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Irish Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Irish grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Irish and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Irish and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Irish.

Prepositions - Irish
and agus Audio
above thuas Audio
under faoi Audio
before roimh Audio
after tar éis Audio
in front of os comhair Audio
behind taobh thiar Audio
far from i bhfad ó Audio
near in aice le Audio
in i Audio
inside laistigh Audio
outside lasmuigh Audio
with le Audio
without gan Audio
about um Audio
between idir Audio
but ach Audio
for le haghaidh Audio
from ó Audio
to go Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - Irish
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] ithim gan scian Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] tá sí ina cónaí in aice leis an séipéal Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] tá sé níos airde ná í Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] tháinig sé lena mhadra beag Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] an féidir leat teacht in éineacht liom? Audio

Negation in Irish

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - Irish
I understand you
[affirmative form] tuigim tú Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] ní thuigim tú Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] ní hé seo an focal ceart Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] ná fág mé Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] aon fhadhb Audio

Negative Sentences - Irish
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] ní féidir liom labhairt Fraincís Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] níor thug sí cuairt ar an Ghearmáin Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] ní féidir leis muid a fheiceáil Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] ní féidir léi ficheall a imirt? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] ní thiocfaidh muid teacht go déanach Audio

Questions in Irish

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - Irish
how? conas? Audio
what? cad é? Audio
who? cé? Audio
why? cén fáth? Audio
where? cén áit? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Irish
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] cén áit a bhfuil cónaí ort? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] an labhraíonn sí Sínis? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] cé mhéad é seo? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] is féidir liom cabhrú leat? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] cad is ainm duit? Audio

Adverbs in Irish

It's time to learn the adverbs in Irish. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - Irish
now anois Audio
yesterday inné Audio
today inniu Audio
tonight anocht Audio
tomorrow amárach Audio
soon go luath Audio
quickly go tapa Audio
slowly go mall Audio
together le chéile Audio
very an- Audio
almost beagnach Audio
always i gcónaí Audio
usually de ghnáth Audio
sometimes uaireanta Audio
rarely go hannamh Audio
never riamh (past) Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - Irish
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] an dtuigeann tú mé anois? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] tá cabhair ag teastáil uaim ar an bpointe Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] tá sí an-chliste Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] beidh grá agam duit go deo Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] an féidir linn gearmáinis a fhoghlaim le chéile? Audio

Pronouns in Irish

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Irish. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - Irish
I mé/ mise Audio
you tú/ tusa Audio
we sinn Audio
they siad Audio

Object Pronouns - Irish
me agam/dom/orm/liom/uaim/chugam/asam/ionam Audio
you agat/duit/ort/leat/uait/chugat/asat/ionat Audio
him aige/dó/air/leis/uaidh/chuige/as/ann Audio
her aici/di/uirthi/léi/uaithi/chuici/aisti/inti Audio
us againn/dúinn/orainn/linn/uainn/chugainn/asainn/ionainn Audio
them acu/dóibh/orthu/leo/uathu/chucu/astu/iontu Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Irish
my mo Audio
your do Audio
his a charr Audio
her a carr Audio
our ár gcarr Audio
their a gcarr Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - Irish
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] is mise do chara Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] labhraíonn tú go han-tapa Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] tá trí mhadra aige Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] is féidir léi Gearmáinis a labhairt Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] ní thiocfaidh muid go déanach Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] cheannaigh siad bainne agus arán Audio

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - Irish
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] an féidir leat d'ainm a insint dom? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] tabhairfaidh mé airgead duit Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] scríobh sí litir dó Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] thug siad cuairt uirthi inné Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] an féidir léi cuidiú linn? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] thug sé bia dóibh Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Irish
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] maya is ainm dom Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] conaíonn do dheartháir anseo Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] déanann a máthair cócaireacht dúinn Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] is é léamh leabhar a chaitheamh aimsire Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] is é cuairt a thabhairt páras ár aisling Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] níl a teach i bhfad Audio

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - Irish
this is my house is é seo mo theach Audio
that restaurant is far tá an bialann sin i bhfad Audio
these apples are delicious tá na úlla seo sobhlasta Audio
those stars are shiny tá na réaltaí sin lonrach Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Irish grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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