Read these phrases aloud; for each, form a mental picture of the activity and the subject of the verb (“I”, “you”, “he”, “people”):
Ní osclódh sí an doras. Chuirfinn amach é. Dá bhfeicfimis é. An imeoidís amárach? Mura mbuailfeá iad. Nach mbearfaí air?
D’imreoinn sa chloiche. An gcasfadh sibh ann? Ní chloisfimis é. Nach gceannófaí é? Dá ndéanfadh sí é. Mura mbeifeá sa bhaile. Má tá Seán anseo.
Key: She wouldn’t open the door. I would put him out. If we were to see him. Would they leave tomorrow? If you were not to strike them. Wouldn’t he be caught?
I would play in the game. Would you-all turn there? We wouldn’t hear them. Wouldn’t it be bought? If she were to do it. If you weren’t at home. If Seán is here.
The entry to proficiency and fluency in the conditional in conversation is its use as a single clause, with the second clause omitted. A single clause can be easily formed in the mind at first, without need to stop and ponder over a second conditional clause.
One example of this is the conditional as a substitute for the imperative in asking a person to do something. In English, you might say: “Would you put the bag on the table?” instead of “Put the bag on the table”. In Irish you can say: “An gcuirfeá (GIR-faw*) an mála ar an mbord?”
The response to a question-form command like this should be in the future tense: “Cuirfidh mé” (KIR-hee may*) or “Ní chuirfidh mé”.
Other sentences illustrating this:
Would you go outside now? Would you-all read that again? Would you wash the car tomorrow?
Key: An rachfá (un RAHK*-faw*) amach anois? An léifeadh (LAY*-huhk*) sibh arís é sin? An nífeá (NEE-faw*) an carr amárach?
Another way of expressing a singular conditional in a sentence is the equivalent of English: “You would think that” or “I would think that”. In Irish: Cheapfá (HYAP-faw*) go bhfuil sé anseo; you would think that he is here. Cheapfainn (HYAP-hin) go raibh sé sa bhaile; I would think that he was at home.
The next step in becoming fluent in the conditional is a pattern with a “tá” clause first, followed by a clause with another verb. Examples of the first clause are:
Dá mbeadh (me-YUHK*) sé anseo, if he were here
Dá mbeifeá (ME-faw*) tinn, if you were sick
Má tá siad ar scoil, if they are at school
Má tá airgead agat, if you have money
Mura mbeimis (ME-mish) ann, if we weren’t there
Mura bhfuil siad i gCeanada, if they are not in Canada
It is simple to add another clause to this one, with “tá” or any other verb in it. Try these examples:
If you had money, would you go to Ireland?
If he is here, I will see him.
If he were here, would you see him?
If I were afraid, I would not stay here.
If we didn’t have a car, we would leave early.
If they are not happy, we will buy another one.
Dá mbeadh (me-YUHK*) airgead agat (AR-i-guhd uh-GUHT), an rachfá (RAHK*-faw*) go hÉirinn?
Má tá sé anseo, feicfidh (FEK-hee) mé é.
Dá mbeadh sé anseo, an bhfeicfeá (VEK-faw*) é?
Dá mbeadh eagla (AH-gluh) orm, ní fhanfainn (AHN-hin) anseo.
Mura mbeadh carr againn, d’imeoimis go moch (dim-YOH-i-mish goh mohk*).
Mura bhfuil áthas orthu, ceannóimid ceann (kyoun) eile.
This short list of words concerns buildings and dwellings.
an teach, an tí, na tithe (tyahk*, un tee, nuh TI-he); the house, of the house, the houses (irregular). Fear an tí, bean an tí; the man of the house, the woman of the house.
an foirgneamh, an fhoirgnimh, na foirgnimh (un FWIR-gi-nuhv, un IR-gi-niv, nuh FWIR-gi-niv); the building, of the building, the buildings (1st declension).
árasán, an t-árasán, an árasáin, na hárasáin (AW*-ruh-saw*n, un TAW*-ruh-saw*n, un AW*-ruh-saw*-in, nuh HAW*-ruh-saw*-in); apartment, the apartment, of the apartment, the apartments (1st declension).
uimhir (IV-ir) an árasáin, the apartment’s number; an ceap (kyap) árasán, apartment building, block of apartments.
an stáisiún, an stáisiúin, na stáisiúin (un STAW*-shoon, un STAW*-shoo-in, nuh STAW*-shoo-in); the station, of the station, the stations (1st declension).
an busáras, an bhusárais, na busárais (un BUS-aw*-ruhs, un VWUS-aw*-rish, nuh BUS-aw*-rish); the bus terminal, of the bus terminal, the bus terminals (1st declension).
an seomra, an tseomra, na seomraí (un SHOHM-ruh, un TOHM-ruh, nuh SHOHM-ree); the room, of the room, the rooms (4th declension).
an seomra bia (BEE-uh), the dining room.
an seomra leapa (LA-puh), the bedroom. Another word for this: an seomra codlata (KUHL-uh-tuh), the bedroom.
an seomra folctha (FOHLK-huh), the bathroom.
fuinneog, an fhuinneog, na fuinneoige, na fuinneoga (fwin-YOHG, un in-YOHG, nuh fwin-YOH-ige, nuh fwin-YOHG-uh); window, the window, of the window, the windows (2nd declension).
cistin, an chistin, na cistine, na cistineacha (KISH-tin, un HYISH-tin, nuh KISH-tin-e, nuh KISH-tin-ahk*-uh);, kitchen, the kitchen, of the kitchen, the kitchens (2nd declension).
síleáil, an tsíleáil, na síleála, na síleálacha (SHEEL-aw*-il, un TEEL-aw*-il, nuh SHEEL-aw*luh, nuh SHEEL-aw*-luhk*-huh); ceiling, the ceiling, of the ceiling, the ceilings (3rd declension).
Go over these words carefully. They will be in a practice exercise and conversation next lesson.
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