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Lesson by "The Irish People"
the letter "l" when it starts a word and is followed by
"a, o, u", spread the tongue somewhat and press it against
the upper front teeth while making the sound. This will give the initial
broad "l" sound. As examples, try: lá, lán,
lón, lúb (loob), lacha (LAHK*-uh), loch (lohk*). Sometimes
a slender vowel sound (ay*) or (ee), follows the broad "l"
sound. Examples: laoch (LAY*-uhk*), luí (lee). These words
begin with the broad "l" sound.
is adjacent to "a, o, u", the sound is similar, as in: allas
(AHL-uhs), mall (mahl), balla (BAHL-uh). The initial slender "l"
sound, before "e, i", requires you to press your tongue
tip against the back of the lower front teeth and raise the front
of the tongue to touch both the upper front teeth and the hard ridge
behind them. Examples: léamh (LAY*-uhv), lig (lig), lín
(leen), leis (lesh), leaba (LA-buh), leath (la), leabhar (LOU-wuhr).
When "ll" is next to "e, i", the sound is similar.
Try: caill (keyel), fill (fil), cailleadh (KEYEL-uh), milliún
(mil-YOON). Pronunciation of a single "l" inside a word
or at the end of it may vary slightly, depending on the word. Often
it is pronounced like the English "l", as in: geal (gal),
milis (MIL-ish), álainn (AW*-lin), folamh (FUHL-uhv). In "baile"
(BAHL-e), the sound is closer to initial slender "l", giving
a sound resembling (BAHL-ye).
In the past tense
of verbs, "we" is indicated by "--amar" or "--eamar"
added to the imperative. For example, "d'fhanamar" (DAHN-uh-muhr)
means "we stayed," and "thuigeamar" (HIG-uh-muhr)
means "we understood". One minor point, chiefly involving
spelling, concerns this "we" form (i.e., first-person plural):
For the two-syllable verbs ending in "--igh", such as "ceannaigh"
and "mínigh", the "we" form is "cheannaíomar"
(hyan-EE-uh-muhr), "mhíníomar" (veen- EE-uh-muhr),
etc. "Suigh", sit, is treated similarly. Years ago, these
verb forms were spelled as you would tend to spell them from your
present knowledge of the other verbs: "cheannaigheamar",
"mhínigheamar". A few years ago, however, the spelling
was simplified. Verbs of this type have other minor differences that
we will study soon.
Here is a complete
list of a verb in the past tense, "mol" (muhl), meaning
"praise". Repeat the list several times, and then say the
same forms for the verbs in the drill at the end of lesson 26. It
will be tedious work, but you will find it of benefit when we begin
the reading exercises in a few weeks.
(vwuhl may*); mhol tú; mhol sé; mholamar (VWUHL-uh-mar);
mhol sibh; mhol siad
mé (NEE-uhr vwuhl); níor mhol tú; níor
mhol sé; níor mhol sí; níor mholamar;
níor mhol sibh; níor mhol siad
ar mhol mé?
(er); ar mhol tú?; ar mhol sé?; ar mhol sí?;
ar mholamar?; ar mhol sibh?; ar mhol siad?
mé? (naw*r); nár mhol tú?; nár mhol sé?;
nár mhol sí?; nár mholamar?; nár mhol
sibh?; nár mhol siad?
Read the sentences
below out loud and simultaneously form a mental picture of what they
mean. At the lesson end there is a translation, but do not look at
it unless absolutely necessary.
(KAN-ee ay*)! Níor cheannaigh mé é (HYAN-ee).
Nár cheannaíomar na rudaí eile? Cheannaigh Seán
na prátaí. Rith abhaile (uh-VWAHL-e) agus cnag ar an
doras. Chnagamar (K*NAHG-uh-muhr) ar an doras inné (in-YAY*),
ach ní raibh duine ar bith ann. Ná léigh an nuachtán,
a Sheáin (uh HYAW*-in)! Chuir do mháthair do bhricfeasta
ar an mbord cheana. Léamar an leabhar sin aréir (uh-RAY*R).
Nár léigh tú fós é? Níor
léigh mé é. Nár mhínigh sí
an ceacht duit? Níor thuig (hig) Máire an scéal,
agus níor mhíníomar an scéal di (di).
Ól an tae anois! Nár ól sibh é? Ar ól
na páistí an bainne go léir? D'ól siad
cuid de (kid de). Fan anseo. D'fhan d'athair an lá go léir.
Nár fhanamar sa teach? Ar fhan an bus leat? Níor fhan
sé, ar chor ar bith. D'fhanamar leis go meán-lae (myaw*n
Buy it! I didn't
buy it. Didn't we buy the other things? John bought the potatoes.
Run home and knock on the door. We knocked on the door yesterday,
but no one was there. Don't read the paper, John. Your mother put
your breakfast on the table already. We read that book last night.
Didn't you read it yet? I didn't read it. Didn't she explain the lesson
to you? Mary didn't understand the story, and we didn't explain it
to her. Drink the tea now! Didn't you (pl.) drink it? Did the children
drink all of the milk? They drank part of it. Stay here! Your father
remained all day. Didn't we stay in the house? Did the bus wait for
you? It didn't wait at all. We waited for it until noon (midday).
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.