is called
the nominative case. Do not bother to learn the grammatical terms
for this, however. Merely learn how to use the form.
séleis an múinteoir atása rang eile; he listens
to the teacher who is in the other class.
an mbord an leabhar a thit ar an urlár; I put on the table
the book that fell on the floor.
Máire an bus a bhuail a seanathair; Mary drives the bus that
hit her grandfather.
an fear a d'ól an cupán tae tamallóshin; that's
the man who drank a cup of tea a while ago.
an cailín a dhéanfaidh an obair; This is the girl who
will do the work.
daoine a bhíann thar an mballa; The people who were there jumped
over the wall.
This should give
you a sense of how to form the relative. The small word (called a
particle) that means "who" or "that" in English
is "a." It causes aspiration in the verb after it. "The
child who cries" is: An páiste a ghoileann.
In the present
and future tenses, the particle "a" is followed by the ordinary
form of the verb, with initial letter aspirated if possible:
an bhean a itheann
feoil; the woman who eats meat
an fear a cheapannésin;
the man who thinks that
a dhéanann an obair; the doctor who does the work
an traein atáanseo;
the train that is here
na daoine aólfaidh
fíon; the people who will drink wine
a chasfaidh an t-amhrán; the musician who will sing the song
In the past, past
habitual, and conditional tenses or moods, the particle "a"
is followed by the form of the verb that you have already learned,
with the "d" preceding vowels and "f". Here are
an fear a chaith
an liathróid; the man who threw the ball
an bhean an d'ól
an tae; the woman who drank the tea
a d'fhág an scian san oifig; the doctor who left the knife
in the office
chaitheadh toitíní; the girls who used to smoke cigarettes
an madra a d'óladh
beoir; the dog that used to drink beer
a d'fhilleadh abhaile go luath; the fisherman who used to return home
a gheallfadhésin; the painter who would promise that
an cat a d'ólfadh
an t-uisce salach; the cat who would drink the dirty water
an bus a d'fhanfadh
sa stáisiún; the bus that would remain in the station
Then, with "tá,"
some examples are:
atábreoite; the president who is sick
an samhradh a
bhíte; the summer that was hot
an loch a bhíodh
fuar; the lake that used to be cold
a bheidh ann; the boat that will be there
a bheadh saor; the shirt that would be cheap
We will begin
practice with this in the next lesson, but in the meantime try to
use this form in your thinking, speaking, and writing of Irish. Do
not worry about making mistakes in usage. Merely try to be clear and
follow your developing linguistic instinct.
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