Irish Lesson 81

Céad Míle Fáilte!


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Lesson by "The Irish People"


Pronounce the combinations "adh" and "agh" as (eye) when they are in accented or initial syllables.


adharc (EYE-uhrk), horn; radharc (REYE-uhrk), view; fadhb (feyeb), problem; aghaidh (EYE-ee), face; laghad (LEYE-uhd), smallness; saghas (seyes), sort.

If an "i" or "e" follows the "adh" or "agh," an "i" will be needed between the "a" and the "adh" or "agh"; the spelling becomes "aidh" or "aigh." The (eye) sound is retained.


taighde (TEYE-de), research; aighneas (EYE-nuhs), dispute; caighdeán (keye-DAW*N), standard; saighdiúir (seye-DYOO-ir), soldier.

The "i" is added, too, if a consonant after the "adh" or "agh" is to have its slender sound.


aidhm (eyem), aim; maidhm (meyem), explosion. Make sure that the broad "m" sound in "adhmad" differs from the slender "m" sound in "aidhm."

If the "adh", "aidh" or "aigh" is at a word end and unaccented, the sound may be either (uh) or (ee). Examples:

samhradh (SOU-ruh), summer; samhraidh (SOU-ree), of summer; ceannaigh (KAN-ee), buy.

The group "agh" is rare at the end of a word. Where it occurs in misspelled Irish place names, it usually should be "ach".

For all the above rules, memorize the examples, not the rules.



First-declension nouns are all masculine and end in a broad consonant, with "a, o, u" before the consonant. The plural form of these nouns often is the same as the genitive singular that we have studied in the last two lessons. Examples are:

bád (baw*d), an bháid (uh VWAW*-id), na báid (nuh BAW*-id); boat, of the boat, the boats.

cuntas (KOON-tuhs), an chuntais (uh K*OON-tish), na cuntais (nuh KOON-tish), account, of the account, the accounts.

Here, "na" means "the" in the plural. Use the plural forms given above in sentences like:

Téann (TAY*-uhn) na báid amach; the boats go out.

Téann báid amach; boats go out.

Feiceann sé (FEK-uhn shay*) na báid; he sees the boats

Feiceann sé báid; he sees boats.

Note that this plural form is the same whether the word is the subject or the object.

Other first-declension nouns form the plural differently. Here are examples:

úll (ool), apple; becomes "úlla" (OOL-uh), apples, and "na húlla" (nuh HOOL-uh), the apples. Note that an "h" is added here in front of the vowel.

dán (daw*n), poem; becomes "dánta" (DAW*N-tuh), poems, and "na dánta", the poems.

bealach (BAL-uhk*), road; becomes "bealaí" (BAL-ee), roads, and "na bealaí", the roads.

carr (kahr), car; becomes "carranna" (KAHR-uh-nuh), cars, and "na carranna", the cars.

Learn the plural for each new noun in the vocabulary lists.



Here are more first declension nouns. Learn the genitive singular and the plural for each:

Cupán (ku-PAW*N), an cupán, an chupáin (uh k*u-PAW*-in), na cupáin; cup, the cup, of the cup, the cups.

ciseán (kish-AW*N), an ciseán, chiseáin (uh hyish-AW*-in), na ciseáin; basket, etc.

rothar (ROH-huhr), an rothar, an rothair (uh ROH-hir), na rothair; bicycle, etc.

airgead (AR-i-guhd), an t-airgead, an airgid (uhn AR-i-gid), na hairgid; money, etc.

ceann (kyoun), an ceann, an chinn (uh hyin), na cinn (nuh kin); head, one of anything, etc.

lasán (luh-SAW*N), an lasán, an lasáin (uh luh-SAW*-in), na lasáin; match (inflammable), etc.

bóthar (BOH-uhr), an bóthar, an bhóthair (uh VWOH-ir), na bóithre (nuh BOH-i-re); road, the road, of the road, the roads.

páipéar (paw*-PAY*R), an páipéar, an pháipéir (uh faw*-PAY*-ir), na páipéir; paper, etc.

solas (SUH-luhs), an solas, an tsolais (uh TUH-lish), na soilse (nuh SEYEL-she); light, etc

amhrán (ou-RAW*N), an t-amhrán, an amhráin (uhn ou-RAW*-in), na hamhráin; song, etc.

droichead (DRUH-huhd), an droichead, an droichid (uh DRUH-hid), na droichid; bridge, etc.

ticéad (ti-KAY*D), an ticéad, an ticéid (uh ti-KAY*D), na ticéid; ticket, etc.

i gcionn (i GYOON) at the end of (with genitive)

i láthair (i LAW*-hir) in the presence of (with genitive)

ar chúl (er K*OOL), behind (with genitive)

de bharr (de VWAHR), on account of (with genitive)



Form phrases, with the genitive, from the following word groups. As an example:

ag dúnadh: an doras; ag dúnadh an dorais.

solas; an rothar

dath; an páipéar

os cionn (ohs KYOON); an lasán

praghas (preyes); an ciseán

ag léamh; an leabhar

ag cailleadh (KEYE-luh); an t-airgead

ar chúl; an cupán

tar éis; an t-amhrán

os comhair (ohs KOH-wir); an droichead

in aice (in AK-e); an bóthar

ag briseadh; an cupán

in aice; an ceann eile

le linn (le LIN); an lón

See the Key after the comhrá to verify your answers.

Comhrá (KOH-raw*); conversation

Seán (shaw*n): Nach uafásach an aimsir í, a Shéamais? (nahk* woo-FAW*S-uhk* un EYEM-sheer ee, uh HAY*-mish) John: Isn't the weather terrible, James?

Séamas (SHAY*-muhs): Tá sí níos dona ná anuraidh (nees DUH-nuh naw* uh-NOOR-ee). Ní raibh mé amuigh le linn an lae (le LIN uh LAY*). It's worse than last year. I wasn't out during the day.

Seán: Tá mé ag déanamh oibre (uh DAY*N-uh IB-re) ag baile inniu. Beidh an bháisteach anseo i gcúpla uair (be un VWAW*SH-tuhk* uhn-SHUH i GOOP-luh OO-ir). I am doing work at home today. The rain will be here in a couple of hours.

Séamas: Beidh sé ag cur báistí go luath (uh KUR BAW*SH-tee goh LOO-uh). Rachaidh mé abhaile (RAHK*-hee may* uh-VWAHL-e), agus beidh mé ag léamh mo nuachtáin (NOO-uhk*-TAW*-in) tar éis an dinnéir (tuhr AY*SH uh din-YAY*R). It will be raining soon (putting of rain). I shall go home, and I will be reading my newspaper after dinner.

Note: "Obair," work, is a feminine noun, and its genitive singular is "oibre," of work. "Báisteach," too, is feminine, so that "the rain" is "an bháisteach".


Key to drill: Solas an rothair (uh RUH-hir), the bicycle's light; dath an páipéir, the paper's color; os cionn an lasáin, above the match; praghas an chiseáin, price of the basket; ag léamh an leabhair, reading the book; ag cailleadh an airgid, losing the money; ar chúl an chupáin, behind the cup; tar éis an amhráin, after the song; os comhair an droichid, in front of the bridge; in aice an bhóthair, beside the road; ag briseadh an chupáin, breaking the cup; in aice an chinn eile (uh HYIN EL-e), beside the other one; le linn an lóin, during the lunch.

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