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Irish Lesson 77

Pronounce the letter "o" in Irish as a single vowel sound, with lips rounded but not protruded. Do not spread the lips at the beginning of the sound or you will get a faint (ay) sound before the "o". Do not contract the lips at the end of the sound or you will get an (oo) sound after the (oh).

When the "o" has a síneadh (SHEEN-uh) over it, hold the sound for a longer time than you would in English. If the "o" has no síneadh, pronounce it in the same way but do not hold the sound as long.

Compare the English word "loan" and Irish "lón" (lohn). Watch your lips in a mirror as you say "loan" very slowly, and you will see them contract for a slight (oo) sound after the (oh). Then say Irish "lón", holding the (oh) sound and going directly to the (n).

Practice on: ól, óg, ón, ór, bó, mór, nós, bábóg (bah-BOHG), pósta (POHS-tuh), gnóthach (GNOH-huhk*).

For the shorter sound, practice on: gob, obair(OH-bir), loch (lohk*), ordóg (ohr-DOHG), coróin (koh-ROH-in), focal (FOH-kuhl).

Sometimes an "o" next to an "i" and without a síneadh is not sounded but merely indicates that the consonant beside the "o" gets its broad sound. Examples: coill (kwil), poiblí (PWIB-lee).

Other combinations of "o" with vowels have various sounds that we will review later.

GRAMMAR

The irregular verbs are not entirely irregular in the saorbhriathra (say*r-VREE-uh-ruh), free form, in the future. These are they:

tiocfar (TYUHK-fuhr), people will come

rachfar (RAHK*-fuhr), people will go

cloisfear (KLISH-fuhr), people will hear, it will be heard

feicfear (FEK-fuhr), it will be seen

déanfar (DAY*N-fuhr), it will be done

tabharfar (TOOR-fuhr), it will be given

béarfar air (BAY*R-fuhr er), it will be seized

gheofar (YOH-fuhr), it will be gotten, found

déarfar (DAY*R-fuhr), it will be said

íosfar (EES-fuhr), it will be eaten

The negative form:

ní thiocfar ( nee HUHK-fuhr), people won't come

ní rachfar, people won't go

ní chloisfear (K*LISH-fuhr), people won't hear, it won't be heard

ní fheicfear (EK-fuhr), it won't be seen

ní dhéanfar (YAY*N-fuhr), it won't be done

ní thabharfar (HOOR-fuhr), it won't be given

ní bhéarfar air (VAY*R-fuhr), it won't be seized

ní bhfaighfear (VWEYE-fuhr), it won't be said

ní íosfar, it won't be eaten

In the question, "an" and "nach" eclipse the first consonant of the free form. With "an", the forms are:

an dtiocfar? (un DUHK-fuhr), will people come?

an rachfar? will people go?

an gcloisfear? (GLISH-fuhr), will it be heard?

an bhfeicfear? (VEK-fuhr), will it be seen?

an ndéanfar? (NAY*N-fuhr) will it be done?

an dtabharfar? (DOOR-fuhr), will it be given?

an mbéarfar air? (MAY*R-fuhr), will it be seized?

an bhfaighfear? (VWEYE-fuhr), will it be gotten, found?

an ndéarfar? (NYAY*R-fuhr), will it be said?

an íosfar?, will it be eaten?

DRILL
With these three word groups:

tiocfar; abhaile (uh VWAHL-e); go hÉirinn (goh HAY*R-in), go through this drill:

Nach dtiocfar abhaile? Ní thiocfar abhaile. An dtiocfar go hÉirinn? Tiocfar go hÉirinn.

Go through the same pattern of drill for:

Rachfar; go dtí an chathair (goh DEE un K*AH-hir), to the city; chuig na sléibhte (hig nuh SHLAY*-te), to the mountains.

Cloisfear; an t-amhránaí (un tou-RAW*N-ee), the singer; an banna ceoil (un BAHN-uh KYOH-il), the band.

Feicfear; an scannán (skah-NAW*N), movie; an dráma (DRAW*-muh), play.

Déanfar; an obair seo; an obair sin.

Tabharfar; dom é; do Sheán é.

Béarfar; ar an ngadaí (er ung AH-dee), the thief; ar an bhfear eile (er un VAR EL-e), the other man.

Gheofar; an ceann sin (un kyoun shin), that one; an dara (DUH-ruh) ceann, the second one.

Déarfar; leis an gcailín é; liom é.

Íosfar; an mhairteoil (vwahrt-YOH-il), beef; an mhuiceoil (vwik-YOH-il), pork.

CONVERSATION
Ciarán (keer-AW*N): Téanam (TYAY*N-uhm) isteach anois, a Cháit (K*AW*-it). Tá sé ag éirí níos fuaire (eg EYE-ree nees FOO-i-re). Kieran: Let's go in now, Kate. It's becoming colder.

Cáit: Is fuaire atá sé anois ná a bhí sé inné. Kate: It's colder now than it was yesterday.

Ciarán: Feictear dom go bhfeicfimid sneachta go luath (goh VEK-hi-mid SHNAHK*-tuh goh LOO-uh). Kieran: It appears to me that we will see snow soon.

Cáit: Nach rachfar chuig ná sléibhte ansin? Kate: Won't people go to the mountains then?

Ciarán: Rachfar, le sciáil (le SHKEE-aw*-il). Kieran: They will, to ski.

(c) 1999 The Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.