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Saying Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome in Irish Gaelic


When you’re visiting another country, it’s nice to be able to say a few polite phrases in that country’s native language.

In Ireland you’ll find that, even though people do speak English, they’ll often pepper their speech with phrases in Irish… and your stock will definitely rise in their eyes if you do the same!

And, of course, if you’re actually studying Irish, knowing how to say such basic pleasantries as “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” etc. is absolutely vital.

Some Basic Phrases

If you’re already a Bitesize Irish member, you can access the fully-featured version of this lesson, with additional phrases and audio, at Lesson: Excuse Me, Please, Thank You. If you’re still thinking about it, here’s a little sampler:

Pardon Me/Excuse me

One good, basic phrase to know in Irish is the equivalent of “pardon me” or “excuse me.” In Irish, we literally say “take my excuse”:

Gabh mo leithscéal (Goh muh LEH-shkayl)

That’s the form used when speaking to one person. When speaking to more than one person, you would say:

Gabhagaí mo leithscéal (GOH-uh-gee muh LEH-shkayl)

(Note:  All “g’s” are hard, as in “get,” not soft as in “gee whiz”)

Gabhaigí mo leithscéal…an stadann an bus anseo? (GOH-uh-gee muh LEH-shkayl…un STAD-un un buss un-SHAW?) Pardon me…does the bus stop here?

You can also use this phrase to mean “I’m sorry” when you accidentally hurt, offend, inconvenience, or interrupt someone, for example:

Gabh mo leithscéal…tá mé ró-luath! I’m sorry…I’m too early!


If you’re like me, one of the very first words you learned from your parents was “please”! A very common way to say “please” in Irish literally means “with your will”:

Le do thoil (leh duh hull): Please

If you’re speaking to more than one person, this becomes:

Le bhur dtoil (leh wur dull): Please

Ba mhaith liom pionta Guinness, le do thoil. (buh why lum PIN-tuh GIN-uss, le duh hull) I’d like a pint of Guinness, please. (There’s a sentence that will stand you in good stead in any pub in Ireland!)

Thank you

“Thank you” is, perhaps, the most important polite phrase of all! In Irish, it’s also a bit of a mouthful:

Go raibh maith agat: Literally “May you have goodness.”

The pronunciation for this, as you might imagine, has refined itself over the years to something much shorter. Depending on where you are in Ireland, you might hear:

GUR-uh mad

GUR-uh MY-uh gut

GUR-uv MA uh-gut

GUR-uh muh HAG-ut

If you’re speaking to multiple people, this becomes:

Go raibh maith agaibh (GUR-uh MY-uh giv or GUR-uv MA ug-GIV)

On-line, you’ll often see these abbreviated to GRMA.

Go raibh maith agat as na mbronntanas (GUR-uh MY-uh gut ass nuh MRUN-tun-uss) Thank you for the gifts.

You’re Welcome

There are several ways to say “you’re welcome” in Irish, but one of the more common is:

Tá fáilte romhat (taw FAWL-cheh ROH-ut) You’re welcome.

Said to multiple people, this becomes:

Tá fáilte romhaibh (taw FAWL-cheh ROH-iv)

Go raibh maith agat as na mbronntanas! Thank you for the gifts!

Tá fáilte romhat. Ná habair é! (taw FAWL-cheh ROH-ut. Naw HAB-ur ay.)

Now You’re Ready!

Practice these phrases and, before you know it, you’ll be ready to wow folks in Ireland with your cúpla focal…and with your politeness!

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12 thoughts on “Saying Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome in Irish Gaelic”

  1. This is very helpful! 🙂 I’m learning Scottish Gaelic, so I immediately assumed the Irish version of “You’re welcome” would be similar (‘S e do bheatha), but it turns out that it’s “Tá fáilte romhat!” Very useful. Thank you!

    ~ A Lover of All Celtic Languages

  2. A friend told me that Irish servers respond to ‘Thank you’ with ‘Nada Bada’……
    Is this a joke indicating that their attempt at speaking the native language ‘isn’t bad’?

  3. I’ve tried to register for the course, but never receive the email with the link. Have you stopped supplying the course?



    1. Hi Flinn,

      Thank you for your email. Please check your spam and other folders that you might have.

      We are still offering the free trial and monthly subscription plans.

      Please send us an email to our inbox if you are still not able to subscribe and we will gladly take a look.

      Le meas,

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