Irish Lesson 20



The letter group "omh" in a word often gets the sound of (oh). This sound is held for the same length of time as "ó". Examples are: romham (ROH-uhm), before me; romhat (ROH-uht), before you; comhar (KOH-uhr), aid; comhairle (KOHR-le), council, advice; comhrá(KOH-raw*), conversation; fómhar (FOH-uhr), autumn; comhacht (KOH-uhk*t), power; comhlacht (KOH-luhk*t), a corporation.



To say "I had a book", rather than "I have a book", you merely replace "" by "bhí", as in:

Bhíleabhar agam (vee LOU-wuhr uh-GUHM), I had a book. The literal meaning is, of course, "There was a book at me".

Forms for "had" parallel those needed to express "have". Here is practice reading to help you recognize and use the forms. Only the new or less familiar words have a pronunciation guide directly after them.

Bhíairgead (AR-i-guhd) agam inné. Nach raibh bainne agat? Níl mórán bainne againn anois. Táscian ag Tomás. An raibh cóta ag an mac? Nach bhfuil nuachtán agat? Níraibh cnaipe (kuh-NAHP-e) ag an gcóta.

An bhfuil carr aige? Níl caife nótae aici. Nach raibh bróg ag Peadar? Bhíbord mór acu. An bhfuil léine mhaith aige? Táleabhar agaibh. An raibh mála bán aici? Nach bhfuil hataíacu? Níraibh ceann (kyoun) eile agam.


The pronunciation guide and translation for these sentences follow:

vee AR-i-guhd uh-GUHM in-YAY*. nahk* rev BAHN-ye uh-GUHT? neel moh-RAW*N BAHN-ye uh-GIN uh-NISH. taw* SHKEE-uhn eg toh-MAW*S. un rev KOH-tuh eg un MAHK? nahk* vwil NOO-uhk*-taw*n uh-GUHT? nee rev kuh-NAHP-e eg un GOH-tuh.

un vwil KAHR eg-GE? neel KAH-fe noh tay* a-KI. nahk* rev brohg eg PAD-uhr? vee bohrd mohr ah-KUH. un vwil LAY*-ne vwah eg-GE? taw* LOU-wir uh-GIV. un rev MAW*-luh baw*n a-KI? nahk* vwil HAHT-ee ah-KUH? nee rev kyoun EL-e uh-GUHM.

I had money yesterday. Didn't you have milk? We don't have much milk now. Thomas has a knife. DId the son have a coat? Don't you have a newspaper? The coat didn't have a button.

Has he a car? She doesn't have coffee or tea.. Didn't Peter have a shoe? They had a large table. Has he a good shirt? You have books. Did she have a white bag? Don't they have hats? I didn't have another one.



It is necessary for you to practice with masculine and feminine nouns accompanied by adjectives, so that you will be familiar with the changes needed. Here are some drill expressions. Go over them until you are completely in mastery of them:

Máthair mhaith (MAW*-hir vwah); an mháthair mhaith (un VWAW*-hir vwah); mo mháthair mhaith (muh VWAW*-hir vwah).

cailín maith (kah-LEEN mah); an cailín maith; do chailín maith (duh k*ah-LEEN mah).

bróg shalach (brohg huh-LAHK*); an bhróg shalach (un vrohg huh-LAHK*); a bhróg shalach (uh vrohg huh-LAHK*).

bord salach; an bord salach;ár mbord salach ( aw*r mohrd suh-LAHK*).

traein fhada (tray*n AH-duh); an traein fhada; do thraein fhada.

carr fada; an carr fada; mo charr fada ( muh K*AHR FAH-duh).

cathaoir chrua (KAH-heer K*ROO-uh), a hard chair; an chathaoir chrua (un K*AH-heer K*ROO-uh); a cathaoir chrua, her hard chair.

cóta beag (KOH-tuh byuhg); an cóta beag; mo chóta beag (muh K*OH-tuh byuhg).

sráid dheas (sraw*d yas), a nice street; an tsráid dheas (un traw*d yas); a shráid dheas (uh hraw*d yas), his nice street.

fuinneog ghlan (fwin-YOHG gluhn); an fhuinneog ghlan (un in-YOHG gluhn); do fhuinneog ghlan (duh in-YOHG gluhn). fear mór (far mohr); an fear mór; do fhear mór (duh ar mohr).

scian ghéar (SHKEE-uhn yay*r), a sharp knife; an scian ghéar; mo scian ghéar (muh SHKEE-uhn yay*r).

pingin bheag (PEENG-in vyuhg), a small penny; an phingin bheag (un FEENG-in vyuhg); mo phingin bheag.

These changes are annoying to you at first, but a little practice will make them seem very natural. Writing them out after you have gone over the pronunciation several times is another good way to become used to the changes required.

The verbal nouns with "" and "bhí" also require some drilling. Repeat this drill until you can do it with full understanding and without hesitation:

Nach bhfuil Seán ag léamh sa chistin? (nahk* vwil shaw*n uh LAY*-uhv suh HYISH-tin). Níl séag léamh sa chistin. An bhfuil séag léamh thuas an staighre? (HOO-uhs un STEYE-ruh). Táséag léamh ansin.

Nach raibh do mháthair ag caint leat? (uh KEYENT lat) Níraibh síuh caint liom (luhm) An raibh síag caint le Máire? (MAW*-re) Bhísíag caint le Máire agus le Bríd, freisin (le BREED FRESH-in).

Nach bhfuilár n-athair ag scríobh na litreach? (nahk* vwil aw*r NA-hir uh SHKREEV nuh LI-trahk*), writing the letter? Níl séag scríobh na litreach. An bhfuil séag obair sa bhaile? (eg OH-bir suh VWAH-le) Táséag obair sa ghairdín (suh gahr-DEEN).

Nach raibh cat agaibh? (uh-GIV) Níraibh cat againn anuraidh (uh-GINN uh-NOOR-ee), last year. An raibh madra agaibh? Bhímadraálainn againn anuraidh.

Nach bhfuil nuachtán agat? (NOO-uhk*taw*n uh-GUHT) Níl nuachtán ar bith agam. An bhfuil airgead agat (AR-i-guhd uh-GUHT), have you money? Támórán airgid agam (moh-RAW*N AR-i-gid uh-GUHM), I have a lot of money.

Nach raibh cathaoir eile agat sa teach? (KAH-heer EL-e) Níraibh ach cathaoir amháin againn (uh-WAW*-in uh-GIN), we had only one chair. An raibh bord agaibh? O, bhídhábhord againn (GAW* vwohrd uh-GIN), We had two tables.

Note: The word for "two" of anything (escept persons) is "dhá" (gaw*), and it is followed by the aspirated singular. Examples: dhábhád (gaw* VWAW*D), two boats; dháléine, two shirts; dháfháinne (gaw* AW*-nye), two rings; dháchat (gaw* K*AHT), two cats.