Irish Lesson 42

Pronunciation Review

We will review some combinations of sounds this week to improve your knowledge of differences between broad and slender consonants.

Lesson 23 gave you the pronunciation of "c" and "g" in broad and slender form. The slender resembles the initial sound of "king" and "give", while the broad resembles the initial sound of "coat" and "go". Lessons 7 and 29 give you the pronunciation of "r". Review that, and then notice the difference between: crí (kree, which may sound a little like "kdee" to you), and croí, which may sound to you a little like "kuh-REE", with syllables run together.

"Crí" begins with the slender "c" sound, and "croí" with the broad. The slender and broad "r" follow naturally. The "ee" sound at the end is the same for both.

For "g", try: gé (also like "gyay"*), as opposed to gaol (which has a slight resemblance to (gway*l)). The broad "g" in "gaol" introduces a faint (oo) sound after the "g", which may put you in mind of the English "w" in a name like "Gwynn". The lips are not closed in after the "g", however, so that the English "w" sound is not fully developed in Irish words like "gaol". Try "gile" (GIL-e) in contrast to "goile" (with the faint (oo) sound after the "g").

Say "grian" (GREE-uhn), with a slender "g", and then "grá", with a broad "g". In "grá", the tongue tip is rolled for the broad "r".


We have studied four of the nine (in addition to "tá") principal irregular verbs in their past and present tenses:

See: feicim, ní fheicim; chonaic mé, ní fhaca mé

Hear: cloisim, ní chloisim; chuala mé, níor chuala mé

Come: tagaim, ní thagaim; tháinig mé, níor tháinig mé

Go: téim, ní théim; chuaigh mé, ní dheachaigh mé

Here are the others:

Give: tugaim, ní thugaim; thug mé, níor thug mé, ar thug mé?

Get: faighim, ní fhaighim (nee EYE-im); fuair mé (FOO-ir-may*), ní bhfuair mé (nee VOO-ir may*), an bhfuair mé?

Say, tell: deirim (DER-im), ní deirim (nee DER-im); dúirt mé (DOO-irt may*), ní dúirt mé, an ndúirt mé?

Do, make: déanaim (DAY*N-im), ní dhéanaim (nee YAY*N-im); rinne mé (RIN-ye may*). ní dhearna mé (nee YARN-uh may*), an ndearna mé? (un NYARN-uh may*)

Catch, take hold of, grab: beirim ar (BER-im er), ní bheirm ar (nee VER-im er); rug (rug) mé ar, níor rug mé ar, ar rug mé ar?

You should be able to reason out the forms not given above. Try: we told him; we didn't get; did we give?; we don't do; we grabbed him; he does; she takes hold of the plate.

Key for these: dúramar leis; ní bhfuaireamar; ar thugamar?; ní dhéanaimid; rugamar air; déanann sé; beireann sí ar an bpláta.

We will do intensive drilling on these verbs to make you able to use them with ease.


Give the English for these groups:

Tháinig sé abhaile. Chonaic mé é. Beirimid orthu. Níor rug sé air. Nach bhfaca tú mé? Cá bhfuair tú é? Ní fheicimid iad. Chuamar abhaile. Tugann sé duit é. Níor chuala sibh í. Ní fhaigheann siad airgead. An ndeir tú é? Rinne mé é. Ar thug mé duit é? Tagann sé gach lá. An gcloiseann tú iad? Déanaimid é. Ní dúirt mé é. Téimid ar an mbóthar.

Note that "deir" (der), meaning "say" or "tell", changes to "deir tú" and "deir sé", etc, instead of becoming "deireann tú", etc.

Also, make sure that you add "ar" after "beir". In Irish, you seize or take hold "on" something.

Key to above phrases: He came home. I saw him. We seize them. He didn't seize it. Didn't you see me? Where did you get it? We don't see them. We went home. He gives it to you. You (plural) didn't hear her. They don't get money. Do you say it? I did it. Did I give it to you? He comes every day. Do you hear them? We do it. I didn't say it. We go on the road.

Now go from English into Irish:

I got the book. I come out. Did we see them? They hear her. She went inside. They get the car. We did the work. Did they seize him? Doesn't he go out? I don't see the man. I give money. Didn't you come back? Did she hear you? He says that. We gave you it. Did he say that? We don't do the work. He doesn't take hold of it rightly.

Key:Fuair mé an leabhar. Tagaim amach. An bhfacamar iad? Cloiseann siad í. Chuaigh sí isteach. Faigheann siad an carr. Rinneamar an obair. Ar rug siad air? Nach dtéann sé amach? Ní fheicim an fear. Tugaim airgead. Nár tháinig tú ar ais (er ash). Ar chuala sí tú? Deir sé é sin. Thugamar duit é. An ndúirt sé é sin? Ní dhéanaimid an obair. Ní bheireann sé air i gceart (i gyart).

We will give further drills on these verbs individually and as a group, so that you will become proficient in them. They are important in everyday speech and in the literature.


Séamas: A Sheáin (uh HYAW*-in), ní fhaca mé (nee AHK-uh may*) tú le fada anois. John, I didn't see you for a long time now.

Seán: Nach bhfaca tú, a Shéamais? (nahk* VAHK-uh too, uh HAY*-mish) Níor tháinig mé amach inné ar chor ar bith (NEE-uhr HAW*-nig may* uh-MAHK* in-YAY* huhr er BI). Didn't you, James? I didn't come out yesterday at all.

Séamas: Chuaigh mé féin chuig an ollmhargadh ar maidin (K*OO-ig may* fay*n hig un oul-VWAHR-uh-guh er MAH-din). Is iontach (OON-tuhk*) an áit é. I myself went to the supermarket this morning. It's a wonderful place.

(c) 1998 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.

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