Read the following sentences aloud. Do not translate them word for word, but instead form a mental picture of the action and the agents.
Deir sé go mbeidh sé ag cur sneachta roimh i bhfad.
Chualamar nár fhill sí ar scoil anuraidh.
Dúirt Mícheál liom gan glaoch ar a dhochtúir.
D’fheicfeá go bhfuil an bus in aice an stáisiúin, dá mbeifeá lasmuigh den oifig.
Níor cheapamar go gcloisfeá an chéad traein eile.
Déarfaidh mé le Réamonn gan teacht anseo amárach.
Déaradh Brian liom dul abhaile ach gan an doras tosaigh a ligint oscailte.
Dúirt Síle liom gur cheannaíodh sí troscán sa siopa ilranna sin.
Ghuíomar gan na saighdiúirí a fhilleadh.
D’iarrfaidh mé air an leabhar a cheannach dom.
He says that it will be snowing before long. We heard that she didn’t return to school last year. Mícheál told me not to call (telephone) his doctor. You would see that the bus is next to the station, if you were outside the office. We didn’t think that you would hear the next train.
I will tell Réamonn not to come here tomorrow. Brian would tell me to go home but not to leave the front door open. Síle told me that she used to buy furniture in that department store. We prayed that the soldiers would not return. I will ask him to buy the book for me.
Nótaí: “Lasmuigh (lahs-MWEE) de” means “outside of”; “laistigh (lahsh-TEE) de” is “inside of”. “Ilranna” means “many departments or sections”, from “roinn”, a share or part of. “Nár fhille na saighdiúirí” were the words actually spoken in connection with the next to the last sentence.
Orders or commands in Irish are given in several ways beside the simple forms for speaking directly to one or several persons.
“Las an solas” means that you want one person, the person being spoken to, to light the light. “Lasaigí an solas” is an order to two or more persons.
If you want someone else to light the light, you would say in English “Let him light the light” or “Have him light the light”. In Irish, there is a special form for this in every verb:
Lasadh sé an solas.
Other examples: Oladh sé an tae, let him drink the tea. Ritheadh sí abhaile, have her run home. Ceannaíodh (KAN-ee-ohk*) sé an tolg (TUHL-luhg), have him buy the sofa. Imíodh (IM-ee-ohk*) sí leí, have her depart.
For “Have them ___”, the forms are: lasaidís an solas, have them light the light. Olaidís an tae; rithidís abhaile; ceannaídís an tolg; imídís leo.
For ordering ourselves to do something, which is the equivalent of the English “Let us ___”, the Irish forms are:
Lasaimis (LAHS-uh-mish) an solas; ólaimis an tae; rithimis abhaile; ceannaímis (KAN-ee-mish) an tolg; imímis linn.
There is even a form for ordering one’s self to do something, although it is not common. It is the same as the present tense, “Lasaim an solas”, which means approximately “Let me light the light” or “I am going to light the light”. It is more common in a few negative forms, such as “Ná cloisim é sin”, Don’t let me hear that, I don’t want to hear that”.
Finally, there is an imperative for the free form, an fhoirm shaor:
Lastar an solas; have someone light the light, let the light be lit.
This form is often a prohibition. For example, the equivalent of “No smoking” or “Smoking prohibited” is “Ná caitear tobac”.
Read these complete lists aloud and picture the effect of each command:
For orders to refrain from an action, which is the negative command, add, “ná” (naw*) before the forms above: ná cuirim, ná cuir, ná cuireadh sé, ná cuireadh sí, ná cuirimis, ná cuirigí, ná cuiridís, ná cuirtear é.
If the verb begins with a vowel, prefix an “h” to it:
Ná hól an deoch sin, ná hóladh sí an t-uisce; don’t let her drink the water, make sure she doesn’t drink the water.
Examples of usage for an modh ordaitheach:
Téimis abhaile, let’s go home. Fanimis anseo, let’s stay here. Ná seastar anseo, no standing here.
For “tá”, the forms are:
bím, bí, bíodh sé, bíodh sí, bímis, bígí, bídís, bítear
For the irregular verbs, the imperative forms are nearly all regular.
Tar, come: tagaim, tar, tagadh sé, tagadh sí, tagaimis, tagaigí, tagaidís, tagtar.
Tabhair, give: tugaim, tabhair, tugadh sé, tugadh sí, tugaimis, tugaigí, tugaidís, tugtar.
Abair, say: abraim, abair, abradh sé, abradh sí, abraimis, abraigí, abraidís, abairtear.
In Irish, “to have” makes use of “tá” with “ag”. Emotions and illnesses need “tá with “ar”. The imperative, as well as the subjunctive for wishing, must have a form of “tá” in these instances. Examples:
Bíodh arán agat, have some bread. Bíodh ceann eile agat, have another one. Bíodh pláta ag Séamas, let Séamas have a plate.
Bíodh áthas ort, be happy. Ná bíodh eagla ort, don’t be afraid. Ná bíodh éad ort, don’t be jealous.
Go raibh áthas ort, may you be happy. Go raibh biseach air, may he recover. Go raibh saol fada agat, may you have a long life. Ná raibh dóiteán dea leithead sin agat, I hope you don’t have a fire like that.
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