Irish Language Crashcourse: Lesson 2

Now that you can conjugate to be in Irish, I’ll show you how you can put it to use!

All "active words" are usually expressed using the word ag before the action

eg the Irish word for run is rith. So, ag rith is how you say running.

Easy, right? I’ll give you some of the most basic actions below, and you can get practicing!

run is rith

drink is ól

eat is ith

walk is siúl

read is léamh

go is dul

Seems pretty straightforward! Give these a go:

?She is eating|Tá sí ag ith

?They are drinking|Tá siad ag ól

?Máire is walking|Tá Máire ag siúl

?We are reading|Táimid ag léamh

Good going! Now, since "to be" is irregular, it does not function like most other verbs in Irish. To question someone, you do not use "tá", you use "An bhfuil...".

eg An bhfuil tú ag ól? = Are you drinking?

An dtuigeann sibh? (Do you understand?)

?An bhfuil tú ag rith?|Are you running?

Feeling a little confused? Get this - In Irish, there is no Yes and No, you simply answer with the positive or negative of the verb. This is easy enough now because we’ve only learned one verb, so far!

Freagair na Ceisteanna! (Answer the Questions!)

?Are you going? Yes!|An bhfuil tú ag dul? Tá!

The other answer is Níl

An bhfuil... is always answered with either or níl

Congrats, now you can form simple sentences, negate them, and even answer questions!

The next verb we’ll learn to use is to do/make. Again, it is irregular - lots of learning fun! This, however, is a useful verb to understand, because its extensions are used for several expressions - I forgot for example is literally translated as I did forget. The verb is Déan.

The conjugation in present tense is -aim,-ann, and -aimid

Using the structure learned for in Lesson one, translate the following:

The Irish for Homework is Obair bhaile

?I do homework|Déanaim obair bhaile.

But whose homework is it? Possession in Irish is expressed using mo, do, a, ár and bhur, which are my, your, his/her, our, and your(pl). It should also be noted that two vowels cannot come together, so in the case of obair bhaile, it is changes to m’obair bhaile. An dtuigeann sibh?

So what would the following be?

?You do your homework|Déanann tú d’obair bhaile

To use this as a question, you say An dhéanann...?

?Do you do your homework?|An dhéanann tú d’obair bhaile?

Good going, you’re doing well! As you can see, this is the basis for most verbs, and due to the restrictions of this site, I suggest you brush up on vocab elsewhere, and then you can say anything!

Let’s try to use both of our verbs together.

Doing is ag déanamh

?Are you doing your homework?|An bhfuil tú ag déanamh d’obair bhaile?

If you got that, good going; If not, we’ve plenty of time to work on it!