Read the following following sentences aloud, or have someone read them to you. Form a mental picture of the action and of what is the agent.
Is é sin an stáisiún raidio a chraol an clár faoi Phádraig Mac Piarais (PEER-ish).
Thug Eoghan go dtí an t-ospidéal an fear an bhuail an trucail é.
Tabharfaidh Brónach (BROHN-ahk*) a gcéirníní don chailín a dtugann sí na téipeanna di.
Key: That’s the radio station that broadcast the program about Pádraig Pearse. Eoghan took the man whom the truck hit to the hospital. Brónach (the Irish equaivalent of “Dolores”) will give their records to the girl to whom she gives the tapes.
Next, review one verb in several ways and tenses:
Ba é sin an fear a mholann na Spáinnigh (SPAW*-in-yee).
Scríobh mé chuig an mbean a mhol na cláir Iodáileacha.
Labhraíomar leis an mbuachaill a mholadh a dhochtúir.
Glaofaidh mé ar an mbainisteoir nach molfadh m’obair.
Key: That was the man who praises the Spaniards. I wrote to the woman who praised the Italian programs. We talked with the boy who used to praise his doctor. I will telephone the manager who wouldn’t praise my work.
More sentences for practice:
Bhí cruinniú againn leis an gcigire a molann na múinteoirí é.
Ullmhaíodh leabhair ar mhol scholáirí iad.
Sin é an feirmeoir nach moladh an rialtas riamh é.
Key: We had a meeting with the inspector whom the teachers praise. Books were prepared which students praised. That’s the farmer that the government never praised.
Finally, with the tuiseal tabharthach, or dative:
Chuaigh mé abhaile leis an bpóilín ar dhíol mé an ticéad dó inné.
Crochfaidh mé mo chóta suas lasmuigh den seomra a raibh mé ann ar maidin.
Is é sin an áit ina mbeidh na báid iascaireachta.
Key: I went home with the policeman to whom I sold the ticket yesterday. I will hang my coat up outside the room in which I was this morning. That’s the place that the fishing boats will be in.
Questions and answers with the dative case:
Cad leis a mbuaileann tú na scoláirí? Le scrúdaithe (SKROO-duh-he) deacra.
Cé dó ar thug sibh bhur sean-éadaí? Do fhear saibhir (dar SEYE-vir), go nadúrtha.
Cé leis a rachaidh tú chuig an aerphort? Le Seoirse, má’s mian leis.
Cé aige a bhfuil an teach is mó? Ag an gclann is boichte, sílim.
Key: What do you hit the students with? With difficult tests. To whom did you-all give your old clothes? To a rich man, naturally. Who will you go to the airport with. With George, if he wishes. Who has the biggest house? The poorest family, I think.
The words “an té” (un tay*) mean approximately “he who” or “the person who” and can serve as those phrases do in English, except that often in Irish a subject word must be added in the second clause. Examples:
An té ar thug an leabhar nótaí duit ní raibh sé i láthair san iarnóin; The person who gave you the notebook was not present this afternoon. Note that the subject “sé” was added in Irish but was not needed in English.
An té nach bhfuil láidir ní mór dó bheith glic; he who is not strong must be clever. This is a seanfhocal Éireannach, or Irish proverb.
Sometimes the preposition “do” is combined to form “don té”, meaning “to the person who”. An example:
Tabhfarfaidh an bainisteoir an ceann sin don té a gheobhaidh an t-ordú is mó; The manager will give that one to the person who gets the largest order.
Why say or write “an té” instead of “an duine”? It is a matter of style to some extent. The proverb above would not seem the same unless “an té” were to begin it.
Concerning style itself, you have reached a point now at which you should be conscious of good style in Irish. You are able to express yourself clearly and understandably in speech and writing, but there is room for improvement in the style in which you express yourself. This improvement comes from speaking with fluent and well educated cainteoirí dúchais, and from reading the best in Irish literature, such as the classics and the work of good modern writers. The larger dictionaries, such as De Bhaldraithe and Ó Domhnaill, are also a help, with many selected ways of expressing ideas in good Irish style.
At all times, however, remember that lack of polished style or even want of the exact word should not deter you from speaking or writing. Get the closest word that you can, or change the form of sentence if you must, but say or write something in Irish. Is fearr droch-Ghaeilge na dea-Bhéarla.
This word means “from” or “out of” and is part of many idioms or special expressions that have a meaning different from what the separate words might indicate.
Some of the simpler common phrases:
as baile; away from home, gone. “Cá bhfuil Seán?” “As baile atá sé”.
d’éirigh sí as; she resigned, left the job, society, or venture.
as a mheabhair (VYOU-ir), out of his mind, wrong. As in English, this phrase serves to indicate that you dispute someone else’s opinions or views.
as an tslí (tlee), out of place, inconsistent, unwarranted
as cuimse (KWIM-she), extraordinary, atrocious, etc.
Other idioms with “as”:
Bain triail as, try it.
Cad as duit?, Where are you from? The answer: Is an Corcaigh mé.
Tháinig sé slán as, he escaped safely, he survived. However:
Cad a tháinig as?, What came of it? What happened?
Dhá bhua as a chéile, two wins in a row, one after the other. Objects can be “as a chéile”, too. Trí bhord as a chéile, three tables put together in a row.
Bainfear geit astu, they will be startled (a sudden start will be obtained from them). Baineadh geit asam, I was startled.
Brisfear as a phost é, he will be discharged, dismissed, lose his job.
Cuir as an solas, put out the light.
Thit sé as a chéile, it fell apart.
Tá muinín agam astu, I have confidence in them.
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