IRISH LANGUAGE Q&A

Bitesize Irish Live Q&A – The Genitive Clause

Shownotes

On this November’s live Q&A, Ben and Siobhán from Bitesize Irish answered your questions on the Genitive Clause (‘An Tuiseal Ginideach’). Watch back to hear them demystify this intricate feature of Irish language grammar.

Here are links to resources that were mentioned during the livestream:

Get the "Gaeilge Gach Lá Newsletter"


Irish Every Day - that's our motto at Bitesize Irish. Get our free weekly newsletter for tips and content for how to achieve it in your life.

Conceptualising the Genitive

So, as you may be aware, the genitive case isn’t unique to the Irish language. You’ll find it in Latin, German and also in a number of Slavic languages, as well as a number of other languages. The genitive has a few different functions in Irish, one of them being to show possession. You use the genitive to show who something belongs to. In English you would use an apostrophe to indicate what belongs to someone eg. the boy’s apple. Another way of saying ‘the boy’s apple’ in English, a more cumbersome way, is ‘the apple of the boy’. The ‘of’ (the word that shows possession) is expressed in Irish using the genitive form of the noun, in this case boy. So, the boy’s apple in Irish is úll an bhuachalla. As you can see, an bhuachalla is the genitive singular form of an buachaill.

Here are the other instances in which the genitive is used in Irish:

  • The verbal noun (ainmneacha briathartha) ‘-ing’: ag imirt peile (playing football), ag glanadh an tí/na dtithe (cleaning the house/the houses), ag déanamh curaí (making a currach – a type of boat), ag déanamh ruda (doing something).
  • After certain prepositions: chun eg. chun na scoile (to school), also, trasna, tar éis, cois, timpeall, fearacht.
  • Two nouns together: lá gréinne (a sunny day, “a day of sun”), cluiche peile (football game), foireann iománánaíochta (hurling team), mála scoile (school bag).
  • Following words that describe quantity: a lán eolais (a lot of information), tuilleadh oibre (more work).
  • Periods of time (tréimhsí ama): ar feadh, i gceann, go ceann seachtaine/bliana. But not when a number is specified eg. ar feadh trí mhí (for three months).

Grammar books

Synthetic forms of verbs

Do ghlanas is an example of a synthetic form not found in An Caighdeán Oifigiúil (The Official Standard). Other synthetic forms, such as glanaim, are in An Caighdeán. These are all forms of the verb glan (to clean).

You can find non-standard synthetic forms of a number of verbs on the Cork Irish website.

To get a better understanding between what are standard and non-standard synthetic forms, compare the conjugation of the verb ‘glan’ on Teanglann to the conjugation of the same verb on the Cork Irish website.

P.S. What did you learn from this Q&A? Leave a comment below!

Emark on your Irish language journey!

We want to help you achieve Gaeilge Gach Lá – Irish Every Day. Since 2010, we’ve been helping thousands of people learn, practice and speak the Irish language. Take your Irish language journey at your own pace, and practice with others and our fluent staff. Aistear (“journey”) is our self-paced language learning platform.

Or become a member now to access our self-paced courses and more:
Membership Plans

Don't miss out on our latest Irish language learning resources

Get our Gaeilge Gach Lá Newsletter for free Irish language learning content every week. 

Watch Previous Irish language Q&As on-demand

The fluent staff at Bitesize Irish are passionate in helping your to learn, practice and speak Gaeilge. Watch more previous live Q&As.

Live Q&As

Back To School

This month Ben and Emma discussed your questions on balancing Irish learning with other responsibilities

Read More »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.