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"
letter group "ae" (ay*) as if it were "é".
The reason for this group is to allow a broad consonant to precede
it. Examples: lae (lay*), of day, the genitive form of "lá"
tae (tay*), tea
Note that a slender
consonant before an "é" would give a different sound
to the word above:
would differ from "lae", for which the broad "l"
imparts a trace of (uh) sound between the "l" and "ae"
té vs tae
Gael and its faint (uh) or (wuh) sound between the "g" and
the first declension of nouns, we now take up other aspects of formation
of the possessive or genitive case.
If a first-declension
noun begins with a vowel, the vowel remains unchanged in the genitive,
but the last consonant or sound will change to a slender one. Examples:
an adhmaid (EYE-muhd, preyes un EYE-mwid); timber, the timber's price
an úill (ool, blahs un OO-il); apple, the apple's taste
an aonaigh (AY*-nuhk*, law* un AY*-nee), fair, the day of the fair
If the word to be put into the genitive case begins with "s",
a "t" will be placed before it and eclipse the sound of
the "s", if the "s" is followed by a vowel or
by "l, n, r". Learn these examples before trying to memorize
an tsamhraidh (SOU-ruh, law* uh TOU-ree), summer, the summer day
an tsagairt (SAH-guhrt, tahk* uh TAH-girt), priest, the priest's house
The genitive case follows many compound prepositions (having two words)
in Irish. For example, "in aice" (in A-ke), means "near",
and "near the house" is "in aice an tí"
(in A-kuh TEE).
(tahr AY*SH), after; tar éis an amhráin (tahr AY*SH
un ou-RAW*-in), after the song
le linn (le ling),
during; le linn an dinnéir (le LING uh din-YAY*R)
Several simple prepositions, too, take the genitive. Two of these
are: chun (k*un), to; chun an aonaigh (k*un un AY*N-nee), to the fair
around; timpeall an chnoic (TIM-puhl uh K*NIK), around the hill
From now on, we
will give the genitive singular and the plural for all nouns. Learn
all the forms of each. For this lesson, the list will contain only
first-declension nouns, all masculine.
urlár (oor-LAW*R), an t-urlár, an urláir (un
oor-LAW*-ir), na hurláir; floor, the floor, of the floor, the
an leabhar, an leabhair (un LOU-wir), na leabhair; book, etc.
bord, an bord,
an bhoird (un VWIRD), na boird (nuh BWIRD); table, etc.
an casúr, an chasúir (un k*ah-SOO-ir), na casúir;
an lón, an lóin (un LOH-in), na lónta (nuh LOHN-tuh);
fear (far), an
fear, an fhir (un IR), na fir; man, the man, of the man, the men
(kohr-KAW*N), an corcán, an corcáin, na corcáin;
doras, an doras,
an dorais (un DUH-rish), na doirse (DIR-she); door, etc.
mac, an mac, an
mhic (un VIK), na mic (nuh MIK); son, etc.
(din-YAY*R), an dinnéar, an dinnéir (un din-YAY*R),
na dinnéir; dinner, etc.
an t-arán, an aráin (un uh-RAW*-in), na haráin;
os cionn (ohs KYOON), above (with the genitive)
os comhair (ohs
KOH-ir), in front of (with the genitive)
In the following
word groups, say the noun and then combine it with the preposition
taking the genitive. Example: for "lón, le linn",
say "an lón, le linn an lóin".
bord, os comhair
(dya-SOON): Féach! (FAY*-ahk*) Tá fear an phoist (FWISHT)
ag teacht -- timpeall an chúinne (K*OON-ye). Desmond: Look!
The mailman is coming around the corner.
(krish-TEEN): Feicim é (FEK-im ay*). Tagann sé -- le
linn an lóin -- i gcónaí. Cristine: I see him.
He always comes during lunch.
Ná bac leis (naw* bahk lesh). Sin litir in aice an dorais.
Suigh síos in aice an bhoird (VWIRD) -- arís (uh REESH).
Cá bhfuil an t-arán? (un tuh-RAW*N) Don't worry about
it. There's a letter next to the door. Sit down next to the table
again. Where is the bread?
Os comhair an phláta (FLAW*-tuh). Cuir chugam píosa
de, más é do thoil é. (kir HOO-uhm PEES-uh de,
MAW* shay* duh HIL ay*). In front of the plate. Pass me a piece of
Key to the drill: an dinnéar, tar éis an dinnéir;
an bord, os comhair an bhoird; an casúr, in aice an chasúir;
an teach, chun an tí; an leabhar, timpeall an leabhair; an
samhradh, tar éis an tsamhraidh (uh TOU-ree).
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>>
(c) 1998 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.