Graiméar na Gaedhilge/Part II Chapter V

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Graiméar na Gaedhilge  (1906) 
Christian Brothers
Part II Chapter V




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 ‑óċad or ‑eóċad.

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 siḃ, 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 gaḋar,” which is usually translated, “The dog is struck.” Buailtear is not passive voice; it is active voice, autonomous form, and gaḋar 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 táṫar 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, sgríoḃaim, denotes habitual action, and present action is denoted by the compound tense, táim ag sgríoḃadh. 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 sgríoḃainn, 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 sgríoḃas, I wrote.

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

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

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

The Conditional is also called the Secondary Future, because it denotes a future act regarded in the past: as, Aduḃairt sé go sgríoḃfad 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 Seaġán an clár,
John strikes the table.

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

Tá Seaġán ag bualaḋ an ċláir,
John is striking the table.

3. The action as represented as about to happen—

Tá Seaġán ċum
ar tí
an ċláir do ḃualaḋ,
John is about (is going) to strike the table.

4. The action is represented as completed, as—

Tá Seaġán d’éis an ċláir do ḃualaḋ,
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. Táṫar a bualaḋ an ċláir,

Someone is striking the table.
3. Táṫar ċum
ar tí
an ċláir do ḃualaḋ,
Someone is about to strike the table.

4. Táṫar d’éis an ċláir do ḃualaḋ,

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 ġá) ḃualaḋ,

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

4. Tá an clár buailte,

The table has (just) been struck.

257. Passive Voice, Autonomous Form.

1. Táṫar buailte,

Someone is struck.

2. Táṫar fé ḃualaḋ.

Someone is being struck.
3. Táṫar ċum
ar tí
ḃeiṫ buailte,
Someone is about to be struck

4. Táṫar 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 molaḋ praise
2. reub reubfad reubṫa reubaḋ burst or tear
3. buail buailfead buailte bualaḋ strike
4. fóir fóirfead fóirṫe fóiriṫin 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 aḋ or eaḋ 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. molaḋ sé, let him praise buaileaḋ sé
1. molaimís (‑amuis)
let us praise buailimís (eamuis)
2. molaiḋ, praise (you) buailiḋ
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 siḃb buaileann siḃd
3. molaid buailid

a[molaiḋ]  b[moltaoi]  c[buailiḋ]  d[buailtí]

Autonomous. Moltar buailtear
Relative form. Ṁolas ḃuaileas
Negative. Ní ṁolaim, I do not praise.
Ní ḃuailir, You do not strike.
Interrogative. An molann sé? Does he praise?
An mbuailim? Do I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Naċ molaid? Do they not praise?
Naċ mbuaileann sé? Does he not strike?
263. Imperfect Tense.
SING. 1. *ṁolainn, I used to praise *ḃuailinn
2. *ṁoltá, &c. *ḃuailteá
3. ṁolaḋ sé ḃuaileaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. ṁolaimís (‑amuis) ḃuailimís (or imis)
2. ṁolaḋ siḃ ḃuaileaḋ siḃ
3. ṁolaidís
Autonomous. Moltaoi, Buailtí.
Negative. Ní ṁolainn, I used not praise.
Ní ḃuaileaḋ sé, He used not strike.
Interrogative. An moltá? Used you praise?
An mbuailidís? Used they strike?
Neg. Interrog. Naċ ṁolainn? Used I not praise?
Naċ mbuailinn? Used I not strike?
Past Tense.
SING. 1. ṁolas, I praised ḃuaileas
2. ṁolais ḃuailis
3. ṁol sé ḃuail sé
PLUR. 1. ṁolamar ḃuaileamar
2. ṁolaḃar ḃuaileaḃar
3. ṁoladar ḃuaileadar
Autonomous. Molaḋ buaileaḋ
Negative. Níor ṁolas, I did not praise.
Níor ḃuail sé, He did not strike.
Interrogative. Ar ṁolais? Did you praise?
Ar ḃuaileas? Did I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Nár ṁol sé? Did he not praise?
Nár ḃuaileamar? Did we not strike?

265. Future Tense.
SING. 1. molfad, I shall praise buailfead
2. molfair, thou wilt praise buailfir
3. molfaiḋ sé, &c. buailfiḋ sé
PLUR. 1. molfaimíd (‑amuid) buailfimíd (imid)
2. molfaiḋ siḃa buailfiḋ siḃb
3. molfaid buailfid
Relative form. ṁolfas ḃuailfeas
Autonomous. Molfarc buailfeard
Negative. Ní ṁolfad, I shall not praise.
Ní ḃuailfiḋ sé, He will not strike.
Interrogative. An molfaiḋ sé? Will he praise?
An mbuailfead? Shall I strike?
Neg. Interrog. Naċ molfair? Will you not praise?
Naċ mbuailfid? Will they not strike?





266. Conditional or Secondary Future.
SING. 1. ṁolfainn, I would praise ḃuailfinn
2. ṁolfá ḃuailfeá
3. ṁolfaḋ sé ḃuailfeaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. ṁolfaimís (famuis) ḃuailfimís (fimis)
2. molfaḋ siḃ ḃuailfeaḋ siḃ
3. ṁolfaidís
Autonomous. Molfaí buailfí
Negative. Ní ṁolfainn, I would not praise.
Ní ḃuailfeá, You would not strike.
Interrogative. An molfá, Would you praise ?
An mbuailfeaḋ sé, Would he strike?
Neg. Interrog. Naċ molfaḋ sé? Would he not praise?
Naċ mbuailfimís? Would we not strike?

267. Present Tense.
SING. 1. molad buailead
2. molair buailir
3. molaiḋ sé buailiḋ sé
PLUR. 1. molaimid (‑amuid) buailimíd (‑imid)
2. molaiḋ siḃa buailiḋ siḃb
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. molaḋ sé buaileaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. molaimís (amuis) buailimís (‑imis)
2. molaḋ sibh buaileaḋ sibh
3. molaidís
Autonomous. moltaoi buailtí
Verbal Noun. molaḋ bualaḋ
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 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 Ċonnaic muid é. We saw him; Ċonnaic 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 aiḋ or iḋ, and the analytic forms found in books, and sometimes in the northern dialect, are got from this form: as molaiḋ 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 aḋ or eaḋ in the 3rd sing. of this tense, as also in the Imperative and Conditional, is pronounced , or aṁ.

274. When none of the particles , an, naċ, &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 adeireaḋ 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 ḃuail sé? Did he strike?
(2) Gur, that (go + ro).
Deir sé gur ḃuaileas é. He says that I struck him.
(3) Cár, where (cá + ro).
Cár ċeannuiġis an capall? Where did you buy the horse?
Munar, unless (muna + ro).
Munar ḃuail sé, unless he struck.
(5) Níor, not (ní + ro). Níor ċreid sé. He did not believe.
Nár or náċar, whether … not.
Nár ċreid sé? Did he not believe?
dár, to whom (do, to + a + ro).
An fear dár ġeallas mo leaḃar. The man to whom I promised my book.
ler, by or with which (le + a + ro).
An maide ler buaileaḋ 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:​—​raiḃ, was; tug, gave or brought; rug, bore; faca, saw; táinig, came; fuair, found, got; deacaiḋ, went; deárna, made or did.

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

N.B. Deaċaiḋ and deárna are used instead of ċuaiḋ and rinne after negative and interrogative particles. Instead of deaċaiḋ and deárna, ċuaiḋ and ḋein (ḋin) 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, Ṫ, Ḋ, Ċ, and (in verbs of one syllable) Ġ.

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 molaḋ é; very seldom ḃí 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 ḋuit 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 deiṁin naċ ḃfuil duine naċ beiṫte ḋó 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.) “Tuigṫear as an sgeul, naċ beiṫte do neaċ dul i n‑eudóċas.” It may hence be learned that it is not proper for anyone to fall into despair. Ní beiṫte ag a ṡeunaḋ (or simply, ní seunta). It must not be denied. Here beiṫte is the Participle of Necessity of the verb .

285. Derivative Participles.
ion-ṁolta in-reubṫa ion-ḃuailte ion-ḟóirṫe
so-ṁolta so-reubṫa so-ḃuailte so-ḟóirṫe
do-ṁolta do-reubṫa do-ḃuailte so-ḟóirṫe

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

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

287. The prefix do- denotes what is impossible or difficult to do: as do-ḃuailte, 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 faġáil, finding.

so-ḟaġála, easily found. do-ḟaġála, hard to find.
289. Declension of Verbal Noun.
molaḋ molta
Gen. molta molaḋ (molta)
Dat. molaḋ moltaiḃ

bualaḋ buailte
Gen. buailte bualaḋ (buailte)
Dat. bualaḋ buailtiḃ

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 aċt, áil, and aṁain belong to the 3rd declension​—​e.g., gaḃáil, act of taking; gen., gaḃála: riṫ, running; gen. reaṫa; leanaṁain, act of following; gen. leanaṁna: siuḃal, act or walking; gen. siuḃail: fás, act of growing; gen. fáis, &c.


291. The second conjugation comprises two classes of verbs​—​(1) derived verbs in or uiġ; 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 laḃair, speak; laḃraim (not laḃairim), 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. bailiġ baileóċad bailiġṫe bailiuġaḋ gather
2. ceannuiġ ceannóċad ceannuiġṫe ceannaċ buy

294. Except in the Future and Conditional, all verbs in and uiġ 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. baileóċad, I shall gather, ceannóċad, I shall buy
2. baileóċair, ceannóċair.
3. baileóċaiḋ sé, ceannóċaiḋ sé.
1. baileóċaimíd (‑ċamuid), ceannóċaimíd (‑ċamuid).
2. baileóċaiḋ siḃ, ceannóċaiḋ siḃ.
3. baileóċaid, ceannóċaid.
Relative. ḃaileoċas, ċeannóċas.
Autonomous. baileoċṫar, ceannóċṫar.


1. ḃaileóċainn, I would gather, ċeannóċainn, I shall buy
2. ḃaileóċṫá, ċeannóċṫá.
3. ḃaileóċaḋ sé, ċeannóċaḋ sé.
1. ḃaileóċaimís (‑amuis), ċeannóċaimís (‑amuis).
2. ḃaileóċaḋ siḃ, ċeannóċaḋ siḃ.
3. ḃaileóċaidís
Autonomous. baileoċṫaí ceannóċṫaí

297. In early modern usage, when the stem ended in ‑uiġ, preceded by d, n, t, l, or r, these consonants were usually attenuated in the Future and Conditional: as árduiġ, raise, future áirdeóċad; saluiġ, soil, future saileóċad; but nowadays árdóċad, salóċad, &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, imeoraiḋ sé, he will play; coigil, coigeolad, I shall spare; fuagair, fuaigeoraid, they will proclaim; d’ḟuaigeoraḋ sé, he would proclaim; codail, coideolad, I shall sleep; ċoideolainn, I would sleep.

300. In the present-day usage the Future stem is formed as if the verb ended in or uiġ: by adding ‑óċ in Type 1 and ‑eóċ in Type 2.


Principal Parts.

Imperative. Future. Participle. V. Noun.
Type (1). fuagair fuagróċad fuagarṫa fuagra(ḋ)
Type (2). coigil coigleóċad coigilte coigilt


SING. 1.
2. fuagair, proclaim coigil, spare
3. fuagraḋ sé coigleaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimís coiglimís
2. fuagraiḋ coigliḋ
3. fuagraidís (‑adaois) coiglidís
Autonomous. fuagarṫar 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 siḃb coigleann siḃd
3. fuagraid coiglid
Relative. ḟuagras ċoigleas
Autonomous. fuagarṫar coigiltear
305. Imperfect Tense.
SING. 1. d’ḟuagrainn ċoiglinn
2. d’ḟuagarṫá ċoigilteá
3. d’ḟuagraḋ sé ċoigleaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. d’ḟuagraimís ċoiglimís
2. d’ḟuagraḋ siḃ ċoigleaḋ siḃ
3. d’ḟuagraidís (‑daois) ċoiglidís
Autonomous. fuagarṫaoi coigiltí
306. Past Tense.
SING. 1. d’ḟuagras ċoigleas
2. d’ḟuagrais ċoiglis
3. d’ḟuagair sé ċoigil sé
PLUR. 1. d’ḟuagramar ċoigleamar
2. d’ḟuagraḃar ċoigleaḃar
3. d’ḟuagradar ċoigleadar
Autonomous. fuagraḋ coigleaḋ
a[fuagraiḋ]  b[fuagarṫaoi]  c[coigliḋ]  d[coigiltí]
307. Future Tense.
1. fuagróċad coigleóċad
2. fuagróċair coigleóċair
3. fuagróċaiḋ sé coigleóċaiḋ sé
1. fuagróċaimíd coigleóċaimíd
2. fuagróċaiḋ siḃ coigleóċaiḋ siḃ
3. fuagróċaid coigleóċaid
Relative Form. ḟuagróċas ċoigleóċas
Autonomous. fuagróċṫar coigleóċṫar
308. Conditional.
SING. 1. d’ḟuagróċainn ċoigleóċainn
2. d’ḟuagróċṫá ċoigleóċṫá
3. d’ḟuagróċaḋ sé ċoigleóċaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. d’ḟuagróċaimís ċoigleóċaimís
2. d’ḟuagróċaḋ siḃ ċoigleóċaḋ siḃ
3. d’ḟuagróċaidís ċoigleóċaidís
Autonomous. fuagróċṫaí coigleóċṫaí
Present Tense.
SING. 1. fuagrad coiglead
2. fuagrair coiglir
3. fuagraiḋ sé coigliḋ sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimíd coiglimíd
2. fuagraiḋ siḃ coigliḋ siḃ
3. fuagraid coiglid
Autonomous. fuagarṫar coigiltear
310. Past Tense.
SING. 1. fuagrainn coiglinn
2. fuagarṫá coigilteá
3. fuagraḋ sé coigleaḋ sé
PLUR. 1. fuagraimís coiglimís
2. fuagraḋ siḃ coigleaḋ siḃ
3. fuagraidís coiglidís
Autonomous, fuagarṫaoi coigiltí
311. Past Participle and Participle of Necessity.
fuagarṫa coigilte
312. Compound Participles.
ion-ḟuagarṫa ion-ċoigilte
so-ḟuagarṫa so-ċoigilte
do-ḟuagarṫa do-ċoigilte
313. Verbal Nouns.
fuagra(ḋ) (fuagairt) fuagarṫa
GEN. fuagarṫa fuagra(ḋ) (fuagarṫa)
DAT. fuagra(ḋ) (fuagairt) fuagarṫaiḃ
GEN. coigilte
DAT. coigilt

314. In stems of Type (2) ending in r, the Participle is usually in the form earṫa, not irṫe, as díbir, banish: díbearṫa, banished; imir, play; imearṫa, played.

The endings formed on the participle [see par. 258 c.] follow this change, e.g., Imperfect 2nd singular, ḋíbearṫá; Present Auton., díbearṫar, &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 aḋ, if the final consonant of the stem be broad; in eaḋ, if it be slender, as—

dún, shut dúnaḋ
mill, destroy milleaḋ
mol, praise molaḋ
léiġ, read léiġeaḋ.

(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 bualaḋ
dóiġ, burn dóġaḋ
goin, wound gonaḋ
brúiġ, bruise brúġaḋ

The i is not dropped in—

caoin, lament caoineaḋ
sgaoil, loose sgaoileaḋ
smuain, reflect smuaineaḋ

(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 (cosnaṁ)
laḃair, speak laḃairt
coigil, spare coigilt
(d) Derived verbs ending in uiġ form their verbal noun by dropping the i and adding aḋ; as, árduiġ, raise, árduġaḋ.

(e) Derived verbs in form their verbal noun by inserting u between the i and ġ and then adding aḋ; as míniġ, explain, míniuġaḋ.

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; riṫ, run; snáṁ, 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 aṁain or eaṁain to the stem to form their verbal noun, e.g., caill, lose, cailleaṁain(t); creid, believe, creideaṁain(t); fan, stay, fanaṁain(t), lean, follow, leanaṁain(t); sgar, separate, sgaraṁain(t), &c.

In the spoken language t is usually added to the classical termination ‑aṁain.

(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 aṁ or eaṁ, e.g., seas, stand, seasaṁ; caiṫ, spend, consume, caiṫeaṁ; deun, do or make, deunaṁ (or deunadh); feiṫ, wait, feiṫeaṁ.

(f) A small number end in áil or , as gaḃ, take, gaḃáil; faġ, find, faġáil; fág, leave, fágáil; fead, whistle, feadġail.

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 bíḋiḋ, let you be
bíoḋ sé, let him be bídís, let them be
Autonomous, bíṫear.

The negative particle is .

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


320. Present Tense—Absolute.
táim, I am táimid, we are
táir[2] thou art tá siḃ, táṫaoi, you are
tá sé, he is táid, they are
Autonomous, táṫar
Present Tense (Analytic Form).
tá mé, I am tá sinn, we are
tá tú, thou art tá siḃ, you are
tá sé, he is tá siad, they are
321. Present Tense—Dependent.
fuilim fuilmíd
fuilir fuil siḃ
fuil sé fuilid
Autonomous, fuiltear.
Negatively. Interrogatively. Neg. Interrog.
I am not, &c. Am I, &c. Am I not, &c.
ní ḟuilim an ḃfuilim naċ ḃfuilim
ní ḟuilir an ḃfuilir naċ ḃfuilir
ní ḟuil sé an ḃfuil sé naċ ḃfuil sé
ní ḟuilmíd an ḃfuilmíd naċ ḃfuilmíd
ní ḟuil siḃ an ḃfuil siḃ naċ ḃfuil siḃ
ní ḟuilid an ḃfuilid naċ ḃfuilid

The analytic forms are like those given above; as, ní ḟuil siad, naċ ḃfuil tú, &c.

Habitual Present.
bím (biḋim) bímíd (biḋmid)
bír (biḋir) bíonn siḃ, bíṫí
bíonn sé (bíḋ sé, biḋeann sé) bíḋ (biḋid)

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

Neg. Interrog., naċ mbím, &c.

Relative form ḃíos (ḃiḋeas).

Autonomous, bítear

Imperfect Tense (I used to be).
do ḃínn (do ḃiḋinn) do ḃímís (ḃiḋmís)
„ bír („ biḋir) „ bíoḋ siḃ
„ bíoḋ sé („ biḋeaḋ sé) „ bídís (biḋdís)
Autonomous, bítí
Negatively, ní ḃínn
Interrogatively, an mbínn?
Neg. interrog. naċ mbínn?
Past Tense.
do ḃíos (ḃiḋeas) do ḃíomar (ḃiḋeamar)
„ ḃís (ḃiḋis) „ ḃíoḃar (ḃiḋeaḃar)
„ ḃí sé „ ḃíodar, ḃiḋeadar

Autonomous, ḃíṫeas

raḃas raḃamar
raḃais raḃaḃar
raiḃ sé raḃadar

Autonomous, raḃṫas

Negative, ní raḃas, ní raḃais, ní raiḃ sé, &c.

Interrogatively (Was I? &c.).

an raḃas an raḃais an raiḃ sé an raḃamar, &c.

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

naċ raḃas naċ raḃais naċ raiḃ sé, &c.

Future Tense.
béad, bead (béiḋead) béimid, beimíd (béiḋmíd)
béir, beir (béiḋir) béiḋ siḃ, béiṫí
béiḋ, beiḋ sé béid, beid (béiḋid)
Relative Form, ḃeas, ḃéas (ḃéiḋeas)
Autonomous, béiṫear, beifear
Negatively, ní ḃéad
Interrog., an mbéad?
Neg. Interrog., naċ mbéad?
Secondary Future or Conditional.
do ḃéinn (ḃéiḋinn) ḃéimís (ḃéiḋmís)
„ ḃéiṫeá (ḃéiḋṫeá) ḃéaḋ, ḃeaḋ (ḃéiḋeaḋ) siḃ
„ ḃéaḋ, ḃeaḋ (ḃéiḋeaḋ) sé ḃéidís (ḃéiḋdís)
Autonomous, beiḋfí, béiṫí
Negative, ní ḃéinn
Interrog., an mbéinn
Neg. interrog., naċ mbéinn
Present Tense.
go raḃad go raḃmuid
go raḃair go raiḃ siḃ (raḃṫaoi)
go raiḃ sé go raḃaid

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

Past Tense.
go mbínn go mbímís
go mbíṫeá go mbíoḋ siḃ)
go mbíoḋ sé go mbídís
The negative particle is nár.
Autonomous Form.
go raḃṫar! may (they) be! (for once).
go mbítear!   „    „    (generally).

Verbal Noun.

ḃeiṫ, to be.

330. Phrases containing the Verb Noun.

Is féidir liom (a)[3] ḃeiṫ I can be, &c.
Ní féidir liom (a) ḃeiṫ I cannot be, &c.
Tig leat (a) ḃeiṫ You can be, &c.
Ní ṫig leat (a) ḃeiṫ You cannot be, &c
Caiṫfiḋ sé ḃeiṫ He must be, &c.
Caiṫfiḋ mé ḃeiṫ I must be, &c.
Ní fuláir go raiḃ tú You must have been, &c.
Is cosṁail go raiḃ tú
Níor b’ḟéidir nó ḃí tú
Ní cosṁail go raiḃ mé I must not have been, &c.
Ní fuláir naċ raiḃ mé
Is cóir ḋom (a) ḃeiṫ I ought to be.
Ní cóir duit (a) ḃeiṫ You ought not to be.
Buḋ ċóir ḋó ḃeiṫ He ought to have been.
Nior ċóir ḋom (a) ḃeiṫ I ought not to have been.
Buḋ ṁaiṫ liom (a) ḃeiṫ ann I wish I were there.
Ba ṁaiṫ liom go raiḃ mé ann I wish I had been there.
Tá sé le ḃeiṫ ann He is to be there.

331. The forms fuilim and raḃas are used—

(1) After the particles , not; , where? an (or a), whether? go, that; and naċ 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 naċ, who … not, which … not. Cá ḃ‑fuil sé? Where is it? Ní ḟuil a ḟios agam. I don’t know. Tá ḟios agam ná fuil sé ann. I know it is not there. Deir sé go ḃfuil sé slán. He says that he is well. Sin é an fear naċ ḃfuil ag obair. That is the man who is not working. Duḃairt sé liom naċ raiḃ sé ann. He told me he was not there.

332. We sometimes find the verb fuil eclipsed after the negative , not; as, ní ḃfuil 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 Seaġán 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, buḋ. Relative, ḃus].
Secondary Future or Conditional, baḋ.
Subjunctive, ab; sometimes ba.
Subjunc. Pres. (with go) go mba, gurab; (with ) nárab, nára.
Subjunc. Past. dá mbaḋ, “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 siḃ, 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 ṫú, 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 siḃ, you were, &c.
dob’ iad, b’ iad, ba h‑iad they were, &c.
Buḋ or ḃus 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 ṁaiṫ leat an áit? Did you like the place? Nár ḃeag an luaċ 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 ḃ’ é sin an sagart. That was not the priest. Notice that the word immediately after ba or baḋ, even when ba or baḋ 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 naċ, that … not. Saoilim naċ é sin an rí. I think that is not the king.

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

341. Conditional.—In dependent sentences ba or baḋ becomes mba. Saoilim go mba ṁaiṫ leis dul leat. I think he would like to go with you. Deir sé naċ mba ṁaiṫ 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 ṁaiṫ in the above sentence instead of go mba ṁaiṫ, and nár ṁaiṫ instead of naċ mba ṁaiṫ.

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


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
beir beurfad beirṫe breiṫ

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

Past Tense.

rugas, rugais, &c., like ṁolas (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).

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 ‑óċad or ‑eoċad.


ḃeurfainn, &c., like ṁolfainn (par. 266).

Verbal Noun breiṫ, gen. breiṫe or beirṫe.

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


Principal Parts.

Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
taḃair ḃeurfad
1. taḃraimís, tugaimís (taḃram)
2. taḃair taḃraiḋ
3. taḃraḋ or tugaḋ sé taḃraidís, tugaidís (or ‑adaois)
Autonomous, taḃarṫar, tugṫar.


Present Tense.
SING. 1.  (do‑) ḃeirim taḃraim
2.  (do‑) ḃeirir taḃrair,
3.  (do‑) ḃeir(‑eann) sé taḃrann sé
PLUR. 1.  (do‑) ḃeirimíd taḃraimíd
2.  (do‑) ḃeireann siḃ taḃrann siḃ
3.  (do‑) ḃeirid taḃraid

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

Autonomous, (do‑)ḃeirṫear, taḃarṫar 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; naċ, 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‑)ḃeirinn taḃrainn
&c., like ḃuailinn (262)
&c., like d’ḟuagrainn (305)

Or, ṫugainn, ṫugṫa, &c., for both absolute and dependent constructions.

Autonomous, beirtí, taḃarṫaoi, tugtaoi.

Past Tense.

350. The Past Tense has only one form: ṫugas, ṫugais, &c., like ṁolas (264). Auton tugaḋ.

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.
(do‑)ḃeurfad &c.,
like molfad (265)
tiuḃrad, tioḃrad
tiubrair, tioḃrair
tiubraiḋ sé

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

Autonomous, ḃeurfar taḃarfar

like ṁolfainn (266)
tiuḃrainn, tioḃrainn
tiuḃarṫá, tioḃarṫá

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

Autonomous, ḃéarfaí, taḃarfaí.


This Mood occurs only in dependent construction.

353. Presenttugad, tugair, tugaiḋ sé, &c., or taḃrad, taḃrair, &c.

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

Verbal Noun.

taḃairt, gen. taḃarṫa.

Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
abair deurfad
ráiḋte ráḋ
1. abraimís (abram)
2. abair abraiḋ
3. abraḋ 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)deirṫí abrann siḃ
3. (a)deirid abraid
Autonomous, (a)deirtear abarṫar

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. adeirṫeá abarṫá
3. adeireaḋ sé abraḋ sé
&c. &c.
Autonomous, adeirtí abarṫaoi
Past Tense.
aduḃras, aduḃart duḃras, duḃart
aduḃrais duḃrais
aduḃairt sé duḃairt sé
aduḃramar duḃramar
aduḃraḃar duḃraḃar
aduḃradar duḃradar

Autonomous, (a)duḃraḋ or (a)duḃarṫas

Future Tense.
deurfad abróċad
deurfair abróċair
deurfaiḋ sé abróċaiḋ sé
Autonomous, déarfar abróċṫar

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

deurfainn abróċainn
deurfá abróċṫá
deurfaḋ sé abróċaḋ sé
Autonomous, déarfaí abróċṫaí

In spoken language the two constructions are often confused.

Present, abrad, abrair, abraiḋ sé, &c.
Past, abrainn, abarṫá, abraḋ sé, &c.

ráiḋte, ion-ráidṫe, do-ráidṫe, so-ráiḋte

Verbal Noun.

ráḋ or ráḋa, gen. sing, and nom. plur. ráiḋte


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
gaḃ geaḃad
gaḃṫa gaḃáil

This verb is regular except in the Future and Conditional.


geoḃad, geoḃair, geoḃaiḋ sé, &c.


ġeoḃainn, ġeoḃṫá, ġeoḃaḋ sé, &c.

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

Verbal Noun.

gaḃáil or gaḃál, gen. sing, and nom. plural gaḃála.


Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
faġ ġeoḃad
faġta faġáil
1. faġaimís
2. faġ faġaiḋ
3. faġaḋ sé faġaidís


Present Tense.
(do-)ġeiḃim faġaim
(do-)ġeiḃir faġair
(do-)ġeiḃeann sé, ġeiḃ sé faġann sé
(do-)ġeiḃmíd faġaimíd
(do-)ġeiḃeann siḃ faġann siḃ
(do-)ġeiḃid faġaid
Autonomous, (do-)ġeiḃṫear faġtar

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

In the Auton. faġtar, faiġtear and faċtar are used.

Imperfect Tense.
(do-)ġeiḃinn faġainn
(do-)ġeiḃṫeá faġtá
&c. &c.
Autonomous, ġeiḃṫí, faġtaoi, faiġtí.

Spoken usage, Absolute, ġeiḃinn or faġainn, &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 fuaraḃar
3. fuair sé fuaradar
Autonomous, friṫ, fuarṫas or fuaraḋ.

In spoken usage friṫ often becomes friṫeaḋ.

Future Tense.
1. ġeoḃad, ġeaḃad ḃfuiġead or ḃfaiġead
2. ġeoḃair, &c. ḃfuiġir &c.
3. ġeoḃaiḋ sé ḃfuiġiḋ sé
1. ġeoḃaimíd ḃfuiġimíd
2. ġeoḃaiḋ siḃ ḃfuiġiḋ siḃ
3. ġeoḃaid ḃfuiġid
Autonomous, ġeoḃṫar
ġeoḃainn or ġeaḃainn ḃfuiġinn or ḃfaiġinn
ġeoḃṫá, &c. ḃfuiġir, &c.
ġeoḃaḋ sé ḃfuiġeaḋ sé
ġeoḃaimís ḃfuiġimís
ġeoḃaḋ siḃ ḃfuiġeaḋ siḃ
ġeoḃaidís ḃfuiġidís
Autonomous, ġeoḃṫaí
Present, faġad, faġair, faġaiḋ sé, &c.
Past, faġainn, faġtá, faġaḋ sé, &c.

faġta, faiġte or faċta.

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

ion-ḟaġála, so-ḟaġála, do-ḟaġála.

Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
deun deunfad deunta deunaṁ
1. — deunaimís
2. deun deunaiḋ
3. deunaḋ sé deunaidís
Autonomous, deuntar.


Present Tense.
1. (do-) ġním (ġniḋim) deunaim
2. „ ġnír &c. deunair
3. „ ġní sé or ġníonn sé deunann sé
1. „ ġnímíd deunaimíd
2. „ ġníṫí deunann siḃ
3. „ ġníd deunaid
Relative, ġníos, ġniḋeas
Autonomous, ġníṫear deuntar

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

Imperfect Tense.
do-ġnínn, ġniḋinn deunainn
 „ ġníṫeá, &c. deunta
 „ ġníoḋ sé deunaḋ sé
 „ ġnímís deunaimís
 „ ġníoḋ siḃ deunaḋ siḃ
 „ ġnídís deunaidís
Autonomous, do-ġníṫí deuntaoi
Past Tense.
do-rinneas deárnas
 „ rinnis, &c. deárnais
 „ rinne sé deárna sé
 „ rinneamar deárnamar
 „ rinneaḃar deárnaḃar
 „ rinneadar deárnadar
Autonomous, do-rinneaḋ deárnaḋ

In Munster dialect deineas, ḋeinis, ḋein sé, ḋeineamar, deineaḃar, and ḋeineadar are used as the Past Tense in both absolute and dependent constructions.

Future Tense.
deunfad deunfaimíd
deunfair deunfaiḋ siḃ
deunfaiḋ sé deunfaid
Autonomous, deunfar
ḋeunfainn ḋeunfaimís
ḋeunfá ḋeunfaḋ siḃ
ḋeunfaḋ sé ḋeunfaidís
Autonomous, deunfaí
deunad deunair deunaiḋ sé deunamaoid, &c.
deunainn deuntá deunaḋ sé deunamaois, &c.
deunta ion-deunta so-ḋeunta do-ḋeunta
Verbal Noun.
deunaṁ (deunaḋ) gen. deunta
Principal Parts.
Imperative. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
feic ċífead
feicṫe feicsint
1. — feicimís (feiceam)
2. feic feiciḋ
3. feiceaḋ 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 feuċ, dearc, breaṫnuiġ, &c. The verb feuċ 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-ċím (ċiḋim) feicim
2. do-ċír, &c. feicir
3. do-ċí sé, ċíonn sé feiceann sé
1. do-ċímíd feicimíd
2. do-ċíṫí feiceann siḃ
3. do-ċíd feicid
Autonomous, do-ċítear

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

Imperfect Tense.
1. do-ċínnm (ċiḋinn) feicinn
2. do-ċíṫeá, &c. feicṫeá
3. do-ċíoḋ sé feiceaḋ sé
1. do-ċímís feicimís
2. do-ċíoḋ siḃ feiceaḋ siḃ
3. do-ċídís feicidís

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

Ulster usage, tiḋeann, tiḋṫeá, &c.

Past Tense.
1. ċonnac
(ċonnarcas) facas
2. ċonnacais (ċonnarcais) facais feacais
3. ċonnaic sé (ċonnairc sé) faca sé feaca sé
1. ċonnacamar [ċonnarcamar] facamar feacamar
2. ċonnacaḃar [ċonnarcaḃar] facaḃar feacaḃar
3. ċonnacadar [ċonnarcadar] facadar feacadar
Autonomous, conncas facas or facṫas

The older spelling was atċonnac and atċonnarc, &c. The t is still preserved in the Ulster dialect: ṫanaic me, &c., I saw.

Future Tense.
(do-)ċífead, ċíḋfead, feicfead,
(do-)ċífir, ċiḋfir, feicfir,
&c. &c.
Autonomous,ċífear feicfear
(do-)ċífinn, ċíḋfinn, feicfinn,
&c. &c.

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

Present, feicead, feicir, feiciḋ sé, &c.
Past, feicinn, feicṫeá, feiceaḋ sé, &c.
Participle, feicṫe.
Verbal Noun.
feicsint, feiscint, gen. feicseana.

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


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.
ċualas, ċuala ċualamar
ċualais ċualaḃar
ċuala sé ċualadar
Autonomous, ċualaṫas
Verbal Nouns.
clos or cloisint (or more modern cluinsint or cloistin).


SING.  1. — PLUR.  tigimís (tigeam)
2. tar tigiḋ
3. tigeaḋ (tagaḋ) sé tigidís


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

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

Imperfect Tense.
ṫiginn, ṫagainn, or teagainn, regularly.
Past Tense.
ṫángas, ṫánag ṫángamar
ṫángais ṫángaḃar
ṫáinig sé ṫángadar
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 ṫánagais; but in Munster the g is silent except in the 3rd pers. sing.—e.g., ṫángas is pronounced haw-nuss.

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

Relative, ṫiocfas

Conditional, ṫiocfainn, &c., inflected regularly.


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

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

406. Verbal Noun, teaċt (or tioḋaċt, tiḋeaċt)

Participle, teagṫa or tagṫa.

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

1. — téiġimís (téiġeam)
2. téiġ téiġiḋ
3. téiġeaḋ sé téiġidís

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


1. téiġim (téiḋim) 1. téiġimíd
2. téiġir &c. 2. téiġṫí
3. téiġ sé, téiġeann sé 3. téiġid
Autonomous, téiġṫear

Imperfect Tense.

ṫéiġinn (or ṫéiḋinn), &c., regularly.

Past Tense.
1. ċuaḋas deaċas
2. ċuaḋais deaċais
3. ċuaiḋ sé deaċaiḋ sé
1. ċuaḋamar deaċamar
2. ċuaḋaḃar deaċaḃar
3. ċuaḋadar deaċadar
Autonomous, ċuaḋṫas deaċas

In Munster ċuadas, &c., is used in the dependent construction, as níor ċuaiḋ sé, he did not go. Deaġas, &c., is also used in Munster.

1. raċad, raġad raċamaoid, raġamaoid
2. raċair, raġair raċaiḋ siḃ, raġaiḋ siḃ
3. raċaiḋ sé, raġaiḋ sé raċaid, raġaid
Relative, raċas, raġas.
Autonomous, raċṫar, raġṫar.

raċainn or raġainn, &c., regularly.

The Future and Conditional are sometimes spelled raċfad, &c., and raċfainn, &c.

Present, téiġead, téiġir, téiġiḋ sé, &c.
Past, téiġinn, téiġṫeá, téiġeaḋ sé, &c.
Verbal Noun.

dul, gen. dola (sometimes dulta).

Participle of Necessity.

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

Derivative Participles.

ion-dola, so-ḋola, do-ḋola.


This verb is regular except in the Future and Conditional.

Principal Parts.
Imper. Future. Participle. Verbal Noun.
iṫ íosad iṫte iṫe
Future Tense.
1. íosad (íosfad) íosamaoid
2. íosair, &c. íosaiḋ siḃ
3. íosaiḋ sé íosaid
Relative, íosas (íosfas).
Autonomous, íostar.
1. íosainn (íosfainn) íosamaois
2. íostá, &c. íosaḋ siḃ
3. íosaḋ sé íosaidís
419. As well as the regular Past Tense, d’iṫeas, &c., there is another Past Tense, viz., duaḋas, in use.
1. duaḋas duaḋamar
2. duaḋais duaḋaḃar
3. duaiḋ sé duaḋadar


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

Its Past Tense is inflected like tánag.

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

roċtain or riaċtain.

Riġim has a special usage in the phrase riġim a leas, “I need,” (whence, riaċtanas, need, necessity: riaċtanaċ, necessary: from the verbal noun.)


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

Future, maróḃad, marḃóċad, maireóḃad, mairḃeóċad or muirḃfead (with usual terminations).

Conditional, ṁaróḃainn, ṁarḃóċainn, ṁaireoḃainn, ṁairḃeóċainn or ṁuirḃfinn, &c., &c.

Verbal Noun.

marḃaḋ or marḃuġaḋ, 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 ṫú 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 duḃairt. When the word “that” is understood after the English verb “saygo (or naċ 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 ḃfear. 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 ḟeadar. I do, or did, not know. Ní ḟeadair sé. He does not know, or he did not know.

1. feadar 1. feadramar
2. feadrair (‑ír) 2. feadraḃar
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, feadaḃar, and feadadar.

426. ṪÁRLA, 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’ḞÓBAIR or BA ḊÓBAIR, “It all but happened.” E.g., d’ḟóbair ḋam 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’ḟóbair 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