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Antaine ( -
Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm doing my best to study the Irish language, but some questions stay in the back of my mind. I'm learning it by myself, without a teacher, so the only place to turn to is online. I'm basing most of my studying on books and verbs sheets I got in primary and secondary school, so I'm curious as-to whether I'm getting the proper information I need, or just a simpe watered-down childrens version. Hopefully someone will be able to answer these questions for me.

1. Are there only 11 irregular verbs in the whole of the Irish language?
(in english, these are the verbs - to hear, to eat, to do, to grab, to say, to see, to come, to go, to get, to be, to give)

2. How many regular verbs are there?

3. Is there anywhere online (or elsewhere) where I can have access to all these verbs?

4. Assuming the irregular verbs have the same amount of tenses as the regular verbs, How many tenses are there? (past, present, future and ??)

5. Is there any website, book or otherwise (in english) which outlines the grammar rules of the Irish language?

6. How is it that the different dialects of Irish differ? it simply a re-arrangement of words and different phrases, or is there a different set of rules?

I would greatly appreciate any help provided. It seems to me like I'm always missing something when it comes to Irish, like there is always a rule I'm missing. I'm eager to get my hands on a book which outlines every rule in the language, so I know I'm not missing anything. The problem I find when looking for the rules is that the rules are usually outlined in Irish, so it makes for an awkward situation when I need to know Irish in order to read the rules to learn Irish!

le meas,


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Edward Delany ( -
Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Beatha agus sláinte, a Antaine, a chara,

Yes, thankfully, there are only 11 irregular verbs in modern Irish so, you don't have to worry about any more than that.

Niall Ó Domhnaill's FOCLÓIR GAEILGE-BÉARLA will list most of the regular verbs in current usage but, apart from the library of the Royal Irish Academy, I don't think there is any book which lists them all. You would have to include Middle Irish and Old Irish to get a complete list.

NEW IRISH GRAMMAR, by the Christian Brothers, has all the rules of grammar you'll ever need and it's explanations are in English.

The verb has four moods, Imperative, Indicative, Conditional and Subjunctive. the Imperative has one tense- present. The Indicative has five- present, habitual present,past, habitual past and future. The Subjunctive has two- past and present. The Conditional has past, present and future.

You can get a lot of information at this website:

Don't worry about the dialects, the basic grammar and vocabulary is the same, just pick the one that's easiest on the ear for you to learn.

Tá súil agam go gcabhraíonn sé sin leat, a chara.

Go n-éirí an saol agus an aimsir leat,

Is mise, le gach meas,

Éadbhárd Ó Dubhshláine/Edward Delany

Baile Átha Cliath, Éire.

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