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Lesson by "The Irish People"
questions below are written in the form of the pronunciation guide.
Read them aloud, or have someone read them to you. As you hear them,
try to make up simple answers to them. If you are not sure of the
meanings, look at the Key at lesson end. Specimen answers are given
KUN-uhs taw* too
KAW* vwil duh
NAHK* rev shaw*n
kay* hay* SHIN
er un MOH-uhr?
Where you stand
You have learned
the basic elements of the first two declensions, or groups of nouns.
We will continue with practice and drilling on these to make you more
familiar with the various forms and to allow you to recognize them
in reading and listening.
It will probably
take a little time before you begin to use the genitive form in your
own speech and writing, but you will do so more quickly if you make
a conscious effort to do this.
Start first by
using the compound prepositions, such as "os comhair" (ohs
KOH-ir), in front of, whenever you can. These prepositions take the
genitive, and they have the advantage of word order similar to that
in English: "in front of the school" is "os comhair
na scoile" (nuh SKUHL-e). "During the day" is "le
linn an lae" (le lin un LAY*).
The next step
for you will be use of the genitive with the verbal noun. For example,
"playing tennis" is " ag imirt leadóige"
(eg IM-irt la-DOH-i-ge).
more practice, you will begin to introduce expressions like "múinteoirí
na scoile seo" (moo-in-TYOHR-ee nuh SKUHL-e shuh), teachers of
this school, easily into your conversation.
We will look at
the third declension of nouns in this lesson. This declension is a
group of nouns, masculine and feminine, all of which end in "-a"
in the genitive singular. The nominative singular ends in a consonant.
For example, "rás"
(raws) means "race". "The day of the race" is
"lá an rása" (law* un RAW*S-uh). "Móin"
(MOH-in) means "peat" or "turf". "The Turf
Board" is "Bord na Móna" (bohrd nuh MOHN-uh).
Notice that the
"i" disappears in the genitive of "móin".
This is because the final "a" makes the "n" broad,
and an "i" cannot be next to a broad consonant.
The third declension
contains many nouns that mean occupations or trades. Example:
(dohk*-TOO-ir), doctor; hata an dochtúra (HAHT un dohk*-TOO-ruh),
the doctor's hat.
(moo-in-TYOHR), teacher; in aice an mhúinteora (in AK-uh vwoo-in-TYOHR-uh),
next to the teacher.
nouns are feminine. Móin (MOH-in), an mhóin (un VWOH-in)
is an example. "The turf's color" is "dath na móna
(dah nuh MOH-nuh).
Plurals of third
All of the occupational
or job nouns are masculine, and all add "__ í" to
form the plural. Bádóir (baw*-DOH-ir), boatman, becomes
Other nouns in
this declension form plurals variously, often by the addition of "-aí"
or "-anna," or "-acha."
an ceacht, an cheachta, na ceachtanna, lesson, the lesson, of the
lesson, the lessons.
rud (rud), an
rud, an ruda, na rudaí (RUD-ee), thing, the thing, of the thing,
an loch, an locha, na lochanna, lake, the lake, of the lake, the lakes.
am (oum), an t-am
(un TOUM), an ama (un AH-muh), na hamanna (nuh HAH-muh-nuh), time,
an múinteoir, an mhúinteora (un vwoo-in-TYOH-ruh), na
múinteoirí, teacher, the teacher, of the teacher, the
(PAY*N-tay*r), an péintéir, an phéintéara
(un FAY*N-tay*r-uh), na péintéirí, painter, etc.
an dochtúir, an dochtúra, na dochtúirí,
an mhóin (un VWOH-in), na móna (nuh MOH-nuh), na móinte
(nuh MOH-in-te), turf (or peat), the turf, of the turf, the turfs.
an bhliain (un VLEE-in), na bliana (nuh BLEE-uh-nuh), na blianta (nuh
BLEE-uhn-tuh), year, the year, of the year, the years.
an fheoil (un OH-il), na feola (nuh FYOH-luh), na feolta, meat, the
meat, of the meat, the meats.
an Cháisc (un K*AW*SHK), na Cásca (nuh KAW*S-kuh), Easter,
the Easter, of Easter.
an dáil, na dála (nuh DAW*-luh), na dálaí
(nuh DAW*-lee), assembly, the assembly, etc.
an phoblacht, na poblachta, na poblachtaí, republic, etc.
Nearly all third
declension nouns have strong plural forms, and their genitive or possessive
plural form is the same as the nominative plural.
contract" is "conradh na múinteoirí"
water" is "uisce na lochanna. (ISH-ke).
Some common expressions
or terms with third-declension nouns:
am codlata (oum
KUHL-uh-tuh), bedtime, from: an codladh (KUHL-uh), an chodlata (un
átha (bay*l un AW*), Ballina, town in Maigh Eo; from béal,
mouth, and áth, an t-áth, na háthanna, ford;
mouth of the ford.
backache, from droim (drim), an droim, an droma (DROHM-uh), back.
Amach na Cásca (EYE-ree uh-MAHK* nuh KAW*S-kuh), The Easter
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(c) 1998 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.