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Dear Bitesize: how to say “I like you” and “tú” vs. “thú”

Dear Bitesize: how to say "I like you" and "tú" vs. "thú"

In today’s Dear Bitesize post, let’s answer two questions that were recently received here at Bitesize Irish Gaelic. First of all, Lilia would like to know how to tell someone “I like you” in Irish Gaelic. Another Irish language student, Éamonn, had a grammatical question. He was wondering when to use thú instead of .

Here we go:

How do I tell someone that I like him?


A really simple way to say I like you is Is maith liom thú.

You can also use the same sentence structure to say that you like something, such as

Is maith liom an chathaoir, which means, I like the chair.

If you would like to tell someone that you’re fond of him, you could say Tá cion agam ort.


Let’s go on to our second question.

I rarely see “thú” written. When is it used?

In case you didn’t know already, means you. According to the current edition of An Caighdeán Oifigiúil (‘The Official Standard’ is a book of rules for written Irish), thú (thusa) is used when it’s the object of a verb, for example, aithním thú (I recognize you); molaim thú (I praise/recommend you); and when it’s the subject following the predicate in a copulative sentence, for example, Mo náire thú (Shame on you!); Is oibrí díograiseach thú (You’re an enthusiastic worker). In less grammatical terms, when you’re telling someone something about them, and comes after the relevant noun or verb in the sentence, thú is used instead.

Other examples:

Níor dhearmad sé thú riamh. (He never forgot you)

An é sin an áit ar rugadh thú? (Is that the place where you were born?)

Ní aithnímse thusa. (I don’t recognise you)

Chugam aniar thú!  (Bravo!)

Is fearrde thú an sos. (You’re better off taking the break)

Hear all of the above phrases here:


(tusa) is used in every other circumstance. That being said, thú and  are often used interchangeably in common usage.

If you’ve ever got any grammar questions of your own, don’t hesitate to email [email protected].

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading!

Le gach dea-ghuí, (Best wishes)


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