Irish Study Card

Part 1

. This section provides easy to understand explanations to help you get the most out of your Irish Study Card. It goes through the layout and content and it gives you a brief explanation of each topic with examples. If you come across an English Grammar Term you are not familiar with, check the Glossary section on the website. Remember that you can use your Irish Study Card with any text book you may be using.

IMG_5163 (2)

Practising your exercises out loud helps you absorb the language effectively!

.

The Irish Card part 1 displays 30 independent tables with grammar content such as pronouns, possessives, verb tenses, key words and expressions. Having a general understanding of the function of these grammar points will make it easier for you to understand the Irish language.

 

The PERSONAL PRONOUNS determine the three main colours used throughout the card.

The Personal Pronouns are the persons who the sentence refers to. In English they are the words I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they. 

  • The singular personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it )are represented in a light shade of yellow, purple and green.
  • The plural personal pronouns ( we, you, they )are represented in the same colours but in a darker shade.

pronoun new1

In Irish, you need to use specific endings and words for the different persons in different tenses. The colour coded system will help you find the word needed for a specific person.

 Get familiar with these colours and in no time, you’ll be able to easily identify the word you need.

The colours green and orange are used to identify when séimhiú or urú takes place.   green   With your card in hand, go through this section to find the explanations about the layout of your Irish Study Card. Or skip to the name of the table you wish to expand your information on. .


This section is intended to be a general explanation on grammar created for you to understand the layout of your card in order to take full advantage of it. By no means should this section be considered a course on its own. While it is possible to group certain rules, Irish has many exceptions, which are not contained in this section.




PERSONAL PRONOUNS SUBJECT/OBJECT

The colours on this table will help you identify the persons easily.

  • The subject personal pronouns are the words that substitute the noun. They are the ones that perform the action expressed by the verb: she won a medal.
  • Pronouns are used differently in Irish. Look at these examples:

tiomáinim – I drive

tiománann –  you drive

In English, the person that performs the action is clearly marked by the pronouns I and you and they are placed at the beginning of the sentence. 

In Irish, the word order is different. The verb generally comes at the beginning of a sentence and depending on the tense, the pronoun can be included in the verb with a specific ending, or it’s placed at the end, like .

  • In English, you can substitute car, housewith the pronoun itSince Irish has masculine and feminine nouns, (masculine) and (feminine) are used when substituting.

Example:

úll – apple (masculine)

Tá an úll ar an tábla. The apple is on the table. 

ar an tábla. It‘s on the table.

scian – knife (feminine

Tá an scian ar an tábla. The knife is on the table.

   ar an tábla. It‘s on the table

  • The object personal pronouns replace the person or thing that’s affected by the subject. They are the words me, him, us, etc.

Example:

Chonaic Pól thú. Paul saw you.

  • Just as with the subject pronouns, when substituting nouns like car, house, you have to consider the feminine and masculine form. In the direct object, use é  for masculine nouns and í for feminine nouns.

Example:

Bhris Séan é/íSean broke it. (It depends if what Sean broke is a masculine or feminine thing)

POSSESSIVES
  • They’re the words used to show ownership. They tell you to whom the noun belongs. In English, they correspond to my, your, his, her, our, your and their respectively.
  • They are placed before the noun and depending on the person, they suffer séimhiú or urú changes, indicated on the table by the colour beside it.

Example:

do dheartháir your brother

ár ndeartháir –our brother

  • Pay attention to the  changes when the noun begins with a vowel or in f + vowel

Example:

d’uncail – your uncle

ár n-uncail – our uncle

m’ feoil – my flesh

SÉIMHIÚ (ASPIRATION/LENITION) AND URÚ (ECLIPSE)

A characteristic of the Irish language is the way words are pulled together to make speaking more natural. Pauses are mostly avoided. When certain consonants come together and they cause the air to stop,  the flow is affected.

  • The séimhiú and the urú change the way a word is pronounced in order to help with the flow in the pronunciation.
  • The séimhiú or aspiration happens when a h is placed after the initial consonant. Depending on which word precedes them, nouns, verbs, and adjectives can be aspirated.

Example

a peann – her pen

mo pheann – my pen

a mála – her bag

mo mhála – my bag

.

  • The urú or eclipsis happens when a letter is placed in front of another letter.  It’s called eclipsis because the added consonant eclipses the original one. This change makes the original initial letter go silent.
  • The table in the card shows you which consonants are added to specific letters. Nouns, verbs, and adjectives can be eclipsed.
  • Before vowels, n- is added.

Example:

bmb

bróga – shoes

ár mbróga – our shoes

ccg

cairde  – friends

ár gcairde – our friends

f bhf

feirm – farm

ár bhfeirm – our farm

Before vowels:

n-

athair – father

ár n-athair – our father

oifig – office

na n-oifigí – the office

i rinn – in Ireland

.In the Irish cards part 1 and part 2, the séimhiú and urú are indicated in colour green and orange respectively. These colours are used throughout the card to indicate when the aspiration or eclipsis takes place.

diagonal

  • For pronunciation purposes, and depending on the part the word plays in the sentence, t- or h can be placed before words beginning with a vowel.

Example

an t-uisce – the water

na hispíní  – the sausages

  • Note that t– and n– are followed by a hyphen. When the first letter is a capital letter, the hyphen is omitted.

Example:

an tSínChina

  • Words beginning with s followed by a vowel or by l, n, r, are prefixed by t when there’s an article an in the Nominative feminine singular, and in the Genitive masculine singular. If you don’t know what the cases are, don’t worry, they will be explained at a later stage.

Example:  

sráid – street ( feminine)

an tsráid – the street

sagart – priest ( masculine )

an tsagairt – of the priest

DEFINITE ARTICLE - THE
  • In Irish, there’s only one article, the definite article an (singular). In English, it’s the word the.

Example: an fhuinneog – the window

  • The plural form of an is na.

Example:

na fuinneoga – the windows

  • In the Genitive case in the singular form, feminine nouns use an instead of na.

Example:

Bun na fuinneoige.  At the bottom of the window.

  • If a noun doesn’t have the article an or nathen it’s not a specific word.

Example

fuinneog

Since there’s no article, it could mean window or a window. It’s any window, not the window.

VOWELS
  • Vowels are divided in broad (a, á, o, ó, u, ú) and slender (i, í, e, é). This is important because the type of vowel affects the pronunciation of the consonants beside it. It also affects the way you conjugate a verb.
  • “Slender with slender and broad with broad”, means that a consonant in the middle of a word must be surrounded by the same type of vowel, both slender or both broad.

Example: 

anois – now

 inné  yesterday 

Note that there are a few exceptions to this rule.

  • Vowels also have a long or short form. The fada over the vowels indicates that the vowel is to be pronounced long (á, é, í, ó, ú).
  • If the fada is omitted, words can take on very different meanings.

Example:

cáca (cake) 

caca (excrement)

THE COPULA FORMS
  • The Copula is a particle used for identification or definition.

Example:

Is péileadóir Seán.

Sean (subject) is a footballer (predicate).

Is Sasanaigh iad. They are English.

Is bord é. It is a table.

  • The table given in the card shows how is changes in negative, interrogative, questions in negative. It also gives you the past and conditional forms.

Example:

duine deas é. He is not a nice man

An Iodálach é? Is he Italian?

Arbh é Pól do chara? Was Paul your friend?

  • The Copula is also used to express ownership with the preposition le.

Example:

Is le Pól an carr. The car belongs to Paul.

BÍ PRESENT
  • Bí is used to express existence, a state of being, location, description. It is used for immediate present, events that are occurring at the present time.
  • In English it means I am, you are, he is, she is, you are, they are.

Example:

Séan ar scoil – John is at school. (John is in school now).

an bord mór – The table is big.

 

  • Bí is a very common verb and the negative ad interrogative forms are very different to the affirmative form. These tables should be studied thoroughly.

sé fuar.  It’s cold.

Níl sé fuar.  It’s not cold.

An bhfuil sé fuar? – Is it cold?

For easy reference, the colours clearly indicate the different persons.

PAST TENSE

The centre pages have plenty of information on verbs. To take full advantage of the Irish Study Cards, it’s important to understand the layout and colour coded system.

The left-hand side page has an upper and lower U table. The upper section contains the type 1 verbs (short verbs). They are also known as the 1st Conjugation verbs.

The bottom U table contains type 2 verbs (long verbs). They are also known as the 2nd Conjugation verbs.

On each box you will find the verb in Irish, tosaigh its meaning in English, begin, its verbal noun, tosú (beginning) and verbal adjective, tosaithe (begun).

verbs

In the centre of the page, you’ll find the three main tenses, Past, Present and Future.

Each person is indicated by its particular colour for easy reference.

Each tense table gives you the specific ending or change needed for each person for type 1 and type 2 verbs, the negative and interrogative form.

  • When conjugating the verbs in any tense, it’s very important to be familiar with the broad and slender final sound concept. Look at your verb and see what the last vowel is.
  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: a, á, o, ó, u or ú,  it’s a broad verb.

For example:

bog (move) = broad

  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: e, é, i or í,  it’s a slender verb.

For example:

cuir (put) = slender

You also need to be familiar with the type 1 and type 2 verbs.

  • Type 1 verbs are usually one syllable verbs (short verbs) Though there are exceptions.
  • Type 2 verbs are usually verbs with more than one syllable (long verbs).
  • Most verbs end in (a)igh. If the verb ends in aigh, it’s a broad verb, if it ends in igh it’s a slender verb.
  • Verbs that end in –il, ir, is are slender.
  • Verbs that end end in –ail, –air, –ais are broad.

  • The Past is the tense you use when you want to talk about completed actions in the past. This tense is very regular, as most words are the same, except for muid (we).

To form the past in Irish you have to do the following steps:

  1. Identify if your verb has a broad or slender end.
  2. Identify if your verb is a type 1 or type 2 verb
  3. Identify if your verb begins in the consonants given in the table or in a vowel/f+vowel.
  4. Check your table and see what change needs to be done on each person. If it begins in the consonants given, you use séimhiú (add a h after the first consonant). If it begins with a vowel or f, you add d’
  • In the case of muid (we), there are four different possible endings.  Type 1 broad/slender: amar/eamar. Type 2 broad/slender: aíomar/ íomar

Examples:

ól – drink                                 bris – break

d’ól meI drank                     bhris  I broke

d’ól you drank                  bhris  you broke

d’ól sé/síhe/she drank         bhris sé/síhe/she broke

d’ólamarwe drank (first type broad ending)        bhriseamar we broke (first type slender ending)

d’ól sibh you (pl) drank                                      bhris sibh you (pl) broke

d’ól siad they drank                                           bhris siad they broke .

This colour  in the table indicates that séimhiú takes place in negative and interrogative.  green1

Example:

Níor bhris sé an fhuinneog. He didn’t break the window.

Ar bhris sé an fhuinneog? Did he break the window?

There are exceptions to the type 2 verbs and additional changes may be made. This happens in some common verbs, so it will be best if you memorise them.

PRESENT TENSE
  • When conjugating the verbs in any tense, it’s very important to be familiar with the broad and slender final sound concept. Look at your verb and see what the last vowel is.
  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: a, á, o, ó, u or ú,  it’s a broad verb.

For example:

bog (move) = broad

  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: e, é, i or í,  it’s a slender verb.

For example:

cuir (put) = slender

You also need to be familiar with the type 1 and type 2 verbs. Also known as 1st and 2nd conjugation.

  • Type 1 verbs are usually one syllable verbs (short verbs) Though there are exceptions.
  • Type 2 verbs are usually verbs with more than one syllable (long verbs).
  • Most verbs end in (a)igh. If the verb ends in aigh, it’s broad, if it ends in igh it’s slender.
  • Verbs that end in –il, ir, is are slender.
  • Verbs that end in –ail, –air, –ais are broad.

  • The Present tense tells you what normally happens, it also tells you about present facts. This tense is very regular, as most endings are the same, except for (I) and muid (we).

To form the Present in Irish you have to do the following steps:

  1. Identify if your verb has a broad or slender ending.
  2. Identify if your verb is a type 1 or type 2 verb
  3. If it’s a type 1 verb, add the particular ending needed to the base form of the verb.
  4. If it’s a type 2 verb, remove aigh/igh and add the necessary ending.
  5. If the verb ends in (a)il, (a)in, (a)ir or (a)is,  remove the last i or ai and conjugate the verb with the appropriate ending.
  6. Add the pronoun after the verb (if the pronoun is shown on the table).

Example

ceannaigh  (buy)  – ceann +  broad ending  = ceannaím (I buy)

cruinnigh  (gather) cruinn + slender ending =  cruinníonn (I gather)

Example of conjugated verbs:

ceannaigh – buy                                                        bris – break

ceannaím  I buy                                                       brisim  I break

ceannaíonn  – you buy                                       briseann  you break

ceannaíonn sé/sí he/she buys                             briseann sé/síhe/she breaks

ceannaímid we buy                                                brisimid – we break

ceannaíonn sibh – you (pl) buy                               briseann sibh you (pl) break

ceannaíonn siad – they buy                                      briseann siad they break

These colours in the table indicate when séimhiú and urú take place in negative and interrogative. 

green

Examples: 

 cheannaím. I don’t buy.

An gceannaíonn tú? Do you buy?

There are exceptions to the type 2 verbs and additional changes may be made. This happens in some common verbs, so it will be best if you memorise them.

FUTURE TENSE
  • When conjugating the verbs in any tense, it’s very important to be familiar with the broad and slender final sound concept. Look at your verb and see what the last vowel is.
  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: a, á, o, ó, u or ú,  it’s a broad verb.

For example:

bog (move) = broad

  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: e, é, i or í,  it’s a slender verb.

For example:

cuir (put) = slender

You also need to be familiar with the type 1 and type 2 verbs.

  • Type 1 verbs are usually one syllable verbs (short verbs) Though there are exceptions.
  • Type 2 verbs are usually verbs with more than one syllable (long verbs).
  • Most verbs end in (a)igh. If the verb ends in aigh, it’s broad, if it ends in igh it’s slender.
  • Verbs that end in –il, ir, is are slender.
  • Verbs that end in –ail, –air, –ais are broad.

  • The Future is the tense used to talk about something that hasn’t happened yet, something that will happen in the future. This tense is very regular, as most endings are the same, except for the ending needed for we.

To form the Future in Irish you have to do the following steps:

  1. Identify if your verb has a broad or slender ending.
  2. Identify if your verb is a type 1 or type 2 verb
  3. If it’s a type 1 verb, add the particular ending needed to the base form of the verb.
  4. If it’s a type 2 verb, remove aigh/igh and add the necessary ending.
  5. If the verb ends in (a)il, (a)in, (a)ir or (a)is, remove the last i or ai and conjugate the verb with the appropriate ending.
  6. Then add the pronoun after the verb (if the pronoun is shown on the table).

Example:

Type 1: cuir  (put)   +  slender ending fidh  (for the first person singular I) = cuirfidh  (I will put) 

                Type 2:  cuimhnigh (remember) cuimhn + slender ending eoidh  cuimhneoidh mé (I will remember) Conjugation:

cuirput                                                            tosaigh – start

cuirfidh méI will put                                 tosóidh mé   I will start

cuirfidh   – you will put                             tosóidh  – you will start

cuirfidh sé/sí he/she will put                   tosóidh sé/síhe/she will start

cuirfimid we will put                                   tosóimid  we will start

cuirfidh  sibhyou (pl) will put                 tosóidh sibh you (pl) will start

cuirfidh  siadthey will buy                       tosóidh siad they will start

These colours in the table indicate when séimhiú and urú take place in negative and interrogative green

Examples:

Ní chuirfidh mé (I will not put)

An gcuirfidh tú? (Will you put?)

There are exceptions to the type 2 verbs and additional changes may be made. This happens in some common verbs, so it will be best if you memorise them.

OTHER FORMS IN TYPE 1 VERBS

1 SYLLABLE VERBS WITH IGH ENDING

  • Type 1 verbs are known to be one syllable verbs or short verbs. However, there are some short verbs that end in (a)igh.

Example:

buaigh (win) – buann (he wins)

 nigh (wash) – níonn   (he washed)

2 syllables like 1 syllable. Your table shows a few verbs that are 2 syllables verbs but treated like a 1 syllable.

Example:

 tiomáin (drive) – tiomáinim ( I drive)

sábháil (save) – sábhálann tú ( you save)

TYPE 2 VERBS
  • Some type 2 verbs end in il, in, ir and is. For pronunciation purposes, they become syncopated or shortened. All you do is remove the last i or ai and conjugate the verb with the appropriate ending.

Example:

codail (sleep) – codlaíonn (you sleep)

There are some verbs with these endings and aren’t shortened, therefore, it is advisable you study these forms thoroughly.

IRREGULAR VERBS

A round table frames this page with the 11 irregular verbs.

verb1

.

As you can see, each box contains different sections. The Past tense is shown first.

The first word given is the verb form for mé, tú, sé, sí, sibh and siad: rug mé… (Anytime you see mé…  it means this same form is also used for tú, sé, sí, sibh and siad). 

The second word is the verb form for muid (we): rugamar

The Present tense is given after. The first word is the form for mé: beirim 

The following word is the form for tú, sé, sí, sibh and siad: beireann tú…(Anytime you see ...  it means this same form is also used for sé, sí, sibh and siad

The last word in the section is the verb form for muid (we): beirimid

The Future tense follows the same pattern as with the Past tense. One form for mé… (I and the rest of the persons) and another for muid (we).

At the end of each verb box, the two words in bold represent the verbal noun: breith (catching) and the verbal adjective: beirthe (caught).

You’ll notice that some verbs have an asterisk, * this means they have an irregular form for the negative and interrogative in the past tense. Refer to the table on the bottom called IRREGULAR IN PAST for the irregular forms.

*IRREGULAR IN PAST (DEPENDENT)
  • This table shows the negative and interrogative forms in Past for 6 of the 11 irregular verbs located in the round table.
  • These verbs use instead of níor in the Past negative.

Study this table thoroughly as the verbs are very different to the positive form.

  • The first conjugation given: ní fhaca mé… is for I, you, he, she, you (pl)  and they. 
  • The second conjugation given: ní fhacamar is for we. 

Example:

chonaic sé (he saw) chonaiceamar (we saw)

ní fhaca sé ( he didn’t see) ní fhacamar (we didn’t see)

an bhfaca sé? (did he see?) an bhfacamar? (did we see?)

CONDITIONAL
  • When conjugating the verbs in any tense, it’s very important to be familiar with the broad and slender final sound concept. Look at your verb and see what the last vowel is.
  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: a, á, o, ó, u or ú,  it’s a broad verb.

Example:

bog (move) = broad

  • If the last vowel in the stem has any of these vowels: e, é, i or í, it’s a slender verb.

Example:

cuir (put) = slender

You also need to be familiar with the type 1 and type 2 verbs. They are also known as 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs.

  • Type 1 verbs are usually one syllable verbs (short verbs) Though there are exceptions.
  • Type 2 verbs are usually verbs with more than one syllable (long verbs).
  • Most verbs end in (a)igh. If the verb ends in aigh, it’s broad, if it ends in igh it’s slender.
  • Verbs that end in il, ir, is are slender.
  • Verbs that end end in –ail, –air, –ais are broad.

  • The Conditional is used to express that an action could happen depending on certain conditions: I would go, if…
  • To form the Conditional, you need to add the ending to the base form and then add the pronoun (if it’s given in the table).

To form the Conditional in Irish you have to do the following steps:

  1. Identify if your verb has a broad or slender end.
  2. Identify if your verb is a type 1 or type 2 verb
  3. If it’s a type 1 verb, add the particular ending needed to the base form of the verb.
  4. If it’s a type 2 verb, remove aigh/igh and add the necessary ending.
  5. If the verb ends in (a)il, (a)in, (a)ir or (a)is,  remove the last i or ai and conjugate the verb with the appropriate ending.
  6. Identify if your verb begins in the consonants given or in a vowel/f. If it begins in the consonants given in the table, you use séimhiú in affirmative and negative statements (add a h after the first consonant). Eclipse in affirmative and negative questions.
  7. If it begins in a vowel or f, add d’/d’fh. Drop d’/d’fh after an, ní and nach.
  8. When using nach, add n- 
  9. Add the pronoun after the verb (if the pronoun is shown on the table).

Example:

siúil – walk

siúl – siúlfadh sé – he would walk

ordaigh – order

d’ordóinnI would order

ól drink                                                                            bris – break

d’ólfainn  – I would drink                                           bhrisfinn I would break

dól you would drink                                              bhrisfeá – you would break

d’ólfadh sé/sí he/she would drink                         bhrisfeadh sé/síhe/she would break

d’ólfaimis – we would drink                                        bhrisfimis – we would break

d’ólfadh sibhyou (pl) would drink                           bhrisfeadh sibh you (pl) would break

d’ólfais they would drink                                       bhrisfidís   they would break

.

These colours in the table indicate when séimhiú and urú take place in negative and interrogative. 

green

Example:

 bhrisfeadh sé (He wouldn’t break)

An mbrisfeadh sé? (Would he break?)

There are exceptions to the type 2 verbs and additional changes may be made. This happens in some common verbs, so it will be best if you memorise them.

CONDITIONAL IRREGULAR VERBS

This table shows the 11 irregular verbs and their conditional form for every person. They follow the same rules for séimhiú and urú in negative and interrogative as with the regular verbs.

Example:

tar – come

thiocfainn  – I would go 

thiocfainn – I wouldn’t go 

an dtiocfainn? – Would I go? 

INDIRECT SPEECH
  • The Indirect Speech is used to report what someone has said.
  • Use the prepositions go (that) and nach (that not)to report something in Present. Note that you need to use urú.
  • In the past go becomes gur and nach becomes nár.

Some irregular verbs take go / nach, instead of gur /nár. Examples of each are given in the table below.

EMPHATIC PERSONAL PRONOUNS SUBJECT / OBJECT
  • These pronouns are used when you wish to emphasize the person. In English, you might need to change the intonation when saying: “He did it!”.  In Irish, you add these pronouns to the sentence.

Example: 

Ólann mise tae ach ólann tusa caife. I drink tea but you drink coffee.

If you want to emphasize the object pronoun, use the forms beside the subject pronouns: tusa/ thusa.

  • These emphatic forms are used when you wish the emphasize the person in the sentence.
  • Add the emphatic forms at the end of your prepositional pronoun.

Example:

Chuir sí litir chugam.  She sent a letter to me.

Chuir sí litir chugamsa.  She sent a letter to me. 

Remember that the colours used make it easier to find the form needed.col2


IMG_4185 If you have a particular question on how to use the card, don’t hesitate to contact us at: hola@yurisstudycards.ie

Share This