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Lesson by "The Irish People"
This week we will
review the vowel "e". Without a síneadh fada (SHEEN-uh
FAH-duh) over it, "e" usually has the sound of "e"
in English "let". When "e" is at a word end, the
sound may resemble (uh), but pronounce it as a short (e), without
emphasis. Examples: baile (BAHL-e), mise (MISH-e).
With a síneadh
fada, the letter is é, pronounced like the first part of the
English sound in "may", without the final (ee) or (i) that
you will detect if you say "may" very slowly. We use (ay*)
as a symbol for the Irish sound.
Remember how Irish
persons close to the Irish language pronounce English words like "railroad,
rate, lane, made". The sound is that of é (ay*). In Irish,
the sound is held longer than in English.
When inside a
word, "e" without a síneadh fada is almost always
followed by "i". The sound is still (e), as in deir (der),
peil (pel), or deich (de).
Read this passage
slowly without looking at the key below it. Then read it a second
time, making use of the key if you are unsure. Do not try to make
sense of the words; concentrate on the pronunciation and on grouping
the words into phrases;
oiread sin stop a chur le scaipeadh a bhí san am i seilbh na
Fraince gach fear de na gasraí a bhuail mé le mo dhuine.
Fuarthas i bpictiúr eile céadta punt i gcás a
bhformhór ina bhfuil cur síos ar an oileán a
bheidh ar an socrú a tharla ar an mbaile sin ocht mbliana d'aois
faoin chomhlachtaí príobháideacha.
DUDU-ling un IR-uhd shin stohp uh k*ur le SKAHP-uh vee suhn oum i
SHKL-iv nuh FRAN-ke gahk* far de nuh GAHS-ree uh VOO-il may* le muh
GIN-e. FOO-uhr-huhs i bik-TYOOR EL-e KAY*D-tuh poont i GAW*S uh vohr-uh-VWOHR
nuh vwil kur shees er un IL-aw*n uh ve er un SOHK-roo uh HAHR-luh
er un MAHL-e shin ohk*t MLEE-uh-nuh deesh fween K*OH-luhk*t-ee pree-VAW*-duhk*-uh.
For indirect speech, of which:
John says that
they are at the door is an example, the forms "go" and "nach"
follow the first verb and its subject when the second verb is in the
present. An example:
go bhfuil siad ag an doras (der shaw*n goh vwil SHEE-uhd eg un DUH-ruhs),
John says that they are at the door.
In the past tense,
"tá" and a few of the other irregular verbs require
"gur" (gur) and "nár" (naw*r) before them.
Read these three examples over carefully until you understand the
principle of sentence formation with past tense indirect speech:
Dúirt Seán go raibh siad istigh (DOO-irt shaw*n goh
rev SHEE-uhd ish-TEE), John said that they were inside.
go bhfaca mé an carr (K*OO-luh MAW*-re goh VAH-kuh may* un
kahr), Mary heard that I saw the car.
gur chaill sí a cóta (DOO-irt may* gur k*eyel shee uh
KOH-tuh), I said that she lost her coat.
Here are the irregular verb forms in the past for indirect speech:
go bhfaca mé
(goh VAH-kuh may*), that I saw.
nach bhfaca mé
(nahk* VAH-kuh may*), that I didn't see.
gur chuala mé
(gur K*OO-uh-luh may*), that I heard.
mé (naw*r K*OO-uh-luh may*), that I didn't hear.
go bhfuair mé
(goh VOO-ir may*), that I got.
nach bhfuair mé
(nahk* VOO-ir may*), that I didn't get.
mé (goh NOO-irt may*), that I said.
mé (nahk* NOO-irt may*), that I didn't say.
go ndearna mé
(goh NYAR-nuh may*), that I did.
nach ndearna mé
(nahk* NYAR-nuh may*), that I didn't do.
gur thug mé (gur hug may*), that I gave.
mé; that I didn't give.
gur rug mé
air (gur rug may* er), that I seized him.
mé air; that I didn't seize him.
mé (gur HAW*-nig may*), that I came.
mé; that I didn't come.
mé (goh NYAK*-hee may*), that I went
mé; that I didn't go
go raibh mé
(goh rev may*), that I was
nach raibh mé
(nahk* rev may*), that I wasn't
Make up a simple sentence, such as "He said that I saw him",
or "he believes that I saw him", for each of the above twenty
phrases. The first part of the sentence can be such as these:
(der shay*), he says; dúirt siad (DOO-irt SHEE-uhd), they said,
is dóigh liom (is DOH-ee luhm), I think; etc.
the negative of the irregular verbs in the past and present with regular
and irregular forms. To start, take "Feicim go raibh ____"
(FEK-im goh rev), I see that ____ ; "Ní fhaca sé
go raibh ____ " (nee AH-kuh shay* goh rev), he didn't see that
____ ; "Feicim nach raibh ____" (FEK-im nahk* rev), I didn't
see ____ was not.
Next, work on
the regular verbs in the past tense with indirect speech. Make sentences
to complete these sentence starts:
liom, with: that he bought a house; that he didn't buy a house; that
he explained the story (scéal (shkay*l)); that he didn't explain
(heel may*), I thought, with: that they understood it; that they didn't
understand it; that they lost the money; that they didn't lose the
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.