Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Aisling – Thursday September 24th 2020


Watch back September’s Live Q&A with Aisling and Siobhán above!

  • A hathair: A athair (his father) grammatically doesn’t take a h, so that we can tell if it is his or her father we are talking about. M’athair, d’athair, a athair, a h-athair, ár/bhur, a n-athair. 
  • An chéad áit (an chéad + a noun that starts with a consonant would take a h e.g an chéad bhliain.)
    An dara háit because dara ends in a vowel and áit begins in a vowel and it’s easier to say dara háit rather than dara áit 
  • Direction words. Different words are used depending on what you’re saying (If you’re heading in a direction, if you are stationary, if you are coming from a direction, etc). It’s precise When you think of how the direction of the wind it forecasted you will see similar changes in English: easterly, westerly etc. 
    west = iarthar, western = thiar, westerly = aniar, westward = siar 
  • Mac Giolla Eoin – McGlone: Giolla = devotee, man-servant, messenger, shop boy. That is true that Kil in surnames, such as Kilbride emerged from Mac Gioll (Bhríghde).
  • However, in the case of place names, such as County Kildare, Kil stands for Cill which historically means church. Nowadays, cill means a churchyard and therefore is often used to refer to a graveyard and to burial, Cré na Cille (churchyard soil).
  • Good surprise:
    • Dar fia
    • mo léir
    • go bhfóire Dia orainn
    • th’anam an diabhail
    • ná deas
    • Ag magadh atá tú! = No! You’re joking!
  • Shock/fed up:
    • a thiarcais
    • in ainm Dé
    • As ucht Dé = For God’s sake! (literally “from the breast of God!”)
    • Dia ár sábháil = God save us!
    • mo náire
    • Ná habair! = Don’t tell me! (shock)
    • bailigh leat
    • imigh leat = go away
    • gread leat = shove off!
    • A Mhaighdean! = What on earth! (O Virgin!)
  • Praise:
    • An-fhear/bhean
    • ard-fhear/bhean
    • hup
    • an phointe/chúl
    • mo ghraidhin (bravo)
    • Bulaí fir! = Good man!
    • Bulaí mná! = Good woman!
    • Bulaí girsí! = Good girl!
  • Bad/sad:
    • mo léan
    • mo bhrón
    • ní maith liom do thrioblóid
  • -sa:You would add the suffix ‘sa’ for emphasis, to emphasise that it is on YOU as opposed to anyone else. Same for domsa, agamsa, fúmsa etc.
  • Táimid” vs. “… atá ionainn”:
    • “Táimid” before adjectives: Táimid go maith (We’re well). Táimid greannmhar (We’re funny) 
    • “… atá ionainn” after nouns: Éireannaigh atá ionainn (It’s Irish we are). Mná atá ionainn (It’s women we are).
  • Mnemonics:
    • DNTLS – dentals
    • Urú/eclipsis: Many Boys | Go Camping | Near Ditches | BeHind Fences | No Girls | Back Packing | Down There
  • An Gorta Mór vs. An Drochshaol: In my experience, an Gorta Mór is the historical name, and ‘an Drochshaol’ is often used by people in speech to emphasise the struggle people faced during that time. But all in all, they are interchangeable.
  • Séimhiú/Lenition: after an- eg. an-mhaith. After a feminine noun eg. bean mhaith. After most prepositions eg. ar dhoras. In the Ulster dialect, after a preposition + the definite article “an”: ag an gheata. 
  • Go fóill: Ulster – sounds more like /foal/. Munster – more /fo-il/. Connacht – Go fóileach. It may depend on both dialect and the individual speaker.

Try Out Our Free Cúrsaí Taster

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 our on our next Live Q&A

Get our newsletter for free Irish language learning content every week. You’ll have a chance to submit a question to the next live Q&A, and get the latest resources for Irish language learners.

Watch Previous Irish language Q&As

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

Everything You Wanted To Know About Irish Nouns Explained!

This month Niall and Ben answered questions about nouns. Topics covered included gender, cases, declensions and the vocative form of names. Here’s a flavour of the discussion.. Does the gender of nouns matter Ben explained that in Irish all nouns are either feminine or masculine. Niall explains that the gender of a noun is important

Read More »

All Things Nature in Irish Q&A

Niall and Siobhán discussed Irish language words, phrases, and customs related to fauna, flora, and the weather. I imagine there are some very poetic names for flowers and plants in Irish. Could you give some examples? [01:42] There are many plant names beginning with the word lus (plant, herb) that have very evocative meanings. lus

Read More »

Irish Language Pronunciation Explained

In this month’s Bitesize Live Q&A Ben and Niall welcomed you to submit your questions on how to pronounce words and sounds in the Irish Language. Topics covered included dialects, broad and slender consonants, and how and why the form of surnames in Irish can change. The boys also answered questions on adding ‘t’ to

Read More »

Live Q&A: Irish Language Beginners’ Questions – No Query Too Simple!

In this month’s Bitesize Live Q&A Ben and Eoin welcomed you to submit your beginner learners’ questions about the Irish language. Topics covered included blended approaches to learning, learning from poetry and song, prepositions, initial mutations, the Irish primary school system and preserving the linguistic and cultural richness of the language. Here’s a taste of

Read More »

Bitesize Irish Live Q&A – The Genitive Clause

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: Conceptualising the Genitive So, as you may be aware, the

Read More »

11 thoughts on “Q&A Le Siobhán Agus Aisling – Thursday September 24th 2020”

    1. Great to hear, Damian!

      If you’d like to try out some of our material for free, we have a taster program that allows you to sample our learning resources before becoming a member. You can sign up for our taster program through this link:
      We have lots of material for complete beginners, as well as those wishing to brush up on or improve their Irish.

      Le beannacht,

    1. Hi Mark,

      We haven’t hosted any Q&A’s in the morning time before, but we will definitely keep it in mind moving forward.

      The full recorded Q&A will also be posted on our YouTube channel afterwards in case you miss it 😀


  1. Jessica Ashlee McGuire

    Hi There,

    I’m new to this community, and was wondering what the approximate timelength for this session would be? I could possibly squeeze it in during lunch. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica and welcome to the community! 😀

      Our Q&A sessions are usually between 30 mins to 1 hour. If you need to squeeze it in, we can make sure to answer your question at a time that suits you 🙂 The full Q&A is also posted on our blog afterwards in case you miss the live stream.

      Le beannacht,

        1. So glad you enjoyed, Jessica! 😀

          Why not try our taster course and sample our material for free? We have lots of lessons for complete beginners like yourself.

          The best place to start as a complete beginner is to learn basic phrases like hello, goodbye, introducing yourself. The alphabet is also important for getting a grip on pronunciation and spelling. We cover all of this and more in our courses/cúrsaí.

          Here is a link to our taster course:

          Hope this helps!

          Le beannacht,


Leave a Reply to Aisling B. Cancel Reply

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.