Read aloud the following sentences, or have someone who is familiar with the pronunciation guide for these lessons read them to you. Try to picture the meaning of each phrase and sentence as you listen. Do not look at the Key in English or Irish until you understand the meaning of all the sentences or until you have listened to them at least three times. Several tenses are represented in the narrative type of passage:
HAW*-nig may* uh-VWAHL-e goh mohk* in-YAY*. DOO-irt muh K*AH-ruh luhm nahk* me-YUHK* far uh FWISHT uh tyahk*t uh-REESH rev un law* nuh YEE-uh shin. nee VOO-ir may* nuh LI-trahk*-uh uh rev SOO-il uh-GUHM loh. MU-ruh me shee-uhd un-SHUH rev i VWAHD, neel is uh-GUHM kahd is FAY*-dir luhm uh YAY*N-uhv.
SHKREEF-hee may* hig un REE-uhl-tuhs uh-REESH, ahk* neel is uh-GUHM un NYAY*N-huhk* shin ay*n vwah.
Key (Béarla): I came home early yesterday. My friend told me that the postman wouldn’t be coming again before the next day. I didn’t get the letters that I had been expecting. If they are not here before long, I don’t know what I can do.
I will write to the government again, but I don’t know if that would do any good.
Key (Irish): Tháinig mé abhaile go moch inné. Dúirt mo chara liom nach mbeadh fear an phoist ag teacht arís roimh an lá ina dhiaidh sin. Ní bhfuair mé na litreacha a raibh súil agam leo. Mura mbeidh siad anseo roimh i bhfad, níl a fhios agam cad is féidir liom a dhéanamh.
Scríobhfaidh mé chuig an rialtas arís, ach níl a fhios agam an ndéanfadh sin aon mhaith.
To say “if it were a boat” (as contrasted with “if it is a boat”, más bád é), the form is:
Dá mba bhád é (daw* muh vwaw*d ay*).
“It would be a boat” is “bá bhád é”, and placing of “dá” before the phrase causes eclipsis of the “b” sound in “ba”.
This is the modh coinníollach, or conditional, with “is”.
Change “I would like a newspaper” to “If I wanted a newspaper, I would get it”: “Dá mba mhaith liom nuachtán, gheobhainn é (daw* muh vwah luhm NOO-uhk-taw*n, YOH-in ay*).
Dá mba é do hata é (daw* may* duh HAH-tuh ay*), if it were your hat.
Dá mba í Síle í, thabharfainn di na nótaí (daw* mee SHEEL-uh ee, HOOR-hin di nuh NOH-tee); if it were Síle, I would give her the notes.
Dá mb’fhear macánta Eoghan, chreidfinn é (daw* mar muh-KAW*N-tuh OH-uhn, HYRET-hin ay*); if Eoghan were an honest man, I would believe him.
In the last sentence, the “mba” runs into the noun “fear”. This is also the case in a sentence like “Dá mb’fhiu dom é, dhéanfainn é (daw* myoo duhm ay*, YAY*N-hin ay*); if it were worth my while, I would do it. “Is fiu dom é (is fyoo duhm ay*) means “it is worth my while”.
For another common example of this: Dá mb’fhéidir liom é a dhéanamh, rachainn ann (daw* MAY*-dir luhm ay* uh YAY*N-uhv, RAHK*-in oun); if I could do it, I would go there.
To say “if it were not a boat”:
Murar bhád é (MU-ruhr vwaw*d ay*).
If the next word after “murar” begins with an vowel or “f” followed by a vowel, a “bh” (v* sound is added. Examples of this:
Murarbh é Feilim é, ní chreidfinn é (MUR-erv ay* FEL-im ay*, nee HYRET-hin ay*), if it weren’t Feilim, I wouldn’t believe him.
Murarbh fhéidir leat (MUR-erv AY*dir lat) an obair a dhéanamh, gheobhainn duine eile; if you weren’t able to do the work, I would get someone else.
This completes almost the entire basic structure of the modh coinníollach, except for the indirect speech forms with “is”, which will be explained next week.
Resembling “mura” is the word “murach”, which is a short and convenient way to express at least two ideas. It can convey the idea of “except” and also “if it weren’t for”. Read these examples carefully several times to understand the form:
Rachainn, murach (MU-rahk*) an aimsir the (he); I would go if it weren’t for the hot weather, or, I would go but for the hot weather.
Bheadh áthas orm, murach an scrúdú; I would be happy if it weren’t for the examination.
Bhíodar anseo, murach Seán; they were here, except for Sean.
Bhaileoimis an t-airgead inné, murach go raibh an aimsir chomh dona (vwahl-YOH-i-mish un TAR-i-guhd in-YAY* MU-rahk* goh rev un EYEM-sheer hoh DUH-nuh); we would have collected the money yesterday, if the weather hadn’t been so bad.
Notice that the conditional and the regular, or indicative, verb forms are in the same sentence in the last example. This is allowable in many instances in Irish, but at the beginning you should always put both clauses in a conditional sentence in either the conditional mood or in the regular tense. Say “dá mbeadh chuirfinn ”, for example, or “má tá feiceann “
iompar (UM-pir), ag iompar (eg UM-puhr), iompraíonn sé (um-PREE-uhn shay*), iompróidh sé (um-PROH-ee shay*); carry, carrying, he carries, he will carry.
comhair (KOH-ir), ag comhaireamh (uh KOH-ir-uhv), comhaireann sé, comhairfidh sé (KOH-ir-hee shay*); count, counting, he counts, he will count.
suigh (si), ina shuí (IN-uh hee), suíonn sé (SEE-uhn shay*), suifidh sé (SI-hee shay*); sit, sitting (in his sitting), he sits, he will sit.
luigh (li), ina luí (IN-uh lee), luíonn sé (LEE-uhn shay*), luifidh sé (LI-hee shay*); lie, lying (in his lying), he lies, he will lie; this means “lie” in the sense of recline or lie down.
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