“IF” SENTENCES WITH “DÁ” AND “MURA”
There are other forms for “tá” in addition to:
bheadh sé (ve-YUHK* shay*), he would be
ní bheadh sé (nee ve-YUHK* shay*), he wouldn’t be
an mbeadh sé? (un me-YUHK* shay*), would he be?
nach mbeadh sé? (nahk* me-YUHK* shay*), wouldn’t he be?
dá mbeadh sé (daw* me-YUHK* shay*), if he were
mura mbeadh sé (MUR-ruh me-YUHK* shay*), if he were not
These other forms are for “you”, “they”, “I”, and so on. Learn these first for “I would be”, “you would be”, etc.
bheinn (ven), I would be
bheifeá (VE-faw*), you would be
bheadh sé (ve-YUHK* shay*), he would be
bheadh sí (ve-YUHK* shee), she would be
bheimis (VE-mish), we would be
bheadh sibh (ve-YUHK* shiv), you (plural) would be
bheidís (VE-deesh), they would be
bheifí (VE-fee), people would be
For the negative: Ní bheinn (nee ven), I would not be, etc.
For questions: An mbeinn? (un men), Would I be?, etc.
Negative questions: nach mbeinn? (nahk* men), wouldn’t I be?, etc.
For “if”; Dá mbeinn (daw* men), If I were, etc.
For “if not”: Mura mbeinn (MUR-ruh men), If I were not, etc.
Go through each of the six series here out loud several times before reading any of the practice sentences.
Review the conditional with “tá”:
Bheinn in Éirinn, dá mbeadh m’athair ann (ven in AY*R-in daw* me-YUHK* MAH-ir oun).
Dá mbeifeá tinn, bheadh imní orm (daw* VE-faw* tin, ve-YUHK* IM-nee OH-ruhm).
Mura mbeimis sa cathair, an mbeidís leatsa? (MUR-ruh ME-mish suh K*AH-hir, an ME-deesh LAT-suh). Ní bheidís (nee VE-deesh).
Nach mbeadh Séamas agus Nóra ag baile, dá mbeadh sibh ag teacht isteach anocht?
Dá mbeadh Brian ag dul abhaile anuraidh, an mbeifeá cois farraige? (uh-NOOR-ee; kish FAH-rig-e). Ní bheinn.
Key: I would be in Ireland, if my father were there. If you were sick, I would be worried. If we weren’t in the city, would they be with you? They wouldn’t be.
Wouldn’t Séamas and Nóra be at home, if you were coming in tonight? If Brian had been going home last year, would you have been at the seashore? I wouldn’t have been.
Repetitive drill with the conditional:
Go through a repetitive drill, aloud of course, for the conditional:
An mbeinn anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile?
Ní bheinn anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile.
Bheifeá anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile.
An mbeifeá anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile?
Ní bheifeá anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile.
Bheidh sé anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile. Continue with sí, bheimis, bheadh sibh, and bheidís. The last sentence will be: Bheinn anseo, mura mbeadh Seán sa bhaile.
Another repetitive drill:
Nach mbeinn i gCorcaigh, dá mbeadh airgead agam?
Ní bheinn i gCorcaigh, dá mbeadh airgead agam.
Bheifeá i gCorcaigh, dá mbeadh airgead agam.
Nach bheifeá i gCorcaigh, dá mbeadh airgead agam? Continue with sé, sí, bheimis, bheadh sibh, and bheidís. The last sentence will be:
Bheinn i gCorcaigh, dá mbeadh airgead agam.
“Go mbeadh” and “nach mbeadh” are typical forms. Read these sentences aloud and picture their meaning.
Deir Cormac go mbeadh áthas air, dá mbeadh biseach ar a mhadra (AW*-huhs; BI-shahk*).
Deirim leat nach mbeinn ar an mbád mura mbeidís ann.
Dúirt Máire liom go mbeadh sí ar an eitleán roimh a trí a chlog san iarnóin, dá mbeadh cead aici imeacht (ET-i-law*n; eer-NOH-in).
Key: Cormac says that he would be happy if his dog were feeling better. I tell you that I wouldn’t be on the boat if they weren’t there. Máire told me that she would be on the airplane before three o’clock in the afternoon, if she had permission to leave.
Another purpose of the conditional in indirect speech in the past tense is to indicate that the speaker was talking about the future. An example:
Dúirt mé léi go mbeidh Éamonn i Nua Eabhrac ar ball (DOO-irt may* lay* goh me-YUHK* AY*-muhn i NOO-uh OU-ruhk er boul), I told her that Éamonn would be in New York presently.
This means that the speaker’s actual words to “her” were: Éamonn will be in New York presently.
Sometimes you must be careful in wording when telling what someone said would happen in the future. An example of this:
Suppose that Nóra has said to Síle (SHEE-luh): Beimid i nGaillimh i gceann tamaill, we will be in Galway in a little while.
At the present time, Nóra should say: Dúirt mé le Síle go mbeimis i nGaillimh i gceann tamaill.
If Síle were speaking at the present time, however, she would say: Dúirt sí liom go mbeadh mise agus sise i nGaillimh i gceann tamaill, or: Dúirt sí liom go mbeidís i nGaillimh i gceann tamaill, she told me that they would be in Galway in a little while.
The choice would depend on whether Síle had been among the original “we”. (She might have been merely a friend to whom Nóra was telling that she (Nóra) and another friend would be in Galway.)
Return to Lesson Index