Irish Lesson 38


Read the phrases below out loud, referring to the pronunciation guide if necessary. When you can read the phrases readily, look at the translation and then go over the phrases again, visualizing the meaning as you say each.

dhá bhéile; dhá bhord

dhá chiseán; trí chupán

ceithre dhinnéar; cúig dhoras

sé fheirm; dhá fhuinneog

ocht mbricfeasta; ocht mbád

seacht gcistin; naoi gclog

ocht nduais; deich ndoirteal

seacht bhfiacail; naoi bhfadhb

gaw* VAY*L-uh; gaw* vohrd

gaw* hyish-AW*N; tree k*u-PAW*N

KER-e YIN-yay*r; KOO-ig GUH-ruhs

shay* ER-im; gaw* in-YOHG

ohk*t mrik-FAS-tuh; ohk*t maw*d

shahk*t GISH-tin; nee gluhg

ohk*t NOO-ish; de NUHRT-uhl

shahk*t VEE-kil; nee veyeb

two meals; two tables

two baskets; three cups

four dinners; five doors

six farms; two windows

eight breakfasts; eight boats

seven kitchens; nine clocks

eight prizes; ten sinks

seven teeth; nine problems

Remember that "naoi", nine, is pronounced with a broad "n". This means that a faint (uh) sound occurs between the (n) and (ee). Lesson 28 described this. The word may sound a little like (nay*) but there is a clear difference.


In Lessons 29 and 33, you learned the past tense of "Come, go, see, hear". These are irregular in the past but regular in the present.

  1. Tar! (tahr) Come!

    Tagaim (TAHG-im), I come; tagann tú (TAHG-uhn too), you come, etc. Tagaimid (TAHG-uh-mid), we come.

    Ní thagaim (nee HAHG-im) I don't come; ní thagann tú, etc.

    An dtagaim? (un DAHG-im), do I come? an dtagann tú? etc.

  2. Téigh! (tay*) Go!

    Téim (TAY*-im) I go; téann tú (TAY*-uhn too), you go, etc. Téimid (TAY*-mid), we go.

    Ní théim (nee HAY*-im), I don't go. Ní théann tú (nee HAY*- uhn too), you don't go, etc. Ní théimid (nee HAY*-mid), we don't go.

    An dtéim? (un DAY*-im), do I go? an dtéann tú? etc.

  3. Feic! (fek) See!

    Feicim (FEK-im), I see; feiceann tú (FEK-uhn too), you see, etc. Feicimid (FEK-i-mid), we see.

    Ní fheicim (nee EK-im), I don't see; ní fheiceann tú (nee EK- uhn too), you don't see, etc. Ní fheicimid (nee EK-i-mid), we don't see.

    An bhfeicim? (un VEK-im) do I see?; an bhfeiceann tú? (un VEK- uhn too) do you see? etc.

  4. Clois! (klish) Hear!

    Cloisim (KLISH-im), I hear; cloiseann tú (KLISH-uhn too), you hear, etc. Cloisimid (KLISH-i-mid), we hear.

    Ní chloisim (nee K*LISH-im), I don't hear; ní chloiseann tú, you don't hear, etc. Ní chloisimid (nee K*LISH-i-mid), we don't hear.

    An gcloisim? (un GLISH-im), do I hear? an gcloiseann tú? etc.

    An gcloisimid? (un GLISH-i-mid), do we hear?

Usage of "feic" and clois" resembles that of "see" and hear" in English. Say "Cloisim é" for "I hear him", not "Tá mé á chloisteáil", I am hearing him.


Translate the following drills out loud:

  1. I came home; does Art come home? He didn't come home; we come.

  2. I went down the road; does Art go down the road? He didn't go down the road; we go down the road.

  3. I saw the school; does Art see the school? He didn't see the school; we see the school.

  4. I heard the train; does Art see the train? He didn't see the train; we hear the train.


  1. Tháinig mé abhaile; an dtagann Art abhaile? Níor tháinig sé abhaile; tagaimid abhaile.

  2. Chuaigh mé síos an bóthar; an dtéann Art síos an bóthar? Ní dheachaigh sé síos an bóthar; téimid síos an bóthar.

  3. Chonaic mé an scoil; an bhfeiceann Art an scoil? Ní fhaca sé an scoil; feicimid an scoil.

  4. Chuala mé an traein; an gcloiseann Art an traein? Níor chuala sé an traein; cloisimid an traein.


D'éirigh mé (DEYE-ree may*) go moch maidin inné. Chuaigh mé amach suas an bóthar. De ghnách (de GNAW*K*) téim chuig (hig) siopa nuachtáin, agus ansin tagaim abhaile timpeall a hocht a chlog. An uair (OO-ir) sin, áfach, ní dheachaigh mé ach cúpla céim (kay*m). Chuala mé madra ag tafann (TAHF-uhn), agus ansin chonaic mé cat i gcrann in aice an chúinne (K*OON-ye). Thuas sa gcrann, bhi an cat ina shui, ag féachaint go ciúin ar an madra. Níor tháinig an cat anuas (uh-NOO-uhs) roimh (rev) am (oum) suipéir.

I got up early yesterday morning I went up the road. Usually I go to a paper store, and then I come home around eight o'clock. That time, however, I didn't go but a couple of steps. I heard a dog barking, and I saw a cat in a tree near the corner. Up in the tree, the cat was sitting, quietly looking at the dog. The cat didn't come down before suppertime.

Note: With a few verbs, like suigh (si), sit, the form is "Tá sé ina shuí", he is in his sitting, rather than "tá sé ag suí". "I was sitting" is Bhí mé i mo shuí (i muh HEE). Similar verbs are "luigh" (li), lie; ina luí, in his lying; seas (shas), stand, ina sheasamh (HAS-uhv), in his standing.

(c) 1997 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.

Irish Lesson 37

Irish Lesson 39

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