The Irish People is the only newspaper of its kind published in the United States. The Irish People is published 50 weeks a year since 1971. A sixteen page political weekly, The Irish People gives up-to date, uncensored information pertaining to the war in northeast Ireland. It also keeps its readers abreast of events here in the United States aimed at combating the injustices carried out by the British forces of occupation.



Irish Language Lessons

Irish Lesson 104


Last week, the forms for "I would put, you would put, etc.," were given. The negative, the question, the negative question, the "dá," and the "mura" forms are similar, but the initial consonant may be eclipsed instead of aspirated. This resembles the change system for "tá."

First, for the negative:

ní chuirfinn (K*IR-hin), I wouldn't put

ní chuirfeá· (K*IR-faw*), you wouldn't put

ní chuirfeadh sé (K*IR-huhk* shay*), he wouldn't put

ní chuirfeadh sí, she wouldn't put

ní chuirfimis (K*IR-hi-mish), we wouldn't put

ní chuirfeadh sibh, you-all wouldn't put

ní chuirfidís (K*IR-hi-deesh), they wouldn't put

ní chuirfí (K*IR-fee), people wouldn't put


For verbs ending in a broad consonant, "cas" is an example:

ní chasfainn (K*AHS-hin), I wouldn't turn

ní chasfá (K*AHS-faw*), you wouldn't turn

ní chasfadh sé (K*AHS-huhk* shay*), he wouldn't turn

ní chasfadh sí, she wouldn't turn

ní chasfaimis (K*AHS-hi-mish), we wouldn't turn

ní chasfadh sibh, you-all wouldn't turn

ní chasfaidís (K*AHS-hi-deesh), they wouldn't turn

ní chasfaí (K*AHS-fwee), people wouldn't turn


Example: ní chasfaí anseo, mura mbeadh solas ar an mballa; people wouldn't turn here, if there weren't a light on the wall.


For the questions, for "dá" and for "mura," eclipsis occurs if the verb begins with a consonant that can be eclipsed.

The simple questions are:

an gcuirfinn? (GIR-hin), would I put?

an gcuirfeá? (GIR-faw*), would you put?

an gcuirfeadh sé? (GIR-huhk*), would he put?

an gcuirfeadh sí?, would she put?

an gcuirfimis? (GIR-hi-mish), would we put?

an gcuirfeadh sibh?, would you-all put?

an gcuirfidís? (GIR-hi-deesh), would they put?

an gcuirfí? (GIR-fee), would people put?


For the verb "cas":

an gcasfainn? (GAHS-hin), would I turn?

an gcasfá? (GAHS-faw*), would you turn?

an gcasfadh sé? (GAHS-huhk*), would he turn?

an gcasfadh sí?, would she turn?

an gcasfaimis? (GAHS-hi-mish), would we turn?

an gcasfadh sibh?, would you-all turn?

an gcasfaidís? (GAHS-hi-deesh), would they turn?

an gcasfaí? (GAHS-fwee), would people turn?


Example: An gcuirfeá an t-airgead sa bhanc, dá mbeadh am go leor agat?; Would you put the money in the bank, if you had (enough) time?


The negative question is:

Nach gcuirfinn? Nach gcuirfeá? Nach gcuirfeadh sé? Nach gcuirfeadh sí? Wouldn't I put?, wouldn't you put?, etc.

Nach gcuirfimis? Nach gcuirfeadh sibh? Nach gcuirfidís? Nach gcuirfí? Wouldn't we put?, wouldn't you-all put? wouldn't they put?, wouldn't people put?


For "cas," the negative question is:

Nach gcasfainn? Nach gcasfá? Nach gcasfadh sé? Nach gcasfaí? Wouldn't I turn?, wouldn't you turn?, wouldn't he turn? wouldn't people turn?


"Dá" and "mura" also cause eclipsis:

Dá gcuirfinn (daw* GIR-hin), if I should put, etc.

Dá gcasfainn (daw* GAHS-hin), if I should turn, etc.

Mura gcuirfinn, if I were not to put, etc.

Mura gcasfainn, if I were not to turn, etc.


If the verb begins with a vowel, such as "a, e, i, o, u," minor differences occur. Examples, with which you will become familiar during later exercises, are:

D'ólfadh sé é (DOHL-huhk* shay* ay*), he would drink it. Nach n-ólfadh sé?, wouldn't he drink? Dá n-ólfadh sé, if he were to drink. Mura n-ólfadh sé, if he weren't to drink.


If the verb begins with an "f," a "d" precedes it in the declarative, which is the simplest form:

D'fhágfainn é (DAW*K-hin ay*), I would leave it. D'fheicfeadh sé é (DEK-huhk* shay* ay*), he would see it.



isualize the verb meaning and who the subject is (I, you, Ciaran, etc.) for these phrases:

Má bhris sé é. Chreidfeá é. Mura n-ólfaidís (NOHL-hi-deesh) é. Dá bpógfainn (BOHK-hin) í. Mura mbeimid ann. Ní stadfadh (STAHT-huh) Séamas. An scuabfaidh (SKOOP-hee) sibh é? Nach líonfá é? Mura gcuireann Mairsile (MAHR-shil-e) sa chistin (HYISH-tin) é. Dá mbearrfaimis (MYAHR-hi-mish) sinn féin.

Key: If he broke it. You would believe him. If they weren't to drink it. If I were to kiss her. If we won't be there. Séamas wouldn't stop. Will you-all brush it? Wouldn't you fill it? If Mairsile doesn't put it in the kitchen. If we were to shave (ourselves).

Each of the phrases is one-half of a complete condition and result, such as: Mura n-ólfaidís é, bheadh tart orthu; if they weren't to drink it, they would be thirsty.

Up to now, the many forms for the conditional have called for heavy repetitive drilling. The conditional form or mood is very important in Irish, however, and must be mastered if you are to be able to express yourself accurately, understand others, and get the meaning from what you read.

You still need to learn the second conjugation's conditional, and the conditional for "is" and for some of the irregular verbs. After that, there will be intensive conversations and reading exercises to help you become fluent in the modh coinníollach.


Irish Lesson 105

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