Irish Lesson 19

Céad Míle Fáilte!


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Lesson by "The Irish People"


Two letter groups, "adh" and "agh", are usually pronounced (eye) when in accented syllables inside a word. Here are examples for "adh":

adharc (EYE-uhrk), horn

radharc (REYE-uhrk), sight

Tadhg (teyeg), Tadhg, a man's name

gadhar (GEYE-uhr), hound

fadhb (feyeb), problem

Some examples for "agh":

aghaidh (EYE-ee), face

laghad (LEYE-uhd), least

slaghdán (SLEYE-daw*n), a cold, hay fever

Ó Raghallaigh (oh REYE-lee), O'Reilly

If the letter group "adh" is at a word end or in an unaccented syllable, it does not take the (eye) sound. For example:

samhradh (SOU-ruh), summer; ionadh (OON-uh), wonder. Many verbal nouns are similar: dúnadh (DOON-uh), closing; briseadh (BRISH-uh), breaking; glanadh (GLUHN-uh), cleaning.



Masculine Nouns

néal, na néalta (nay*l, nuh NAY*L-tuh), cloud, the clouds

biseach (BI-shahk*), recovery

slaghdán (SLEYE-daw*n) a cold

Feminine Nouns

feoil, an fheoil (FYOH-il, un OH-il), meat, the meat

beoir, an bheoir (BYOH-ir, un VYOH-ir), beer, the beer


bain, ag baineadh (bwin, uh BWIN-uh), cut, reap; also part of expressions such as "bain diot an cóta" (bwin DEE-uht un KOH-tuh), take off your coat.

ith, ag ithe (i, eg I-he), eat

ag ithe an aráin (un uh-RAW*-in), eating the bread

ag ithe an bhricfeasta (vrik-FAS-tuh), eating the breakfast

ag ithe mo lóin (muh LOH-in), eating my lunch

ag ithe feola (FYOH-luh), eating meat

ag ithe prátaí (PRAW*-tee), eating potatoes

á ithe (aw* I-he), eating it

á ithe sin, eating that

á ithe seo, eating this

Tá biseach orm (OH-ruhm), I am recovering

cnag, ag cnagadh (kuh-NAHG, uh kuh-NAHG-uh), knock; as in "ag cnagadh ar an doras", knocking at the door

ól, ag ól (ohl, eg OHL), drink

ag ól bainne (BAHN-ye), drinking milk

ag ól tae (tay*), drinking tea

ag ól uisce (ISH-ke), drinking water

ag ól caife (KAHF-e), drinking coffee

ag ól mo chaife (muh K*AHF-e), drinking my coffee

ag ól beorach (BYOH-ruhk*), drinking beer

á ól (aw* ohl), drinking it

á ól sin, drinking that

á ól seo, drinking this

féach, ag féachaint ar (FAY*-ahk, uh FAY*-uhk*-int er) looking at

Tá slaghdán ort (OH-ruht), you have a cold



  1. This vocabulary gives you many phrases combining "ag ithe" and "ag ól" with nouns. The drills for the next few weeks will stress these to familiarize you with ways of phrase formation.


  2. The forms "ag ithe", "ag cur", etc., are often followed by nouns in the genitive case, becoming in English : "of the _____". "Ag ithe feola" is literally "at eating of meat". The genitive case of Irish nouns is formed in several ways. You will gradually learn to recognize these, so that you can form the case for new words.

    Some nouns don't change at all for the genitive, such as "bainne". Others may change a final broad consonant to a slender, such as "lón, an lóin", or "arán, an aráin". A few nouns add a syllable, such as "beoir, na beorach" or "feoil, na feola".


  3. In Irish, you don't "have" illnesses. Instead, they are "on" you. "Tá slaghdán ar Shéamas" means "James has a cold". Recovery,happiness, sorrow, anger and the like are also "on" you.


Nioclás (NEE-klaw*s): Éist (ay*sht)! Tá duine éigin ag cnagadh ar an doras (taw* DIN-e AY*-gin uh kuh-NAHG-uh er un DUH-ruhs). Listen! Someone is knocking on the door.

Córa (KOH-ruh): Cé hé sin (kay* hay* shin) ag an doras? Who's that at the door?

Seán: Seán anseo. Oscail an doras agus lig isteach sa teach mé. It's John here. Open the door and let me in the house. Tá sé ag cur báistí amuigh anseo (uh KUR BAW*SH-tee uh MWEE un-SHUH). It's raining out here.

Nioclás: O, tá tú anseo faoi dheireadh (fwee YER-uh). Fan nóiméad, más é do thoil é (fahn NOH-may*d, MAW* shay* duh HIL ay*). -- Isteach leat, a Sheáin (ish-TYAHK* lat, uh HYAW*-in). Oh, you are here at last. Wait a minute please. -- In with you, John.

Seán: Dia daoibh, a Niocláis agus a Chóra (DEE-uh yeev, uh NEE-klaw*sh AH-guhs uh K*OH-ruh). Hello, Nicholas and Cora.

Córa: Dia's Muire duit, a Sheáin. Conas tá tú ar chor ar bith? (HUHR er bi) Hello, John. How are you, anyway?

Seán: Tá me go maith, agus conas tá sibh (shiv) féin? I am well and how are you yourselves?

Nioclás: Táimid go maith leis, ach tá slaghdán ar Chóra. We are well, too, but Cora has a cold.

Córa: Tá biseach orm anois (uh-NISH), áfach (AW*-fuhk*). I am recovering now, however.

Nioclás: Bain diot an cóta, a Sheáin. Take off your coat, John. Ina dhiaidh sin (in-uh YEE-uh shin), tar amach i seomra an bhidh (tahr uh-MAHK* i SHOHM-ruh un VEE), agus bíodh (BEE-ohk*) cupán tae agat (uh-GUHT). After that, come out into the dining room and have a cup of tea.

Córa: Oíche dhorcha is ea í (EE-hye GUHR-uh-huh sha ee). Féach ar na néalta dubha (nuh NAY*L-tuh DOOV-uh). A dark night it is. Look at the black clouds.

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