If you were to talk to any Irish language speaker you’ll learn that some of the easiest words to pronounce in English are somewhat hard to pronounce in Irish. OK, “hard” is a strong word to use in this case, probably “unusual” would be better since there are multiple ways of saying what you mean in Irish.
For example, you’d think that saying “Yes” in Irish is simple, right? Well, things are a bit more complicated.
Watch the following Irish pronunciation video and learn how to say “Yes” in Irish, depending on the situation. You’ll find more information in the video transcript, found at the end of this blog post.
How To Say – Yes in Irish (VIDEO)
How to say Yes in Irish
There are no words in Irish for “yes” and “no”.
In the present tense, there are two different ways of answering yes, as there are two different types of question structures.
First type: “An” + noun
An Meiriceánach tú?
/On Mer-ih-cawn-okh too?/
Are you an American?
Is Meiriceánach mé.
/Iss Mer-ih-cawn-okh may/
I’m an American.
Commonly pronounced /Shah/
Second type: “An” + verb.
An bhfuil tú ann?
/On wil too awn/
Are you there?
An bhfuil tú?
/On wil too?/
“Bhfuil” and “tá” are forms of the root verb is “bí” /bee/ (to be).
THE SHORT ANSWER: You answer yes by using the positive form of the verb used to ask the question.
Dia duit! Siobhán here from Bitesize Irish. I speak a Connacht dialect.
Video transcript for those seeking more information on How to say “Yes” in Irish Gaelic:
There are no words in Irish for “yes” and “no”. In the present tense, there are two different ways of answering yes, as there are two different types of question structures. The first type begins with the Irish word “an” and is followed by a noun. For example “An Meiriceánach tú?”, “Are you an American?” Meiricéanach is the noun.
To answer yes to this question, you say “Is Meiriceánach mé” or the short version is Is ea, commonly pronounced shah.
The second type of sentence structure also begins with “an” but is followed by a verb. For example, “An bhfuil tú ann?” Are you there? The word “bhfuil” in the sentence is a form of the verb “bí”, meaning “to be”.
To answer yes to the question “An bhfuil tú ann?” you say “Tá mé” which means “I am.”
The short answer is, you answer yes by using the positive form of the verb used to ask the question.