Graiméar na Gaedhilge/Part II Chapter V

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247. In Irish there are two conjugations of regular verbs. They are distinguished by the formation of the future stem. All verbs of the first conjugation form the first person singular of the future simple in -fad or -fead, whilst verbs of the second conjugation form the same part in -óchad or -eóchad.

Forms of Conjugation.

248. Every Irish verb, with the single exception of is, has three forms of conjugation: The Synthetic, the Analytic, and the Autonomous.

249. The synthetic, or pronominal form, is that in which the persons are expressed by means of terminations or inflections. All the persons, singular and plural, with the single exception of the third person singular, have synthetic forms in practically every tense. The third person singular can never have its nominative contained in the verb-ending or termination.

The following example is the present tense synthetic form of the verb mol, praise:—

molaim, I praise. molaimid, we praise.
molair, thou praisest. moltaoi, you praise.
molann sé, he praises. molaid, they praise.

250. In the analytic form of conjugation the persons are not expressed by inflection; the form of the verb remains the same throughout the tense and the persons are expressed by the pronouns placed after the verb. The form of the verb in the third person singular of the above example is the form the verb has in the analytic form of the present tense.

The analytic form in every tense has identically the same form as the third person singular of that tense.

N.B.—The analytic form is generally employed in asking questions.

The following is the analytic form of the present tense of mol:—

molaim, I praise. molann sinn, we praise.
molann tú, thou praisest. molann sibh, you praise.
molann sé, he praises. molann siad, they praise

The analytic form is used in all the tenses, but in some of the tenses it is rarely, if ever, found in some of the persons: for instance, it is not found in the first person singular above. As the analytic form presents no difficulty, it will not be given in the regular table of conjugations.

251. We are indebted to the Rev. Peter O'Leary, P.P., for the following explanation of the Autonomous Form of conjugation:—

"This third form​—​the Autonomous​—​has every one of the moods and tenses, but in each tense it has only one person, and that person is only implied. It is really a personality, but it is not a specific personality. It is only a general, undefined personality.

"This third form of an Irish verb has some very unique powers.... I shall illustrate one. An English verb cannot of itself make complete sense alone; this form of an Irish verb can. For instance, 'Buailtear' is a complete sentence. It means, 'A beating is being administered,' or, 'Somebody is striking.' Irish grammarians have imagined that this form of the verb is passive voice. No, it is not passive voice, for it has a passive of its own; and, again, all intransitive verbs (even the verb ) possesses this form of conjugation. The nearest equivalents in sense and use to this Irish form are the German 'mann' and the French 'on' with the third person singular of the verb."​—Gaelic Journal.

The usual translation of the French phrase "on dit" is, "It is said." "Is said" is certainly passive voice in English, but it does not follow that "dit" is passive voice in French. The same remark holds with regard to the Irish phrase "buailtear an gadhar," which is usually translated, "The dog is struck." Buailtear is not passive voice; it is active voice, autonomous form, and gadhar is its object in the accusative case. The literal translation of the phrase is, "Somebody strikes the dog." The passive voice of buailtear, someone strikes, is táthar buailte, someone is struck.

252. As this is the first grammar that has adopted the term "Autonomous form of the Verb," we think it advisable to state that the form of the verb which we give as the Autonomous form is given in other Irish grammars as the passive voice. A fuller treatment of the Autonomous Verb will be found at the end of the book, where we endeavour to show that in modern Irish, at least, this form of the verb is active voice. The name by which this form of the verb ought to be called is not merely a matter of terms, for on it depends the case of the following noun or pronoun: i.e., whether such noun or pronoun is the subject or object of the verb.

As all Irish scholars have not accepted the Autonomous form of the verb, since it appears that formerly, at least, the verb was not Autonomous, being inflected for the plural number, it has been suggested that both names be retained for the present. In the first edition of this grammar the term "Indefinite" was given to this form, but as the name "Autonomous," which means possessing the power of self government, is far more expressive, it has been adopted instead of "Indefinite."

As the Autonomous form has only one inflection for each tense, this inflection is given immediately after each tense in the tables of conjugation.


253. Verbs have three moods, the Imperative, the Indicative, and the Subjunctive.

Some grammars add a fourth mood, the Conditional; and some omit the Subjunctive. The Conditional form, however, is always either Indicative or Subjunctive in meaning, and is here classed as a tense under the Indicative Mood.

The Imperative has only one tense, the Present. Its use corresponds to that of the Imperative in English.

The Indicative Mood has five tenses, the Present, the Imperfect, the Past, the Future, and the Conditional.

The Present Tense corresponds to the English Present, and like it usually denotes habitual action.

The so-called Consuetudinal or Habitual Present​—​i.e., the third person singular ending in -ann​—​in no way differs from the other parts of the Present in regard to time. The verb , however, has a distinct Present, bím, denoting habitual action. In English the Present​—​e.g., I write​—​generally denotes habitual action. Present action is usually signified by a compound tense, I am writing. So in Irish the Present, sgríobhaim, denotes habitual action, and present action is denoted by the compound tense, táim ag sgríobhadh. However, as in English, the Present Tense of certain verbs, especially those relating to the senses or the mind, denote present as well as habitual action​—​e.g., cluinim, I hear; creidim, I believe.

The Imperfect Tense is also called the Habitual or Consuetudinal Past. It denotes habitual action in past time; as, do sgríobhainn, I used to write.

The Past Tense is also called the Perfect and the Preterite. It corresponds to the Past Tense in English; as, do sgríobhas, I wrote.

Continuous action in past time is denoted by a compound tense, as in English​—​e.g., do bhíos ag sgríobhas, I was writing.

The Future Tense corresponds to the Future in English: as sgríobhfad, I shall write.

The Conditional corresponds to the Compound Tense with "should" or "would" in English: as do sgríobhfá, thou wouldst write.

The Conditional is also called the Secondary Future, because it denotes a future act regarded in the past: as, Adubhairt sé go sgríobhfad sé. He said that he would write.

In the Subjunctive Mood there are only two Tenses, the Present and the Past. This mood is used principally to express a wish, and also after certain conjunctions. See par. 550, &c.

Active Voice, Ordinary Form.

254. Each Tense has the following forms:—

1. The action is merely stated, as—

Buaileann Seaghán an clár,
John strikes the table.

2. The action is represented as in progress, as—

Tá Seaghán ag bualadh an chláir,
John is striking the table.

3. The action as represented as about to happen—

Tá Seaghán chum
ar tí
an chláir do bhualadh,
John is about (is going) to strike the table.

4. The action is represented as completed, as—

Tá Seaghán d'éis an chláir do bhualadh,
John has just struck the table.

Active Voice, Autonomous Form.

255. Each Tense has the following forms, corresponding exactly to those given in the preceding paragraph.

1. Buailtear an clár,

Someone strikes the table.

2. Táthar a bualadh an chláir,

Someone is striking the table.
3. Táthar chum
ar tí
an chláir do bhualadh,
Someone is about to strike the table.

4. Táthar d'éis an chláir do bhualadh,

Someone has just struck the table.

256. Passive Voice, Ordinary Form.

1. (This form is supplied by the Autonomous Active.)

2. Tá an clár dá (or ghá) bhualadh,

The table is being struck.
3. Tá an clár chum
ar tí
a bhuailte,
The table is about to be struck.

4. Tá an clár buailte,

The table has (just) been struck.

257. Passive Voice, Autonomous Form.

1. Táthar buailte,

Someone is struck.

2. Táthar fé bhualadh.

Someone is being struck.
3. Táthar chum
ar tí
bheith buailte,
Someone is about to be struck

4. Táthar buailte,

Someone has (just) been struck

258. The Principal Parts of an Irish Verb are—

(1) The 2nd sing. of the Imperative Mood.

(2) The 1st sing. of the Future Simple.

(3) The Past Participle (also called the Verbal Adjective).

(4) The Verbal Noun.

(a) The Imperative 2nd. pers. sing. gives the stem of the verb from which most of the other tenses and persons are formed.

(b) The Future tells to what conjugation (first or second) the verb belongs, and gives the stem for the Conditional.

(c) The Past Participle shows whether t is aspirated or unaspirated in the following persons, which are formed from the past participle​—​i.e.:

Present, 2nd plural.
Imperfect, 2nd singular.


Imperative, Present, and Imperfect.

Verbal noun.

Gen. sing. and nom. plural.

(d) With the Verbal Noun are formed the compound tenses.

The four following types include all verbs belonging to the first conjugation:—


Principal Parts.

Type. Imper. Future. P. Participle. Verbal Noun. Meaning.
1. mol molfad molta moladh praise
2. reub reubfad reubtha reubadh burst or tear
3. buail buailfead buailte bualadh strike
4. fóir fóirfead fóirthe fóirithin help, succour

N.B.—No notice need be taken of the variation in form of verbal nouns, as they cannot be reduced to any rule, but must be learned for each verb. The ending adh or eadh is that most frequently found, but there are numerous other endings. (See pars. 315 and 316).

260. (1) and (2) are the types for all verbs of the first conjugation whose stem ends in a broad consonant; whilst (3) and (4) are the types for the verbs of the same conjugation whose stem ends in a slender consonant.

As the conjugations of types (2) and (4) are identical with those of types (1) and (3) respectively, except the aspiration of the t in the endings mentioned in par. 258 (c), we do not think it necessary to conjugate in full the four types. We shall give the forms in modern use of the verbs mol and buail, and then give a rule which regulates the aspiration of t in the Past Participle. (See par. 282).


In the following table the forms marked with an asterisk are not generally used in the analytic form. The forms in square brackets were used in early modern Irish, and are frequently met with in books. Alternative terminations are given in round brackets.

1st. —— ——
2nd. mol, praise thou buail, strike thou
3rd. moladh sé, let him praise buaileadh sé
1. molaimís (-amuis)
let us praise buailimís (eamuis)
2. molaidh, praise (you) buailidh
3. molaidís,
let them praise buailidís
moltar buailtear

The negative particle for this mood is .

Present Tense.
sing. 1. *molaim, I praise *buailim, I strike
2. molair, &c. buailir
3. molanna buaileannc
plur. 1. molaimíd (amuid) buailimíd (-imid)
2. molann sibhb buaileann sibhd
3. molaid buailid

a[molaidh]  b[moltaoi]  c[buailidh]  d[buailtí]

Autonomous. Moltar buailtear
Relative form. Mholas bhuaileas
Negative. Ní mholaim, I do not praise.
" Ní bhualir, You do not strike.
Interrogative. An molann sé? Does he praise?
" An mbuailim? Do I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nach molaid? Do they not praise?
" Nach mbuaileann sé? Does he not strike?
263. Imperfect Tense.
SING. 1. *mholainn, I used to praise *bhuailinn
2. *mholtá, &c. *bhuailteá
3. mholadh sé bhuaileadh sé
PLUR. 1. mholaimís (-amuis) bhuailimís (or imis)
2. mholadh sibh bhuaileadh sibh
3. mholaidís
Autonomous. Moltaoi, Buailtí.
Negative. Ní mholainn, I used not praise.
" Ní bhuaileadh sé, He used not strike.
Interrogative. An moltá? Used you praise?
" An mbuailidís? Used they strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nach mholainn? Used I not praise?
" Nach mbuailinn? Used I not strike?
Past Tense.
SING. 1. mholas, I praised bhuaileas
2. mholais bhuailis
3. mhol sé bhuail sé
PLUR. 1. mholamar bhuaileamar
2. mholabhar bhuaileabhar
3. mholadar bhuaileadar
Autonomous. Moladh buaileadh
Negative. Níor mholas, I did not praise.
" Níor bhuail sé, He did not strike.
Interrogative. Ar mholais? Did you praise?
" Ar bhuaileas? Did I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nár mhol sé? Did he not praise?
" Nár bhuaileamar? Did we not strike?

265. Future Tense.
SING. 1. molfad, I shall praise buailfead
2. molfair, thou wilt praise buailfir
3. molfaidh sé, &c. buailfidh sé
PLUR. 1. molfaimíd (-amuid) buailfimíd (imid)
2. molfaidh sibha buailfidh sibhb
3. molfaid buailfid
Relative form. mholfas bhuailfeas
Autonomous. Molfarc buailfeard
Negative. Ní mholfad, I shall not praise.
" Ní bhuailfidh sé, He will not strike.
Interrogative. An molfaidh sé? Will he praise?
" An mbuailfead? Shall I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nach molfair? Will you not praise?
" Nach mbuailfid? Will they not strike?





266. Conditional or Secondary Future.
SING. 1. mholfainn, I would praise bhuailfinn
2. mholfá bhuailfeá
3. mholfadh sé bhuailfeadh sé
PLUR. 1. mholfaimís (famuis) bhuailfimís (fimis)
2. molfadh sibh bhuailfeadh sibh
3. mholfaidís
Autonomous. Molfaí buailfí
Negative. Ní mholfainn, I would not praise.
" Ní bhuailfeá, You would not strike.
Interrogative. An molfá, Would you praise ?
" An mbuailfeadh sé, Would he strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nach molfadh sé? Would he not praise?
" Nach mbuailfimís? Would we not strike?

267. Present Tense.
SING. 1. molad buailead
2. molair buailir
3. molaidh sé buailidh sé
PLUR. 1. molaimid (-amuid) buailimíd (-imid)
2. molaidh sibha buailidh sibhb
3. molaid buailid
Autonomous. moltar buailtear
The negative particle is nár, which always aspirates when possible.
a[moltaoi] b[buailtí]
268. Past Tense.
SING. 1. molainn buailinn
2. moltá buailteá
3. moladh sé buaileadh sé
PLUR. 1. molaimís (amuis) buailimís (-imis)
2. moladh sibh bhuaileadh sibh
3. mholaidís
Autonomous. moltaoi buailtí
Verbal Noun. moladh bualadh
Verbal Adj. molta buailte


The Present Tenses.

269. The Present Tense is always formed by adding aim, air, &c., to the stem when the last vowel is broad; if the last vowel is slender add im, ir, eann, &c. The last syllable of the first person plural is often pronounced rapidly​—​e.g., molamuid (mulʹ-a-mwid), creidimid (kʼredʹimid); but in the South of Ireland this syllable is lengthened, molaimíd (mulʹ-a-meed), creidimíd (kʼredʹ-imeed). Verbs of more than one syllable ending in igh add míd, not imíd, in the first person plural of this tense.

270. In Ulster the ending muid of the first person plural is very often separated from the verb, and used instead of the pronoun sinn as Chonnaic muid é. We saw him; Chonnaic sé muid. He saw us. On no account should this corruption be imitated by the student.

271. The old form of the third person singular ended in aidh or idh, and the analytic forms found in books, and sometimes in the northern dialect, are got from this form: as molaidh sinn, we praise.

272. The analytic form is not usually found in the first person singular of this tense, nor is the synthetic form often used in the second person plural.

The Imperfect Tense.

273. The initial consonant of this tense is usually aspirated in the active voice, when possible.

The termination adh or eadh in the 3rd sing. of this tense, as also in the Imperative and Conditional, is pronounced ach, or amh.

274. When none of the particles , an, nach, &c., precede the Imperfect Tense, do may be used before it. This do may be omitted except when the verb begins with a vowel or f. The compound particles, níor, ar, nár, gur, cár, &c. can never be used with the Imperfect Tense.

275. Whenever the word "would" is used in English to describe what used to take place, the Imperfect Tense, not the Conditional, is used in Irish, as—

He would often say to me. Is minic adeireadh sé liom.

The Past Tense.

276. In the Past Tense active voice the initial consonant of the verb is aspirated. The remark which has just been made with regard to the use of do before the Imperfect Tense applies also to the Past Tense.

In the Autonomous form do does not aspirate, but prefixes h to vowels.

277. With the exception of the aspiration of the initial consonant, the third person singular of this tense is exactly the same as the second person singular of the Imperative (i.e., the stem of the verb).

278. The particle formerly used before the Past Tense was ro. It is now no longer used by itself, but it occurs in combination with other particles.

The most important of these compounds are:—

(1) Ar, whether (an + ro). Ar bhuail sé? Did he strike?
(2) Gur, that (go + ro). Deir sé gur bhuaileas é. He says that I struck him.
(3) Cár, where (cá + ro). Cár cheannuighis an capall? Where did you buy the horse?
(4) Munar, unless (muna + ro). Munar bhuail sé, unless he struck.
(5) Níor, not (ní + ro). Níor chreid sé. He did not believe.
(6) Nár or náchar, whether...not. Nár chreid sé? Did he not believe?
(7) dár, to whom (do, to + a + ro). An fear dár gheallas mo leabhar. The man to whom I promised my book.
(8) ler, by or with which (le + a + ro). An maide ler buaileadh é, The stick with which they beat him (or he was beaten).

279. The compounds of ro aspirate. These compounds are used with the Past Tense of all verbs except the following:​—​raibh, was; tug, gave or brought; rug, bore; faca, saw; táinig, came; fuair, found, got; deacaidh, went; deárna, made or did.

The compounds of ro are used in some places before tug and táinig.

N.B. Deachaidh and deárna are used instead of chuaidh and rinne after negative and interrogative particles. Instead of deachaidh and deárna, chuaidh and dhein (dhin) are used in Munster.

The Future Tense and Conditional.

280. All the inflections of the Future and Conditional in the first conjugation begin with the letter f, which in the spoken language is generally pronounced like "h." This "h" sound combines with the letters b, d and g (whenever the stem ends in these) changing them in sound into p, t, c, respectively.

creidfead is usually pronounced kʼretʹ-udh
fágfad " " fauʹ-kudh
sgríobfad " " shgree-pudh

N.B.F is sounded in the second sing. Conditional active and in the Autonomous form.

281. The particle do, causing aspiration, may be used before the Conditional when no other particle precedes it.

Note that the terminations of the Imperative Mood, the Imperfect Tense, and the Conditional are almost the same, excepting the letter f of the latter.

Rule for the Aspiration of T of Past Participles.

282. The T of the past participle is generally aspirated except after the letters D, N, T, L, S, Th, Dh, Ch, and (in verbs of one syllable) Gh.

There is a great tendency in the spoken language not to aspirate the t in all verb inflexions after consonants: e.g., tugta, tugtar, deirtear, etc.

283. This participle cannot be used like the English participle to express action. He was praised is generally moladh é; very seldom bhí sé molta. The Irish participle has always the force of an adjective denoting the complete state, never the force of an action in progress.

284. After is the Past Participle denotes what is proper or necessary, as, Ní molta dhuit é. He is not to be praised by you. This form, called the Participle of Necessity, should probably be regarded as distinct from the ordinary past participle, as it may occur in verbs which have no past participle, e.g.:—

"Is deimhin nach bhfuil duine nach beithte dhó ar coiméad orm." "It is certain that there is no person who will not have to be on his guard against me." (Letter of Seán Ó Néill, 1561.) "Tuigthear as an sgeul, nach beithte do neach dul i n-eudóchas." It may hence be learned that it is not proper for anyone to fall into despair. Ní beithte ag a sheunadh (or simply, ní seunta). It must not be denied. Here beithte is the Participle of Necessity of the verb .

285. Derivative Participles.
ion-mholta in-reubtha ion-bhuailte ion-fhóirthe
so-mholta so-reubtha so-bhuailte so-fhóirthe
do-mholta do-reubtha do-bhuailte so-fhóirthe

286. The prefix ion- or in- denotes what is proper or fit to be done: as ion-mholta, fit to be praised, deserving of praise.

The prefix so- denotes what is possible or easy to do: as so-reubtha, capable of being burst, easy to burst.

287. The prefix do- denotes what is impossible or difficult to do: as do-bhuailte, incapable of being struck, hard to strike.

288. These derivative participles seem to be formed rather from the genitive of the verbal noun than from the participle: as fagháil, finding.

so-fhaghála, easily found. do-fhaghála, hard to find.
289. Declension of Verbal Noun.
moladh molta
Gen. molta moladh (molta)
Dat. moladh moltaibh

bualadh buailte
Gen. buailte bualadh (buailte)
Dat. bualadh buailtibh

290. Many verbal nouns are seldom or never used in the plural. As a rule the genitive singular of the verbal noun is identical in form with the past participle; but many verbal nouns are declined like ordinary nouns: nearly all those ending in acht, áil, and amhain belong to the 3rd declension​—​e.g., gabháil, act of taking; gen., gabhála: rith, running; gen. reatha; leanamhain, act of following; gen. leanamhna: siubhal, act or walking; gen. siubhail: fás, act of growing; gen. fáis, &c.


291. The second conjugation comprises two classes of verbs​—​(1) derived verbs in igh or uigh; and (2) syncopated verbs.

292. Syncopated verbs are those in which the vowel in the final syllable of the stem is omitted when any termination commencing with a vowel is added: as labhair, speak; labhraim (not labhairim), I speak. Verbs of more than one syllable whose stem ends in il, in, ir, is, ing, belong to this class.



Principal Parts.

Type. Imper. Future. Past Participle. V. Noun. Meaning
1. bailigh baileóchad bailighthe bailiughadh gather
2. ceannuigh ceannóchad ceannuighthe ceannach buy

294. Except in the Future and Conditional, all verbs in igh and uigh are conjugated like buail (first conjugation), except that the t is aspirated in all terminations beginning with that letter. It is, therefore, necessary to give only the Future and Conditional in full.



1. baileóchad, I shall gather, ceannóchad, I shall buy
2. baileóchair, ceannóchair.
3. baileóchaidh sé, ceannóchaidh sé.
1. baileóchaimíd (-chamuid), ceannóchaimíd (-chamuid).
2. baileóchaidh sibh, ceannóchaidh sibh.
3. baileóchaid, ceannóchaid.
Relative. bhaileochas, cheannóchas.
Autonomous. baileochthar, ceannóchthar.



1. bhaileóchainn, I would gather, cheannóchainn, I shall buy
2. bhaileóchthá, cheannóchthá.
3. bhaileóchadh sé, cheannóchadh sé.
1. bhaileóchaimís (-amuis), cheannóchaimís (-amuis).
2. bhaileóchadh sibh, cheannóchadh sibh.
3. bhaileóchaidís
Autonomous. baileochthaí ceannóchthaí

297. In early modern usage, when the stem ended in -uigh, preceded by d, n, t, l, or r, these consonants were usually attenuated in the Future and Conditional: as árduigh, raise, future áirdeóchad; saluigh, soil, future saileóchad; but nowadays árdóchad, salóchad, &c., are the forms used.

Syncopated Verbs.

298. The personal endings of syncopated verbs vary somewhat according as the consonant commencing the last syllable of the stem is broad or slender.

Type (1). Stems in which the last syllable commences with a broad consonant,[1] as fuagair (fógair), proclaim.

Type (2). Stems in which the last syllable commences with a slender consonant, as coigil, spare.

299. In early modern usage the Future is formed by lengthening the vowel sound of the last syllable of the stem from ai or i to . In the case of Type 1 the broad consonant which commences the final syllable of the stem must be made slender. Examples: innis, inneosad, I shall tell; díbir, díbeorair, you will banish; imir, imeoraidh sé, he will play; coigil, coigeolad, I shall spare; ff, they will proclaim; d'fhuaigeoradh sé, he would proclaim; codail, coideolad, I shall sleep; choideolainn, I would sleep.

300. In the present-day usage the Future stem is formed as if the verb ended in igh or uigh: by adding -óch in Type 1 and -eóch in Type 2.


Principal Parts.

Imperative. Future. Participle. V. Noun.
Type (1). fuagair fuagróchad fuagartha fuagra(dh)
Type (2). coigil coigleóchad coigilte coigilt



SING. 1.
2. fuagair, proclaim coigil, spare
3. fuagradh sé coigleadh sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimís coiglimís
2. fuagraidh coiglidh
3. fuagraidís (-adaois) coiglidís
Autonomous. fuagarthar coigiltear


304. Present Tense.
SING. 1. fuagraim, I proclaim coiglim, I spare
2. fuagrair coiglir
3. fuagrann séa coigleannc
PLUR. 1. fuagraimíd coiglimíd
2. fuagrann sibhb coigleann sibhd
3. fuagraid coiglid
Relative. fhuagras coighleas
Autonomous. fuagarthar coigiltear
305. Imperfect Tense.
SING. 1. d'fhuagrainn choiglinn
2. d'fhuagarthá choigilteá
3. d'fhuagradh sé choigleadh sé
PLUR. 1. d'fhuagraimís choiglimís
2. d'fhuagradh sibh choigleadh sibh
3. d'fhuagraidís (-daois) choiglidís
Autonomous. fuagarthaoi coigiltí
306. Past Tense.
SING. 1. d'fhuagras choigleas
2. d'fhuagrais choiglis
3. d'fhuagair sé choigil sé
PLUR. 1. d'fhuagramar choigleamar
2. d'fhuagrabhar choigleabhar
3. d'fhuagradar choigleadar
Autonomous. fuagradh coigleadh
a[fuagraidh]  b[fuagarthaoi]  c[coiglidh]  d[coigiltí]
307. Future Tense.
1. fuagróchad coigleóchad
2. fuagróchair coigleóchair
3. fuagróchaidh sé coigleóchaidh sé
1. fuaghróchaimíd coigleóchaimíd
2. fuagróchaidh sibh coigleóchaidh sibh
3. fuagróchaid coigleóchaid
Relative Form. fhuagróchas choigleóchas
Autonomous. fuagróchthar coigleóchthar
308. Conditional.
SING. 1. d'fhuagróchainn choigleóchainn
2. d'fhuagróchthá choigleóchthá
3. d'fhuagróchadh sé choigleóchadh sé
PLUR. 1. d'fhuagróchaimís choigleóchaimís
2. d'fhuagróchadh sibh choigleóchadh sibh
3. d'fhuagróchaidís choigleóchaidís
Autonomous. fuagróchthaí coigleóchthaí
Present Tense.
SING. 1. fuagrad coiglead
2. fuagrair coiglir
3. fuagraidh sé coiglidh sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimíd coiglimíd
2. fuagraidh sibh coiglidh sibh
3. fuagraid coiglid
Autonomous. fuagarthar coigiltear
310. Past Tense.
SING. 1. fuagrainn coiglinn
2. fuagarthá coigilteá
3. fuagradh sé coigleadh sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimís coiglimís
2. fuagradh sibh coigleadh sibh
3. fuagraidís coiglidís
Autonomous, fuagarthaoi coigiltí
311. Past Participle and Participle of Necessity.
fuagartha coigilte
312. Compound Participles.
ion-fhuagartha ion-choigilte
so-fhuagartha so-choigilte
do-fhuagartha do-choigilte
313. Verbal Nouns.
fuagra(dh) (fuagairt) fuagartha
GEN. fuagartha fuagra(dh) (fuagartha)
DAT. fuagra(dh) (fuagairt) fuagarthaibh
GEN. coigilte
DAT. coigilt

314. In stems of Type (2) ending in r, the Participle is usually in the form eartha, not irthe, as díbir, banish: díbeartha, banished; imir, play; imeartha, played.

The endings formed on the participle [see par. 258 c.] follow this change, e.g., Imperfect 2nd singular, dhíbearthá; Present Auton., díbearthar, &c.

315. General Rules for the formation of Verbal Noun.

(a) As a general rule verbs of the first conjugation form their verbal noun in adh, if the final consonant of the stem be broad; in eadh, if it be slender, as—

dún, shut dúnadh
mill, destroy milleadh
mol, praise moladh
léigh, read léigheadh.

(b) When the last vowel of the stem is i preceded by a broad vowel, the i is usually dropped in the formation of the verbal noun, as—

buail, strike bualadh
dóigh, burn dóghadh
goin, wound gonadh
brúigh, bruise brúghadh

The i is not dropped in—

caoin, lament caoineadh
sgaoil, loose sgaoileadh
smuain, reflect smuaineadh

(c) Verbs of the second conjugation ending in in, il or ir generally form their verbal noun by adding t, as—

díbir, banish díbirt
cosain, defend cosaint (cosnamh)
labhair, speak labhairt
coigil, spare coigilt
(d) Derived verbs ending in uigh form their verbal noun by dropping the i and adding adh; as, árduigh, raise, árdughadh.

(e) Derived verbs in igh form their verbal noun by inserting u between the i and gh and then adding adh; as mínigh, explain, míniughadh.

316. There are, however, many exceptions to the above rules. The following classification of the modes of forming the verbal noun will be useful.

(a) Some verbs have their verbal noun like the stem, e.g., fás, grow; ól, drink; rith, run; snámh, swim, &c.

(b) Some verbs form their verbal noun by dropping i of the stem, e.g., cuir, put or send, cur; coisg, check, cosg; sguir, cease, sgur; guil, weep, gul, &c.

(c) Some verbs add amhain or eamhain to the stem to form their verbal noun, e.g., caill, lose, cailleamhain(t); creid, believe, creideamhain(t); fan, stay, fanamhain(t), lean, follow, leanamhain(t); sgar, separate, sgaramhain(t), &c.

In the spoken language t is usually added to the classical termination -amhain.

(d) A few add an or ean for the verbal noun, e.g., leag, knock down, leagan; léig, let or permit, léigean; tréig, abandon, tréigean; teilg, throw or cast, teilgean.

(e) A few add amh or eamh, e.g., seas, stand, seasamh; caith, spend, consume, caitheamh; deun, do or make, deunamh (or deunadh); feith, wait, feitheamh.

(f) A small number end in áil or , as gabh, take, gabháil; fagh, find, fagháil; fág, leave, fágáil; fead, whistle, feadghail.

A fairly full list of irregular verbal nouns is given in Appendix V.


317. In Old and Middle Irish the conjugation of verbs was very complex, but by degrees the varieties of conjugations became fewer, and nearly all verbs came to be conjugated in the same way. At the commencement of the modern period (i.e., about the end of the sixteenth century) about fifteen verbs in common use retained their old forms. These are now classed as irregular. Excepting occasional survivals of older forms, all the other verbs had by this time become regular; so that from the stem of the verb it was possible in nearly every instance to tell all its forms except the verbal noun.

During the modern period even the irregular verbs have, through the operation of analogy, shown a tendency to adopt the forms of the modern regular conjugations.


318. The correct spelling of this verb is undoubtedly atáim, but long since it has lost its initial a, except when it occurs in the middle of a sentence, where it usually has a relative force. Some persons, by confounding this initial a, which really belongs to the verb, with the modern relative particle a, write the a separated from the : as a tá instead of atá.


319. bímís, let us be
, be thou bídhidh, let you be
bíodh sé, let him be bídís, let them be
Autonomous, bíthear.

The negative particle is .

All the persons, except the 2nd sing., are often written as if formed from the spurious stem bidh: e.g., bidheadh sé.


320. Present Tense—Absolute.
táim, I am táimid, we are
táir[2] thou art tá sibh, táthaoi, you are
tá sé, he is táid, they are
Autonomous, táthar
Present Tense (Analytic Form).
tá mé, I am tá sinn, we are
tá tú, thou art tá sibh, you are
tá sé, he is tá siad, they are
321. Present Tense—Dependent.
fuilim fuilmíd
fuilir fuil sibh
fuil sé fuilid
Autonomous, fuiltear.
Negatively. Interrogatively. Neg. Interrog
I am not, &c. Am I, &c. Am I not, &c.
ní fhuilim an bhfuilim nach bhfuilim
ní fhuilir an bhfuilir nach bhfuilir
ní fhuil sé an bhfuil sé nach bhfuil sé
ní fhuilmíd an bhfuilmíd nach bhfuilmíd
ní fhuil sibh an bhfuil sibh nach bhfuil sibh
ní fhuilid an bhfuilid nach bhfuilid

The analytic forms are like those given above; as, ní fhuil siad, nach bhfuil tú, &c.

Habitual Present.
bím (bidhim) bímíd (bidhmid)
bír (bidhir) bíonn sibh, bíthí
bíonn sé (bídh sé, bidheann sé) bídh (bidhid)

Negatively, ní bhím, &c. Interrogatively, an mbím, &c.

Neg. Interrog., nach mbím, &c.

Relative form bhíos (bhidheas).

Autonomous, bítear

Imperfect Tense (I used to be).
do bhínn (do bhidhinn) do bhímís (bhidhmís)
„ bír („ bidhir) „ bíodh sibh
„ bíodh sé („ bidheadh sé) „ bídís (bidhdís)
Autonomous, bítí
Negatively, ní bhínn
Interrogatively, an mbínn?
Neg. interrog. nach mbínn?
Past Tense.
do bhíos (bhidheas) do bhíomar (bhidheamar)
„ bhís (bhidhis) „ bhíobhar (bhidheabhar)
„ bhí sé „ bhíodar, bhidheadar

Autonomous, bhítheas

rabhas rabhamar
rabhais rabhabhar
raibh sé rabhadar

Autonomous, rabhthas

Negative, ní rabhas, ní rabhais, ní raibh sé, &c.

Interrogatively (Was I? &c.).

an rabhas an rabhais an raibh sé an rabhamar, &c.

Neg. interrog. (Was I not? &c.).

nach rabhas nach rabhais nach raibh sé, &c.

Future Tense.
béad, bead (béidhead) béimid, beimíd (béidhmíd)
béir, beir (béidhir) béidh sibh, béithí
béidh, beidh sé béid, beid (béidhid)
Relative Form, bheas, bhéas (bhéidheas)
Autonomous, béithear, beifear
Negatively, ní bhéad
Interrog., an mbéad?
Neg. Interrog., nach mbéad?
Secondary Future or Conditional.
do bhéinn (bhéidhinn) bhéimís (bhéidhmís)
„ bhéitheá (bhéidhtheá) bhéadh, bheadh (bhéidheadh) sibh
„ bhéadh, bheadh (bhéidheadh) sé bhéidís (bhéidhdís)
Autonomous, beidhfí, béithí
Negative, ní bhéinn
Interrog., an mbéinn
Neg. interrog., nach mbéinn
Present Tense.
go rabhad go rabhmuid
go rabhair go raibh sibh (rabhthaoi)
go raibh sé go rabhaid

The negative particle for this tense is : as, Ná raibh maith agat. No thanks to you.

Past Tense.
go mbínn go mbímís
go mbítheá go mbíodh sibh)
go mbíodh sé go mbídís
The negative particle is nár.
Autonomous Form.
go rabhthar! may (they) be! (for once).
go mbítear! „ „ (generally).

Verbal Noun.

bheith, to be.

330. Phrases containing the Verb Noun.

Is féidir liom (a)[3] bheith I can be, &c.
Ní féidir liom (a) bheith I cannot be, &c.
Tig leat (a) bheith You can be, &c.
Ní thig leat (a) bheith You cannot be, &c
Caithfidh sé bheith He must be, &c.
Caithfidh mé bheith I must be, &c.
Ní fuláir go raibh tú You must have been, &c.
Is cosmhail go raibh tú
Níor b’fhéidir nó bhí tú
Ní cosmhail go raibh mé I must not have been, &c.
Ní fuláir nach raibh mé
Is cóir dhom (a) bheith I ought to be.
Ní cóir duit (a) bheith You ought not to be.
Budh chóir dhó bheith He ought to have been.
Nior chóir dhom (a) bheith I ought not to have been.
Budh mhaith liom (a) bheith ann I wish I were there.
Ba mhaith liom go raibh mé ann I wish I had been there.
Tá sé le bheith ann He is to be there.

331. The forms fuilim and rabhas are used—

(1) After the particles , not; , where? an (or a), whether? go, that; and nach or , that (conj.)... not.

(2) After the relative particle a, when it is preceded by a preposition, after the relative a when it means “what,” “all that,” “all which,” and after the negative relative nach, who...not, which...not. Cá bh-fuil sé? Where is it? Ní fhuil a fhios agam. I don’t know. Tá fhios agam ná fuil sé ann. I know it is not there. Deir sé go bhfuil sé slán. He says that he is well. Sin é an fear nach bhfuil ag obair. That is the man who is not working. Dubhairt sé liom nach raibh sé ann. He told me he was not there.

332. We sometimes find the verb fuil eclipsed after the negative , not; as, ní bhfuil sé he is not

For the use of the Relative Form refer to pars. 554–560.


333. The position of a verb in an Irish sentence is at the very beginning; hence, when a word other than the verb is to be brought into prominence, the important word is to be placed in the most prominent position viz., at the beginning of the sentence, under cover of an unemphatic impersonal verb. There is no stress on the verb so used; it merely denotes that prominence is given to some idea in the sentence other than that contained in the verb. There is a similar expedient adopted in English: thus, “He was speaking of you,” and, “It is of you he was speaking.” In Irish there is a special verb for this purpose, and of this verb there are forms to be used in principal clauses and forms to be used in dependent clauses—e.g.:

Is mise an fear. I am the man.

Deirim gur ab é Seaghán an fear. I say John is the man.

Forms of the Assertive Verb.

(a) In Principal Sentences.

Present Tense, is. Relative, is or as.
Past Tense, ba.
[Future Simple, budh. Relative, bhus].
Secondary Future or Conditional, badh.
Subjunctive, ab; sometimes ba.
Subjunc. Pres. (with go) go mba, gurab; (with ) nárab, nára.
Subjunc. Past. dá mbadh, “if it were.
Present Tense.
is mé, I am; or, it is I. is sinn, we are, it is we.
is tú, thou art, it is you. is sibh, you are, it is you.
is é he is, it is he.
is í, she is, it is she.
is iad, they are, it is they.
Past Tense.
ba mé, I was, it was I.
ba thú, thou wast, &c.
dob’ é, b’ é, ba h-é, he was, &c.
dob’ í, b’ í, ba h-é she was, &c.
ba sinn, we were, &c.
ba sibh, you were, &c.
dob’ iad, b’ iad, ba h-iad they were, &c.
Budh or bhus is never used in the spoken language, and scarcely ever in writing, except when a superlative adjective or adverb occurs in a sentence, the verbs of which are in the Future Tense.

337. In the Present Tense the verb IS is omitted after all particles except , if: as, Is mé an fear. I am the man; Ní mé an fear. I am not the man.

338. In the Past Tense BA is usually omitted after particles when the word following BA begins with a consonant: as, Ar mhaith leat an áit? Did you like the place? Nár bheag an luach é? Was it not a small price? Ba is not usually omitted when the following word begins with a vowel or f, but the a is elided: as, Níor bh’ é sin an sagart. That was not the priest. Notice that the word immediately after ba or badh, even when ba or badh is understood, is usually aspirated when possible.

(b) In Dependent Sentences.

339. Present Tense.Ab is used instead of is after gur, meaning “that”; as, measaim gurab é sin an fear. I think that is the man. Before a consonant ab is usually omitted; as, deir sé gur mise an fear. He says that I am the man. Ab is always omitted after nach, that... not. Saoilim nach é sin an rí. I think that is not the king.

340. Past Tense.—The word ba or badh becomes bh’ in dependent sentences and is usually joined to the particle which precedes it. When the following word begins with a consonant the bh’ is usually omitted. Measaim gurbh é seo an teach. I think that this was the house; measann sé nár mhaith le Niall bheith annso. He thinks that Niall did not like to be here. An measann tú gur mhaith an sgeul é? Do you think that it was a good story?

341. Conditional.—In dependent sentences ba or badh becomes mba. Saoilim go mba mhaith leis dul leat. I think he would like to go with you. Deir sé nach mba mhaith leis. He says that he would not like. In the spoken language the tendency is to use the past tense forms in dependent sentences; hence Irish speakers would say gur mhaith in the above sentence instead of go mba mhaith, and nár mhaith instead of nach mba mhaith.

The Future is never used in dependent sentences in the spoken language.


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
beir beurfad beirthe breith

This verb is conjugated like buail, except in the Past, Future and Conditional.

Past Tense.

rugas, rugais, &c., like mholas (par. 264).

The prefixes do and ro were not used before this Past Tense in early usage and not generally in present-day usage.


beurfad, beurfair, &c., like molfad (par. 265).

{{fine block|In early modern usage there was no f in this Tense, or in the Conditional. The rule was that when a short vowel in the Present became long in the Future stem no f was added. This rule is still observed in the Futures ending in -óchad or -eochad.


bheurfainn, &c., like mholfainn (par. 266).

Verbal Noun breith, gen. breithe or beirthe.

345. This verb is of very frequent use in the idiom “beir ar”; lay hold on, catch, overtake; e.g., rugadh orm, I was caught. Ní fhuil breith air. There is no laying hold on him (or it).


Principal Parts.

Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
tabhair bheurfad
1. tabhraimís, tugaimís (tabhram)
2. tabhair tabhraidh
3. tabhradh or tugadh sé tabhraidís, tugaidís (or -adaois)
Autonomous, tabharthar, tugthar.


Present Tense.
SING. 1.  (do-) bheirim tabhraim
2.  (do-) bheirir tabhrair,
3.  (do-) bheir(-eann) sé tabhrann sé
PLUR. 1.  (do-) bheirimíd tabhraimíd
2.  (do-) bheireann sibh tabhrann sibh
3.  (do-) bheirid tabhraid

tugaim, &c. (like molaim), may be used in both constructions.

Autonomous, (do-)bheirthear, tabharthar or tugtar.

348. By the “Dependent Form” of the Verb we mean that form which is used after the following Particles, viz., , not; an, whether; nach, whether... not; or who, which or that... not; go, that; , where, muna, unless; , if; and the relative when governed by a preposition.

Imperfect Tense.
(do-)bheirinn tabhrainn
&c., like bhuailinn (262)
&c., like d’fhuagrainn (305)

Or, thugainn, thugtha, &c., for both absolute and dependent constructions.

Autonomous, beirtí, tabharthaoi, tugtaoi.

Past Tense.

350. The Past Tense has only one form: thugas, thugais, &c., like mholas (264). Auton tugadh.

In early usage this Past Tense did not take do or ro, as go d-tugas, “that I gave.” In present-day usage this peculiarity is sometimes adhered to and sometimes not.

Future Tense.
like molfad (265)
tiubhrad, tiobhrad
tiubrair, tiobhrair
tiubraidh sé

tabharfad, &c., may be used in both constructions.

Autonomous, bheurfar tabharfar

like mholfainn (266)
tiubhrainn, tiobhrainn
tiubharthá, tiobharthá

tabharfainn, &c., may be used in both constructions.

Autonomous, bhéarfaí, tabharfaí.


This Mood occurs only in dependent construction.

353. Presenttugad, tugair, tugaidh sé, &c., or tabhrad, tabhrair, &c.

354. Pasttugainn, &c., like molainn (268).

Verbal Noun.

tabhairt, gen. tabhartha.

Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
abair deurfad
ráidhte rádh
1. abraimís (abram)
2. abair abraidh
3. abradh sé abraidís, abradaois
Present Tense.
1. (a)deirim abraim
2. (a)deirir abrair
3. (a)deir or deireann sé abrann sé (abair)
1. (a)deirimíd abraimíd
2. (a)deirthí abrann sibh
3. (a)deirid abraid
Autonomous, (a)deirtear abarthar

The initial a of adeirim, &c., is now usually dropped. The same remark holds for the other tenses. The d of deirim, &c., is not usually aspirated by a foregoing particle. The absolute and dependent constructions are sometimes confused in spoken usage.

Imperfect Tense.
1. adeirinn abrainn
2. adeirtheá abarthá
3. adeireadh sé abradh sé
&c. &c.
Autonomous, adeirtí abarthaoi
Past Tense.
adubhras, adubhart dubhras, dubhart
adubhrais dubhrais
adubhairt sé dubhairt sé
adubhramar dubhramar
adubhrabhar dubhrabhar
adubhradar dubhradar

Autonomous, (a)dubhradh or (a)dubharthas

Future Tense.
deurfad abróchad
deurfair abróchair
deurfaidh sé abróchaidh sé
Autonomous, déarfar abróchthar

In the spoken language the absolute and dependent forms are often confused.

deurfainn abróchainn
deurfá abróchthá
deurfadh sé abróchadh sé
Autonomous, déarfaí abróchthaí

In spoken language the two constructions are often confused.

Present, abrad, abrair, abraidh sé, &c.
Past, abrainn, abarthá, abradh sé, &c.

ráidhte, ion-ráidthe, do-ráidthe, so-ráidhte

Verbal Noun.

rádh or rádha, gen. sing, and nom. plur. ráidhte


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
gabh geabhad
gabhtha gabháil

This verb is regular except in the Future and Conditional.


geobhad, geobhair, geobhaidh sé, &c.


gheobhainn, gheobhthá, gheobhadh sé, &c.

367. In the spoken language the Future is often made gabhfad, &c., and the Conditional, ghabhfainn, as in regular verbs.

Verbal Noun.

gabháil or gabhál, gen. sing, and nom. plural gabhála.


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
fagh gheobhad
faghta fagháil
1. faghaimís
2. fagh faghaidh
3. faghadh sé faghaidís


Present Tense.
(do-)gheibhim faghaim
(do-)gheibhir faghair
(do-)gheibheann sé, gheibh sé faghann sé
(do-)gheibhmíd faghaimíd
(do-)gheibheann sibh faghann sibh
(do-)gheibhid faghaid
Autonomous, (do-)gheibhthear faghtar

In spoken usage faghaim, &c., is used in both dependent and absolute constructions.

In the Auton. faghtar, faightear and fachtar are used.

Imperfect Tense.
(do-)gheibhinn faghainn
(do-)gheibhtheá faghtá
&c. &c.
Autonomous, gheibhthí, faghtaoi, faightí.

Spoken usage, Absolute, gheibhinn or faghainn, &c.

Past Tense.

This Tense has only one form for both absolute and dependent constructions. The prefixes do and ro are not used with it.

1. fuaras fuaramar
2. fuarais fuarabhar
3. fuair sé fuaradar
Autonomous, frith, fuarthas or fuaradh.

In spoken usage frith often becomes fritheadh.

Future Tense.
1. gheobhad, gheabhad bhfuighead or bhfaighead
2. gheobhair, &c. bhfuighir &c.
3. gheobhaidh sé bhfuighidh sé
1. gheobhaimíd bhfuighimíd
2. gheobhaidh sibh bhfuighidh sibh
3. gheobhaid bhfuighid
Autonomous, gheobhthar
gheobhainn or gheabhainn bhfuighinn or bhfaighinn
gheobhthá, &c. bhfuighir, &c.
gheobhadh sé bhfuigheadh sé
gheobhaimís bhfuighimís
gheobhadh sibh bhfuigheadh sibh
gheobhaidís bhfuighidís
Autonomous, gheobhthaí
Present, faghad, faghair, faghaidh sé, &c.
Past, faghainn, faghtá, faghadh sé, &c.

faghta, faighte or fachta.

The derivative participles of this verb are usually formed from the genitive of the verbal noun.

ion-fhaghála, so-fhaghála, do-fhaghála.

Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
deun deunfad deunta deunamh
1. — deunaimís
2. deun deunaidh
3. deunadh sé deunaidís
Autonomous, deuntar.


Present Tense.
1. (do-) ghním (ghnidhim) deunaim
2. „ ghnír &c. deunair
3. „ ghní sé or ghníonn sé deunann sé
1. „ ghnímíd deunaimíd
2. „ ghníthí deunann sibh
3. „ ghníd deunaid
Relative, ghníos, ghnidheas
Autonomous, ghníthear deuntar

In present-day usage deunaim, &c., are very frequently used in the Absolute construction.

Imperfect Tense.
do-ghnínn, ghnidhinn deunainn
 „ ghnítheá, &c. deunta
 „ ghníodh sé deunadh sé
 „ ghnímís deunaimís
 „ ghníodh sibh deunadh sibh
 „ ghnídís deunaidís
Autonomous, do-ghníthí deuntaoi
Past Tense.
do-rinneas deárnas
 „ rinnis, &c. deárnais
 „ rinne sé deárna sé
 „ rinneamar deárnamar
 „ rinneabhar deárnabhar
 „ rinneadar deárnadar
Autonomous, do-rinneadh deárnadh

In Munster dialect deineas, dheinis, dhein sé, dheineamar, deineabhar, and dheineadar are used as the Past Tense in both absolute and dependent constructions.

Future Tense.
deunfad deunfaimíd
deunfair deunfaidh sibh
deunfaidh sé deunfaid
Autonomous, deunfar
dheunfainn dheunfaimís
dheunfá dheunfadh sibh
dheunfadh sé dheunfaidís
Autonomous, deunfaí
deunad deunair deunaidh sé deunamaoid, &c.
deunainn deuntá deunadh sé deunamaois, &c.
deunta ion-deunta so-dheunta do-dheunta
Verbal Noun.
deunamh (deunadh) gen. deunta
Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
feic chífead
feicthe feicsint
1. — feicimís (feiceam)
2. feic feicidh
3. feiceadh sé feicidís

387. The imperative 2nd sing. and 2nd plural are hardly ever found; for we rarely command or ask a person to “see” anything, except in the sense of “look at” it. In Irish a distinct verb is always used in the sense of “look at,” such as feuch, dearc, breathnuigh, &c. The verb feuch must not be confounded with feic; it is a distinct verb, and has a complete and regular conjugation.

388. In early modern Irish faic was the stem used in the imperative and in the dependent construction throughout the entire verb.

Present Tense.
1. do-chím (chidhim) feicim
2. do-chír, &c. feicir
3. do-chí sé, chíonn sé feiceann sé
1. do-chímíd feicimíd
2. do-chíthí feiceann sibh
3. do-chíd feicid
Autonomous, do-chítear

390. The prefix do-, now usually dropped, is an altered form of the old prefix ate.g., atchím. This form survives in the spoken language only in the Ulster form, ’tím or tidhim, &c.

Imperfect Tense.
1. do-chínnm (chidhinn) feicinn
2. do-chítheá, &c. feictheá
3. do-chíodh sé feiceadh sé
1. do-chímís feicimís
2. do-chíodh sibh feiceadh sibh
3. do-chídís feicidís

In spoken language feicinn, &c., is used in both Absolute and Dependent constructions.

Ulster usage, tidheann, tidhtheá, &c.

Past Tense.
1. chonnac
(chonnarcas) facas
2. chonnacais (chonnarcais) facais feacais
3. chonnaic sé (chonnairc sé) faca sé feaca sé
1. chonnacamar [chonnarcamar] facamar feacamar
2. chonnacabhar [chonnarcabhar] facabhar feacabhar
3. chonnacadar [chonnarcadar] facadar feacadar
Autonomous, conncas facas or facthas

The older spelling was atchonnac and atchonnarc, &c. The t is still preserved in the Ulster dialect: thanaic me, &c., I saw.

Future Tense.
(do-)chífead, chídhfead, feicfead,
(do-)chífir, chidhfir, feicfir,
&c. &c.
Autonomous,chífear feicfear
(do-)chífinn, chídhfinn, feicfinn,
&c. &c.

In the Future and Conditional feicfead, &c., and feicfinn, &c., can be used in both constructions.

Present, feicead, feicir, feicidh sé, &c.
Past, feicinn, feictheá, feiceadh sé, &c.
Participle, feicthe.
Verbal Noun.
feicsint, feiscint, gen. feicseana.

From the genitive of the verbal noun the compound participles are formed: viz., in-fheicseana, so-fheicseana, do-fheicseana.


These two verbs are quite regular except in the Past Tense.

In old writings the particle at or do- is found prefixed to all the tenses in the absolute construction, but this particle is now dropped.

Past Tense.
chualas, chuala chualamar
chualais chualabhar
chuala sé chualadar
Autonomous, chualathas
Verbal Nouns.
clos or cloisint (or more modern cluinsint or cloistin).


SING.  1. — PLUR.  tigimís (tigeam)
2. tar tigidh
3. tigeadh (tagadh) sé tigidís


Present Tense.
1. tigim tigimid
2. tigir tigthí
3. tig sé tigid
Relative (wanting).
Autonomous, tigthear.

The Present Tense has also the forms tagaim or teagaim inflected regularly.

Imperfect Tense.
thiginn, thagainn, or teagainn, regularly.
Past Tense.
thángas, thánag thángamar
thángais thángabhar
tháinig sé thángadar
Autonomous, tángas.

The ng in this Tense is not sounded like ng in long, a ship, but with a helping vowel between them—e.g., 2nd pers. sing.—is pronounced as if written thánagais; but in Munster the g is silent except in the 3rd pers. sing.—e.g., thángas is pronounced haw-nuss.

404. Future Tense, tiocfad, &c., inflected regularly; also spelled tiucfad, &c.

Relative, thiocfas

Conditional, thiocfainn, &c., inflected regularly.


Present, tigead, tagad, or teagad, inflected regularly.

Past, tiginn, tagainn, or teagainn, inflected regularly.

406. Verbal Noun, teacht (or tiodhacht, tidheacht

Participle, teagtha or tagtha.

N.B.—The present stem is also spelled téidh, but téigh is preferable, as it better represents the older form, tiag or téig.

1. — téighimís (téigheam)
2. téigh téighidh
3. téigheadh sé téighidís

409. In the Imperative 2nd sing. and 2nd plur. other verbs are now usually substituted, such as gabh, imthigh, téirigh. The use of téirigh, plur. téirighidh, seems to be confined to these two forms; imthigh has a full, regular conjugation.


1. téighim (téidhim) 1. téighimíd
2. téighir &c. 2. téighthí
3. téigh sé, téigheann sé 3. téighid
Autonomous, téighthear

Imperfect Tense.

théighinn (or théidhinn), &c., regularly.

Past Tense.
1. chuadhas deachas
2. chuadhais deachais
3. chuaidh sé deachaidh sé
1. chuadhamar deachamar
2. chuadhabhar deachabhar
3. chuadhadar deachadar
Autonomous, chuadhthas deachas

In Munster chuadas, &c., is used in the dependent construction, as níor chuaidh sé, he did not go. Deaghas, &c., is also used in Munster.

1. rachad, raghad rachamaoid, raghamaoid
2. rachair, raghair rachaidh sibh, raghaidh sibh
3. rachaidh sé, raghaidh sé rachaid, raghaid
Relative, rachas, raghas.
Autonomous, rachthar, raghthar.

rachainn or raghainn, &c., regularly.

The Future and Conditional are sometimes spelled rachfad, &c., and rachfainn, &c.

Present, téighead, téighir, téighidh sé, &c.
Past, téighinn, téightheá, téigheadh sé, &c.
Verbal Noun.

dul, gen. dola (sometimes dulta).

Participle of Necessity.

dulta (as, ní dulta dhó, he ought not to go).

Derivative Participles.

ion-dola, so-dhola, do-dhola.


This verb is regular except in the Future and Conditional.

Principal Parts.
Imper. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
ith íosad ithte ithe
Future Tense.
1. íosad (íosfad) íosamaoid
2. íosair, &c. íosaidh sibh
3. íosaidh sé íosaid
Relative, íosas (íosfas).
Autonomous, íostar.
1. íosainn (íosfainn) íosamaois
2. íostá, &c. íosadh sibh
3. íosadh sé íosaidís
419. As well as the regular Past Tense, d’itheas, &c., there is another Past Tense, viz., duadhas, in use.
1. duadhas duadhamar
2. duadhais duadhabhar
3. duaidh sé duadhadar


420. This verb is nearly obsolete, its place being taken by the regular verbs sroichim and sroisim.

Its Past Tense is inflected like tánag.

1. rángas, ránag rángamar
2. rángais rángabhar
3. ráinig sé rángadar
Verbal Noun.

rochtain or riachtain.

Righim has a special usage in the phrase righim a leas, “I need,” (whence, riachtanas, need, necessity: riachtanach, necessary: from the verbal noun.)


422. This verb is quite regular except in Future and Conditional.

Future, maróbhad, marbhóchad, maireóbhad, mairbheóchad or muirbhfead (with usual terminations).

Conditional, mharóbhainn, mharbhóchainn, mhaireobhainn, mhairbheóchainn or mhuirbhfinn, &c., &c.

Verbal Noun.

marbhadh or marbhughadh, to kill or killing.


423. AR, quoth, say or said. This verb is used only when the exact words of the speaker are given. (It corresponds exactly with the Latin “inquit.”) It is frequently written arsa or ars, as arsa mise, said I. When the definite article immediately follows this latter form the s is often joined to the article, as, ars an fear or ar san fear, says the man. “Cia thú féin?” ar seisean. “Who are you?” said he.
When the exact words of the speaker are not given translate “says” by deir, and “said” by dubhairt. When the word “that” is understood after the English verb “saygo (or nach if “not” follows) must be expressed in Irish.

424. DAR, It seems or it seemed. This verb is always followed by the preposition LE: as, dar liom, it seems to me, methinks; or, it seemed to me, methought. Dar leat. It seems to you. Dar leis an bhfear. It seemed to the man.

425. FEADAR, I know, I knew. This verb is nearly always used negatively or interrogatively, and although really a past tense has a present meaning as well as a past. Ní fheadar. I do, or did, not know. Ní fheadair sé. He does not know, or he did not know.

1. feadar 1. feadramar
2. feadrair (-ír) 2. feadrabhar
3. feadair sé 3. feadradar

N.B.—The forms just given are those used in the spoken language, the literary forms are: feadar, feadair tú, feadair sé, feadamar, feadabhar, and feadadar.

426. THÁRLA, There came to pass, it happened or happened to be. It is also used to express the meeting of one person with another.

427. D’FHÓBAIR or BA DHÓBAIR, “It all but happened.” E.g., d’fhóbair dham tuitim, It all but happened to me to fall, I had like to fall, I had well nigh fallen. The same meaning is expressed by d’fhóbair go dtuitfinn.

428. FEUDAIM, I can, is regular in all its tenses, but it has no imperative mood.

  1. A few of these take te in past participle; as osgail, open, osgailte; ceangail, bind, ceangailte. The parts of these verbs [258 c.] which are formed from the past participle will, of course, have slender terminations, e.g., d’osgailteá, you used to open.
  2. The early modern form, viz., taoi, is still used in Munster, e.g., Cionnus taoi? (or Cionnus taoi’n tú?) How are you?
  3. This a is usually heard in the spoken language