p h o u k a  h o m e i r i s h  l e s s o n s  h o m e

Book 3:


  95 96 97
98 99 100 101
102 103 104 105
106 107 108 109
110 111 112 113
114 115 116 117
118 119 120 121
122 123 124 125
126 127 128 129
130 131 132 133
134 135 136 137
138 139 140  


Exercise C

§ 559. A curious idiom of the verb atÁ

We have, in previous lessons, given many examples of sentences containing the verb "to be". In some of these, as for atá an gort mór, the field is large, we find in the English sentence an ADJECTIVE after the verb "to be". In others, as atá an fear ar an aonaċ, the man is at the fair, we find, after the verb "to be" not an adjective but a PREPOSITIONAL phrase, "at the fair". We have not yet met any sentences which contained after the verb "to be" a NOUN or PRONOUN. "He is a man" , "That is the king" "It is he" would be examples, and we have now to see how such sentences are translated.

§ 560. We first take sentences in which after the verb "to be" we find a noun with the indefinite article. The noun may also have one or more adjectives attached, as, John is a young man yet. Patrick is now a priest. I am a rich man.

§ 561. IMPORTANT—In sentences like this, the meaning may often be that of a change of some sort has taken place, is taking place, or will take place. Thus, if you say, "John is a young man" you may mean that John will become old. So, "He is a doctor" may mean that he has become so now, after much study, etc. In these sentences where "is" means "is now IN a certain state", we translate as follows—

For "I am a king now", we say Atáim in mo ríġ anois, lit., I am in my king now, i.e. I am at present in a state of kingship. For "Be a man", we say bí in do ḟear (or contracted to bí id' ḟear (bee idh ar), be in thy man, be in the state of manliness. So atá Ġrian in a ḃuaċaill óg, láiḋir, Brian is a (lit. in his) young, strong lad. Atá Nóra in a cailín óg fós, Nora is still a young girl.

The adjectives in such phrases are usually aspirated after a singular noun.

§ 562. Notice that, as already mentioned, mo, my; do, thy; and a, his cause aspiration of the following noun. a, her, does not aspirate.

Note also that in mo, in do, in a are usually shortened thus—

  shortened to (in Munster)
in mo 'mo im
in do 'do 'id' it', at'
in a 'na  


note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16


contact me!
s i m p l e   l e s s o n s   i n  i r i s h III  -   o ' g r o w n e y  1 8 9 5