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Irregular Verbs

The irregular verbs form the principal difficulty in the Irish language. It might
naturally be expected that this tongue should have suffered much from license in its general use : it has been now, for centuries, the medium of intercourse among the most illiterate people of the country, people living in places the most remote from each other ; and has not had the advantages of a college, a theatre, a court, or a capital — not even those of an acknowledged grammar, or until lately, a dictionary — where its standard might be supposed to be found. It is therefore more surprising that there should be so little contradiction between its several dialects, or of wild offspring from its genuine but uncultivated roots, than that there should be a difficulty in subjecting it to the rules of grammar. In treating of these verbs I shall not exhibit all their inflections, but merely present, from the best authorities, such parts of them as are most irregular; leaving the thorough understanding of them to be acquired by that which alone can teach them well — PRACTICE

1. dean do, or make

Indicative Mood - Past Tense  


Modern Antient Modern Antient
rinn me, I did do rinneas rinn sinn rinneamar
rinn tu rinnis rinn siḃ rinneaḃar
rinn se rinnse rinn siad rineadar
This tense is also thus—
do ḋein me, or do ḋeanas, I did do, &c
Passie Voice - Imperative Mood      
  biḋ sinn réiḋ
biḋ réiḋ, be though done biḋ siḃ réiḋ
biġ se réiḃ biḋ siad réiḋ
Also, biḋ déanta and béantar ṫu, be thou done, &c
Infinitive Mood and Participle  
do or a ḃeiṫ déanta or réiḋ, to be done  
déanta, or réiḋ done, or made  
Indicative Mood—Present Tense  
Is conjuaged with either déanta, or réid— as ta me or taim déanta, or réiḋ, I am done, &c
Past Tense  
Rinneád me, I was done, &c. Also, ḃi me déanta, &c.
Conditional Mood  
da mbéiḋinn déanta, or réiḋ—and so through the several persons

2. gniḋim or gnim, I do, or I make

Indicative Mood - Present tense  
gniḋim, or gnim ġiḋ sinn, gniḋmid, or gniḋmar
gniḋ tu, or gniḋir gniḋ siḃ, gniḋṫiḋ, or gniḋḃar
gnidh se gniḋ siad, gniḋid

All the other inflection aof this, are expressed by the preceding verb, except the subjunctive, which is also ma nim, if I do, &c.

3. Abair, say

Active Voice - Imperative Mood  
abair say though; abairid se, &c  
Infinitive Mood and Participles  
do or a raḋ, to say  
Present ag raḋ, saying
Past. iar raḋ, having said
Future ar ti raḋ, about to say
Indicative Mood—Present Tense—Modern Mode  
deirim, I say, deir tu, se, &c  
Antient Mode  
deirim, I say deirimid, deireamar
deirir deirṫiḋ, deireabar
deir se deirid
Past Tense—Modern Mode  
duḃairt me, tú, &c  
Antient Mode  
dḃras, I said duḃramar
duḃrais duḃraḃar
duḃairt se duḃradar
Future Tense—Modern Mode  
déarfaḋ me, tu, &c  
Antient Mode  
déarfad, I will say déarfamar
déarfair déarfaḃar
déarfaiḋ se déarfaid

A is often prefixed to the present and past tenses of this mood, as a deirim I say, a duḃairt I said.

Potential mood, dearfaimm, &c. Conditional mood, da ndearfainn, &c. Consuetudinal mood, deirim, deireann me, &c, as in meallaim.

Passive Voice - Imperative Mood  
abarṫar Let if be said
Participle raite, was said
Indicative Mood  
Present deirṫear, it is said
Past duḃraḋ, it was said
Future dearfar, it shall be said
Consuetudinal Mood - deirṫi, used to be said  

Relativesin this verb

Present a deir, that says
Past a duḃairt, that said
Future a déarfas, that will say
Interrogatives—Present Tense  
an abraim, do I say? an duḃramar?
an abair tu? an deir síḃ
an abair se? an deirid?

So with the negative ni.

Past and future tenses as in the affirmative.

4. Tigim, I come

Imperative Mood  
  tagaḃsinn, tiġeamaoid, tagamois
tar, come thou tagaḋ siḃ, tigiḋe
tagaḋ se, taraḋ, tigeaḋ tagaḋ siad, tigidis, tagaidis
Infinitive Mood and Participles  
do or a teaċt to come
present ag teaċt, coming
Past iar dteaċt, having come
Future ar a teaċt, about to come
Indicative Mood—Past Tense—Modern Mode
ṫainig me, I came, &c  
Antient Mode  
ṫaingeas ṫangamar, ṫanacsam
ṫaingis, ṫangais ṫangaḃar
ṫainig se ṫangadar, ṫancatar
Futre Tense—Modern Mode  
tiocfaḋ me, I will come, ticfaḋ tu, &c
Antient Mode  
tiocfad tiocfamaoid, tiocfamar
tiocfair tiocfaḋḃar, diocfaoiḋe
tiocfaḋ se tioċfaid
Present ṫigeas, that cometh
Past a ṫainig, that came
Future ṫiocfas, that will come
Potential Mood—ṫiocfainn, &c  
Conditional Mood—ba dtiocfainn, &c  

[more to come - but these are tedious to transcribe! Let me know if you get this far!]






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grammar of the irish language—mason—1842
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