Caibidil a Trí: The verb (an Briathar)
|Tempus (an aimsir)
present tense (an aimsir láithreach)
habitual present tense (an aimsir gnáthláithreach)
preterite (an aimsir chaite)
imperfect (an aimsir neamhfhoirfe) or habitual preterite (an aimsir gnáthchaite)
future (an aimsir fháistineach)
perfect (an aimsir fhoirfe)
Modus (an modh)
indicative (an modh táscach)
imperative (an modh ordaitheach)
conditional (an modh coinníollach)
subjunctive (an modh foshuiteach)
Genus verbi (an fhaí)
active (an fhaí ghníomhach)
passive (an fhaí chéasta)
progressive (an fhoirm leanúnach)
intentional (an fhoirm thimchainteach aidhme)
relative form (an fhoirm choibhneasta)
In the direct relative clause:
there is a special relative form with an s-suffix in
the 3rd person.
e.g: an fear a ghlana(nn)s an carr = the man who is cleaning the car.
Synthetic suffixes remain unchanged. e.g.: an carr a ghlanaim = the car that I clean.
Only seldom there is, in der 3rd person, a historical present tense (an láithreach stairiúil), that appears in narratives (otherwise in the preterite), as a stilistic tool to make a current action "more present". Instead of -ann in Ulster the old present tense suffix -(a)idh is used. e.g.: Glanaidh sé = he cleans. One may also use the relative form -(e)as , even if no relative connection is present: e.g.: Glanas Seán na soithí = Seán cleans the dishes
In the direct relative clause:
there is a special form with an s-suffix (e.g. a bhíos = that is,
in Conamara a bhíonns)
e.g: an carr a bhíos glan i gcónaí = the car that is generally is clean.
Just a side - (to explain the conjugation different from the
other tenses ):
The preterite suffixes stem from the singular (-as, -is, -) of the old Irish. s-preterite,but in the plural (-amar, -abhar, -adar) the former deponential (passive-) conjugation.
In the direct relative clause
there is, as in the present tense, a special relative form
with an s-suffix.
e.g: an fear a ghlanfas an carr = the man who will clean the car.
The perfect is, as a tense, used much more seldomly (as in German or English),
instead of this mostly the preterite is used, or the present tense for continuing
The Irish perfect can only be used, if the action has just recently ended (vgl. dt. term "vollendete Gegenwart"=present perfect) and is appears necessary to mention this condition; or if the condition/the result of the action is to be described (similar to the perfect in Greek).It is not a dependent tense as in English (independent from conjunctions, adverbs or other subordinating clauses).
There is also no simple formation of the perfect using a conjugation as a suffix;
Instead, compound forms (periphrastic forms) with the auxilliary verb bí are used, that often have a passive meaning.
Through preterite forms of bí a sorf of perfect preterite (plusquamperfekt) is formed, through future forms, a future perfect (in German future II).
|transitive||form of bí + object + verbal adjective + ag + subject*|
|intransitive||form of bí + subject + verbal adjective|
*:in Irish, subject and object are actually the other way
around, the rendering here is more based on a German grammar
The fact that in Irish that subject and object are switched also means that this construction actually is a passive-perfect is.
With transitive verbs, this is basically a perfect passive
form (see below).
It can, when relocated, also be translated as an active-perfect (because bí + ag means "have")
e.g.: Tá an bord briste agam = I have broken the table/ the table was broken by me. (lit.: "The table is broken at-me")
With transitive verbs that only have an indirect objecte (preposition + object, e.g. beir ar rud = catch something), the preposition remains the same also with the verbal adjective and introduced the logical subject (a grammat. subject is missing). This is also mainly passive
e.g.: Tá beirthe ort = you are caught, Tá beirthe agam ort = I caught you.
With intransitive verbs this has naturally only a perfect and no passivie meaning.
e.g.: Tá siad imithe go hÉirinn = The went away to Ireland.
The result of the action is always in the foreground. (in the examples: "the table is broken", "you are caught", "they are away").
|form of bí + subject + tár éis / i ndiadh + verbal noun|
This form puts the emphasis on the fact that an action was completed just now.
e.g.: Tá mé tar éis snámh = I just now swam (lit.: "I am after the swimming")
|form of bí + subject + ar + verbal noun|
This form emphasises the status of an action and is passive. Technically seen,
it acts as a passive participle (ar oscailt = "being open").
In this use no lenition occurs after ar.
e.g.: Tá an clog ar stad. = The clock has stopped. Tá an doras ar oscailt = The door is opened.
|ar + verbal noun + genitive-object + do + subject|
|ar + possessive pronoun + verbal noun + do + subject|
The form with do + subject is the "real"
perfect: (ar comes from iar = after ). Instead of ar one
can also use tar éis etc. (see more about that under syntax
of the verbal noun)
But this form is only usable as a subordinating clause or adverbially, not as an independent clause. It describes the preclusion of the action (with respect to the action of the main clause)
In this use, ar lenites (earlier there was eclipsis after iar/ar)
e.g.: Ar oscailt an dorais dom = After I had opened the door, ar dhéanamh na hoibre duit = after you have done the work.
In combination with the possessive pronoun a/ár one gets the forms arna/arnár (e.g. arna ól dom = after I have drunk it lit.: "after-its drinking to-me").
These occur also in verbal noun constructions as the perfect passive participle (e.g. arna chur in fhoilsiú ag ... = published by...) without do + subject.
The autonomous form is especially used for prohibit signs. In German
one uses rather the infinitive, in English, the progressive.
e.g.: Ná caitear tobac! = No smoking! (lit.: "one uses not tobacco!").
The 3rd person (jussive) is especially used in idiomatic phrases, in which the grammatical and logical subject are not the same, like: Ná bíodh eagla ort! = Have no fear! (lit.: "not be fear on-you")
The use of the imperative is pretty much equivalent to the German. Besides
these, it is sometimes used in constructions in the meaning "is ... or if not
e.g.: Bíodh sé sásta nó ná bíodh = if he is happy or not (lit.: "be he happy or not be")
The passive is the experiential form. The subject of the clause "experiences"
There is no simple passive in Irish. Instead, the following (periphrastic) phrase is used:
|form of bí + subject + verbal adjective (+ ag + agent)|
e.g.: Tá an bord briste agam. = The table was broken by me. / I broke
A clause of this sort with the verbal adjective of a transitive verb says that something was done (by me) = passive,
but also that I have done something (perfect, read more there).
The passive is always perfective in tense because it always stresses the status following an action.
The agent is included with ag... (comp. bí...ag = have) also: I have broken the table
|autonomous form of the verb (Saorbhriathar) + object|
e.g.: Briseadh an bord = The table was broken.
the autonomous form is not the passive, but allows a translation in the passive sense.
e.g.:Déantar é. = It will be done.
It is not possible to include the agent (by whom it was done).
The translation of this form into German/English is done with the impersonal pronoun man/one:
e.g.: Déantar é. = One does it.
|form of bí + subject + do + possessive pronoun + verbal noun|
e.g.: Tá an teach á thóigeáil = The house is
being built (lit.: "The house is to-his construction")
This form is similar to the normal progressive with the pronoun as the object, but here, the possessive pronoun is always referring to the subject of the clause, and from this we get a progressive-passive construction.
|form of bí* + subject + ag + verbal noun + genitive-object|
*instead of bí also verbs of sense, start/finish and motion are
In direct relative-clauses, a (lenites) instead of ag.
Through a conjugation of bí (or other verbs), the progressive is possible in all tenses.
Important is the difference between the:
|form of bí + subject + do + possessive pronoun + verbal noun|
|Tá sé do mo bhualadh = He is hitting me (right now)||Tá sé dár mbualadh = He is hitting us (right now)|
|Tá sé do do bhualadh = He is hitting you (right now)||Tá sé do bhur mbualadh = He is hitting you (pl.)(right now)|
|Tá se á bhualadh = He is hitting him (right now)||Tá sé á mbualadh = He is hitting them (right now)|
|Tá sé á bualadh = He is hitting her (right now)|
In Munster, as in Ulster, one uses also ag
mo, ag do, ag
ár, ag bhur.
In the 3rd person also here, á.
In Munster, instead of ag mo, also am, instead of ag do, ad. In Ulster,ag is often omitted completely.
In Connacht, the standard form is used, but, instead of á, dhá
all forms are here in a table of examples
for more about the progressive see: Syntax of the verbal noun
|form of bí + subject + ar tí + object + a + verbal noun|
e.g.: Bhí mé ar tí an carr a dhíol = I was just
about to sell the car
Similar to ar tí also ag bráth, ar thob, ag dul ag see syntax of the verbal noun
In the present tense the form -as/-eas is the tradtional standard form. In
Connacht, it fused with -ann/-eann zu -anns/-eanns.
In Ulster, both of the forms with -as/-eas als auch mit -anns/-eanns in the present tense are used.
They are used if the antecedent is the subject of the relative clause,
often also if it is the direct object.
an fear a ghlana(nn)s an carr = the man that cleans the car.(present tense)
an fear a cheannaío(nn)s an carr = the man that buys the car. (present tense)
an fear a ghlanfas an carr = the man who will clean the car. (future)
an fear a cheannós an carr = the man who will buy the car. (future)
It is (except in Munster) very common.
In the official standard, this form (with one exception) does not exist and is replaced with normal present tense-/future-verb forms:
an fear a ghlanann an carr = the man that cleans the car. (present tense)
an fear a ghlanfaidh an carr = the man who will clean the car. (future)
The exception is the verb "lean = follow" in the present tense (...a leanas = that follows).
an t-alt a leanas = the article that follows
If the s- form is used or not, the 3rd person sg. is always used (also in other
tenses), if the antecedent is the subject of the relative clause (as
in German/ and sort of English).
Is mise a scríobhann litir = I'm the one, that writes a letter. (nicht: *is mise a scríobhaim ...!)
Is mise a scríobha(nn)s litir = I'm the one, that writes a letter.
Is tusa a scríobhadh litir = You're the one, that normally wrote a letter
Is sinne a scríobhfaidh litir = We're the ones that will write a letter
Is sinne a scríobhfas litir = We're the ones that will write a letter
Other (synthetic) verb suffixes can only occur if the antecedent is the object
litir a scríobhaim = the letter that I write,
litir a scríobhaimid = the letter that we write,
litir a scríobhthá = the letter that you normally write,
litir a scríobhfaimid = the letter that we will write)
The relative form in the present tense of the irregularen verb bí
= be is atá.
Similar to the old spelling adeir, adúirt (today a deir, a dúirt) is the relative form of the verb abair = say.
The relative form of the copula is is in
the present tense or ba (preceding a consonant),
ab (preceding a vowel and fh) in the preterite
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In older grammar books(P.W. Joyce: A Grammar of the Irish Language, 1922) all verbs are still divided into simple present tense (synthetic verb suffixes: -im, -ir, -imid, -tí, -id + older suffix of the 3rd person sg. -idh) and habitual present tense (analytic suffix -ann/eann for alle persons):
simple present tense: buailidh sé = he is hitting,
habitual present tense: buaileann sé = he hits(always)
Today, this difference is hardly ever encountered (except by irregular verbs):
The simple present tense: deir sé = he says, habitual present tense: deireann sé = he says(always)
Otherwise, the simple present tense and present tense-progressive fall into one in spoken Irish, while the suffix -ann expresses the habitual (and partially also the simple) present tense.