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Rang Mháire (Mary's Class)


Last Time (November 13){Back to Top}(back to top)


Last time I presented counting with ceann, "head; end; one" as a common way of not repeating the (non-human) noun, ex: "I like this shirt but I don't like that one." It really is quite common so please study these forms at least long enough to feel like you could recognize ceann/cinn when reading/hearing them.

1. ceann (amháin)
2. dhá cheann
3. trí cinn
4. ceithre cinn
5. cúig cinn
6. sé cinn
7. seacht gcinn
8. ocht gcinn
9. naoi gcinn
10. deich gcinn

I presented this list again and made you do a little practice with pictures, specifically answering using ceann instead of the noun.

- Cé mhéad lampa atá sa bpictiúr? "How many lamps are in the picture?"
- Trí cinn. "Three."


- Tá trí cinn sa bpictiúr. "There are three in the picture."


- Tá trí cinn ann. "There are three."

Then we talked about the people-counting numbers again, and a few kind volunteers offered up a sentence or two about their families, how many brothers or sisters or sons or daughters or mothers that they have, etc. Recall that in Irish when you say you have something, that something is "at you."

Tá triúr deartháir agam.
[Is three brother at-me]
"I have three brothers."

I offered the complete paradigm for conjugation of ag, in case you'd like to talk about "us, y'all, them" in addition to the forms for "me, you, him, her" that I presented last week.

agam "at-me" (ag + mé)
agat "at-you (sg.)" (ag + thú)
aige "at-him" (ag + é)
aici "at-her" (ag + í)
againn "at-us" (ag + muid) (well actually sinn but let's not get into that now)
agaibh "at-y'all" (ag + sibh)
acu "at-them" (ag + iad)

Tá mé pósta agus tá beirt pháiste againn. "I am married and we have two kids."
Tá seisear garpháiste acu. "They have six grandchildren."

I handed out a worksheet with several different sections, some of which should be manageable for everyone in the class and some of which might be challenging for the new folk. If there is stuff you can't figure out how to do, make a few educated guesses and then hit up one of the returning students at the next class for help.

Obair bhaile:

Handout on family-related stuff

Previous Class (November 6){Back to Top}(back to top)


We spent a big chunk of time at the start of class finishing the exercise from last week in which you were asked to take a couple bits of info on a bunch of fake people and write Irish sentences using that info. For instance, Bridget's info was given as:

Studying Irish for…: Three years
Ireland?: Yes, eight months ago

You were to write out on the supplied sheet:

Tá sí ag foghlaim Gaeilge le trí bliana anuas.
Bhí sí in Éirinn ocht mí ó shin.

(If she'd never been to Ireland, you could write: Ní raibh sí in Éirinn riamh.)

A couple things that slipped my mind to tell you but which I TOTALLY ON PURPOSE built into the exercises (yup, sure)... One, 'le' doesn't like to be followed by words that start with a vowel so we stick an 'h' in there. Depending on dialect it may or may not be pronounced.

....le hocht mí dhéag anuas "for eighteen months (ongoing)"
....le haon bhliain déag anuas "for eleven years (ongoing)"

Two, well, I kind of mentioned it before but it bears repeating: 's' doesn't lenite after the 'n' of "aon," similar to 'd' and 't':

aon seachtain déag ó shin "eleven weeks ago"

People really sank their teeth into this exercise so some of the stuff I had on the agenda for tonight has been held over to next week.

We also talked a bit about a bunch of issues that all related to "bliain" and "seachtain" being part of that weird group of nouns, mostly related to measurement, that use a different noun form for 3-10 and for which at least some expected mutations might go out the window. Here's a very, very important noun in that group:

ceann, "head; end; one" -- very common for replacing impersonal nouns in sentences such as "I like this car but I don't like that one." (replacing "car" with "one")

  1. ceann (amháin)
  2. dhá cheann
  3. trí cinn
  4. ceithre cinn
  5. cúig cinn
  6. sé cinn
  7. seacht gcinn
  8. ocht gcinn
  9. naoi gcinn
  10. deich gcinn

Then we moved on to uimhreacha pearsanta: personal numbers, in other words the nouns one uses to refer to people, or with people-nouns.

  1. duine (amháin) one person
  2. beirt two people
  3. triúr three people
  4. ceathrar four people
  5. cúigear five people
  6. seisear six people
  7. seachtar seven people
  8. ochtar eight people
  9. naonúr nine people
  10. deichniúr ten people

Above ten, use the impersonal numbers and mutate according to those rules: trí dhuine dhéag, "thirteen people." (Some dialects have a term for 12 people: d(h)áréag. I recognize it but I don't use it m'self.)

If you want to specify the type of person (ex: students, teachers, girls, boys) you can put a noun after the personal number. There are a bunch of different ways out there to handle what form of noun gets used and whether or not it mutates, just so you know, but we're going to go with what the Official Standard says to do, mostly because it's simple. Here are the other two examples I put on the board, "cailín" because it's normal (which most nouns are) and "bean" because it's common enough to have kept an older form of the noun for 2-10.

  1. cailín (amháin) one girl
  2. beirt chailín two girls
  3. triúr cailín three girls
  4. ceathrar cailín four girls
  5. cúigear cailín five girls
  6. seisear cailín six girls
  7. seachtar cailín seven girls
  8. ochtar cailín eight girls
  9. naonúr cailín nine girls
  10. deichniúr cailín ten girls


  1. bean (amháin) one person
  2. beirt bhan two people
  3. triúr ban three women
  4. ceathrar ban four women
  5. cúigear ban five women
  6. seisear ban six women
  7. seachtar ban seven women
  8. ochtar ban eight women
  9. naonúr ban nine women
  10. deichniúr ban ten women

I handed out a sheet that gave another set of examples of personal numbers plus a noun, and also several terms for family members and a couple of basic questions/answers about a person's family:

An bhfuil (deartháir) agat? "Do you have (a brother)?"
Tá, tá beirt (dheartháir) agam. "Yes, I have two brothers."
Níl, níl (deartháir) (ar bith) agam. "No, I don't have (a brother) (at

To say you have something "X", you say that "X" is at you. You express this with the preposition ag "at," and if it's followed by a pronoun the two will consmashulate. Here are the singular forms:

agam (ag + mé) = at-me
agat (ag + thú) = at-you
aige (ag + é) = at-him
aici (ag + í) = at-her

Mar shampla:

Obair bhaile (Homework):

Write a few sentences about your family, or pick a photo from a magazine and describe that family.

Comments and questions are welcome via e-mail