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James ( -
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 11:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Did you ever buy a reference book, take a look at it and say to yourself, "What in the heck is this thing talking about???" And then, some time later, after you had learned a little more or perhaps adjusted your initial attitude to something more akin to "receptive" you picked that same book up, sometimes weeks if not months later and all of a sudden it's the one thing you've been lacking all along??

That happened to me yesterday. I found, in a pile of books that I had relegated to the "wasted money" category, a copy of Irish Grammar: A Basic Handbook by Noel McGonagle. You are all probably already aware of this resource, but I just found it and can't remember seeing it referenced recently, if at all. I still don't understand a significant portion of it but WOW does it have some really useful information presented in a fairly user friendly format.

For example: There are only three endings you need to know in the present tense of regular verbs of the first conjugation--(a)im, (a)imid and (e)ann. Just finish with the appropriate pronoun after(e)ann and you've done it. That's it! The other two are contractions of pronouns (which I already knew) so they make perfect sense. In the second conjugation, one could argue, there is only one ending you need to know. You already learned the others in the first conjugation (you just have to put a fada on the "i") so just replace (e)ann with (a)íonn.

This may seem very basic to some of you but to others, perhaps not. There are better, more advanced tidbits of condensed lessons throughout this little book. I find it simply fascinating!

I've seen Christian Brothers referenced a bit but I haven't seen this book mentioned lately, if at all. Simply a wonderful book--I just can't say it enough--small, concise, to the point--no wasted effort--great!!!

Le meas,


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