Learn these verbs and nouns, and then read the sentences following the lists:
cabhraigh (KOU-ree) le, ag cabhrú (KOU-roo), cabhraithe (KOU-ruh-he), cabhraíonn sé (KOU-ree-uhn shay*) le, cabhróidh (KOU-roh-ee) sé le; help, helping, helped, he helps, he will help. This verb is followed by “le”, as in “Cabhraím le Múiris (MWIR-ish), I help Maurice”.
béic (bay*k), ag béiceadh (BAY*K-uh), béicthe (BAY*K-he), béiceann sé, béicfidh (BAY*K-hee) sé; yell, shout shouting, shouted, he shouts, he will shout. Bhéic sé dom (VAY*K shay* duhm), he shouted to me.
eitil (E-til), ag eitilt (eg E-tilt), eitilte, eitlíonn sé, eitleoidh sé (et-LOH-ee shay*); fly, flying, flown, he flies, he will fly.
adhain (EYE-in), ag adhaint, adhanta (EYE-uhn-tuh), adhnann sé (EYE-nuhn shay*), adhanfaidh sé (EYE-uhn-hee shay*); kindle or light, lighting, lit, he lights, he will light.
dóigh (DOH-ee), ag dó, dóite (DOH-i-te), dónn sé (dohn shay*), dófaidh sé (DOH-hee shay*); burn, scorch, burning, burnt, he burns, he will burn.
adhmad (EYE-muhd), an t-adhmad, an adhmaid (un EYE-mwid); wood, timber, the wood, of the wood. 1st declension, masculine.
ordóg (ohr-DOHG), an ordóg, na hordóige (hohr-DOH-i-ge), na hordóga; thumb. 2nd declension, feminine.
méar (may*r), an mhéar (vay*r), na méire (nuh MAY*R-e), na méara; finger. 2nd declension, feminine.
lámhainn (LAW*-vwin), an lámhainn, na lámhainne (LAW*-vwin-ye), na lámhainní (LAW*-vwin-yee); glove. 2nd declension, feminine.
gás (gaw*s), an gás, an gháis (GAW*sh); gas, the gas, of the gas. 1st declension, masculine.
iascaire (EES-kuh-re), an t-iascaire, an iascaire, na hiscairí; fisherman, the fisherman, of the fisherman, the fishermen. 3rd declension, masculine.
iasc (EE-uhsk), an t-iasc, an éisc (AY*shk), na héisc; fish, the fish, of the fish, the fish. 1st declension, masculine.
Read the following sentences, forming a mental picture of the activity and the agent, without actually translating word for word:
Cabhróidh Seán liom, má bheidh sé ann amárach.
Bhéiceadh sé suas an staighre dá mhac.
Dá ndófá an t-iasc, ní bheadh rud ar bith le n-ithe againn.
D’eitlíomar ar an eitleán (ET-i-law*n) is mó sa domhan (DOH-wuhn).
Éileoimid os cionn (ohs KYUN) an tí dhóite.
Dóim gás sa teach seo, ach dhómar gual anuraidh (uh-NOOR-e).
D’adhnainn an tine ar a sé a chlog, ach anois bíonn an aimsir ró-the.
Dhóigh sé a mhéar ar an sorn.
Chabhróinn leat dá dtiocfá thart anseo.
Key: Seán will help me if he is here tomorrow. He used to shout upstairs to his son. If you were to burn the fish, we wouldn’t have anything to eat. We flew on the largest airplane in the world. We will fly over the burned house. I burn gas in this house, but we burned coal last year. I used to light the fire at six o’clock, but now the weather is too hot. He burned his finger on the stove. I would help you if you came over here.
Notes on the new words: Another way of saying “help” in Irish is “tabhair cabhair dom”, meaning “give me help”. This is another example of how Irish often expresses an idea with a verb and a noun, as well as a special verb alone.
Cabhair belongs to a small group of nouns called the fifth declension. Its forms: cabhair (KOU-ir), an chabhair, na cabhrach (KOU-rahk*), na cabhracha; help, the help, of the help, the helps. You have probably seen the name “An Cumann Cabhrach”, which means “The Society of Help” or “The Aid Society”.
“Dóigh” is a first-conjugation verb, like dún and bris, but in the present tense “dóigh” is slightly different.
dóim (DOH-im), I burn, dónn tú (dohn too), you burn, dónn sé, sí, dóimid (DOH-i-mid), we burn, dónn sibh, dónn siad, dóitear (DOH-i-tyuhr), it is burned.
A few other verbs resemble “dóigh”. Clóigh (KLOH-ee), means “print”. Clóitear anseo é; it is printed here. Reoigh (ROH-ee), means “freeze”. Reofaigh sé (ROH-hee shay*) an t-iasc, he will freeze the fish.
Do not use “adhmaid” for a clump of trees, which is a “coill” (kwil), a wood in English. An bord adhmaid (EYE-mwid) is a wooden table.
Lámhainn comes from the word for hand, lámh. The English word “glove” is also derived from words for hand, but the derivation is not as apparent.
Eitilt is one of a family of words relating to aerial flight. Eite means wing, and eitleán, an t-eitleán (un TET-i-law*n), na heitleáin (nuh HET-i-law*-in), airplane, the airplane, the airplanes, is a derived word.
Iascaire is one of a few 4th-declension words ending in -e and signifying occupation or job descriptions. Scoláire is another, and cigire (KIG-i-re) means inspector; na scoláirí and na cigirí are the plurals.
The preposition “ar” can give other meanings to verbs that it follows. For example, “lig ar” means to pretend.
Lig sé air nach bhfaca sé an madra; he pretended that he didn’t see the dog.
Lig ort nach bhfuil tú anseo; pretend that you are not here.
This differs from “cuir i gcás”, which means “suppose”, as in “Cuir i gcás go bhfuil tú ar an ngealach (er uhng AL-uhk*)”, suppose that you are on the moon.
“Cuir isteach ar” means to interfere with someone. “Chuir sé isteach orm”, he interrupted me, he broke in on what I was doing.
Dódh an séipéal. D’adhanfainn an tine dá mbeadh cipín agam. Chabhríodh Brian le fear an phoist. Béicfidh sibh nuair a fheicfidh sibh an bád nua. D’eitil sí amach trasna na farraige. Ligeadh Séamas air go mbíodh sé breoite. Tá sé ag adhaint na tine anois. Níor chuir sé sin isteach orm gur shroich mé an chathair.
Key: The church was burned. I would light the fire if I had a match. Brian used to help the postman. You will shout when you see the new boat. She flew out across the sea. Séamas used to pretend that he was sick. He is lighting the fire now. That man didn’t interrupt me until I reached the city.
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