Irish Pronouns: An Easy Guide To The 4+ Types

December 13, 2021
Samaha Kazmi

Learning a new language is not just about memorizing words and basic expressions to sound local. Learning complex grammar rules is a must if you genuinely want to make sense. There's nothing more that we can recommend for beginners than starting with the basics of Irish pronouns. Today's post will walk you through all the pronouns and their conjugations. We have broken down related grammatical rules with easy examples to master this topic in no time. Take your notebook and pen out, and let the learning begin!

 

Irish Grammar

Irish grammar comprises various elements in a sentence, and one of those elements is its pronouns. We all know the cliche definition of a pronoun: a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence. The use of pronouns in Irish grammar is essential because several conjugations are associated with them.

For instance, "Sarah is my sister. She is nice". We talk about the same person in these two sentences but use different words. Sarah is the girl's name, but using the same name when we want to talk more about her can make it redundant, which is why we replace the noun, i.e., "Sarah," with a pronoun, i.e., "she."

In Irish, pronouns are known as "Forainmneacha." Here is a table showing Irish pronouns along with example sentences:

Irish PronounsEnglish TranslationsIrish SentencesEnglish Translations
ITá mé gleoiteI am cute
YouTá tú gleoiteYou are cute
HeTá sé gleoiteHe is cute
SheTá sí gleoiteShe is cute
SinnWeTá sinn gleoiteWe are cute
SiadTheyTá siad gleoiteThey are cute

Subject Pronoun

A pronoun is generally referred to as a subject pronoun. A subject pronoun is called "forainm ábhair" in Irish. In most cases, the noun being replaced by a pronoun is the subject of the sentence, which is why it's called a subject pronoun.

Sarah was the subject in the sentence mentioned above, and a pronoun replaced her name. But the word "she" was still the subject of the sentence, and that is why that pronoun is called the subject pronoun.

Possessive Pronoun

A possessive pronoun is a pronoun that shows the quality of possession in a sentence. For instance, in the sentence "this is my dog," the pronoun "my" is a possessive pronoun since it shows that a person/thing possesses the dog.

In Irish, possessive pronouns are called "forainmneacha sealbhacha." The table below shows the possessive pronouns in Irish:

Irish PronounsEnglish Translations
MoMy
DoYour
ÁrOur
AHis
AHer
ATheir
BhurYou (All)

Possessive pronouns are conjugated differently for both singular and plural nouns. For both singular and plural nouns, the lenition is based on the alphabet that the word starts with. In the case of words starting with a vowel, the conjugation is different. The same goes for the words beginning with consonants.

L, m, n, r, and s are some alphabets that are not lenited. If any word starting with these alphabets is written with the pronouns, then it is written as it is unless some exceptions.

Singular Words (Vowels)

The possessive pronouns in Irish are conjugated with the nouns if nouns start with vowels. There are some rules for singular words that start with vowels and are as follows with examples:

  • To conjugate a singular word starting with a vowel with the possessive pronoun mo (my), we omit the o and replace it with an apostrophe and write the word with it. For instance, the word for the name in Irish is "ainm". The possessive pronoun for my name will be "m'ainm"; m'-word.

In English, this can also be observed where an apostrophe is added to a word to show possession. For instance, "dog's hair", etc.

  • To conjugate such words with the possessive pronoun do (your), the same phenomenon happens. O gets omitted and replaced by an apostrophe and the word. For instance, the word for the almond in Irish is "almón". The possessive pronoun for your almond will be "d'almón"; d'-word.
  • To conjugate, such words with the possessive pronoun ár (our), "n" is added to the main word. For instance, the word for the sauce in Irish is "anlann". The possessive pronoun for our sauce will be "ár n-anlann"; ár+n-word
  • To conjugate, such words with the possessive pronoun a (his), the pronoun "a" is written with the word. For instance, the word for the grave in Irish is "uaigh". The conjugation for his grave will be "a uaigh" a+word
  • To conjugate, such words with the possessive pronoun a (her), "h" is added to the main word. For instance, the word for the magazine in Irish is "irisliabhar". The conjugation for her magazine will be "a h-irisliabhar"; a+h-word .
  • To conjugate, such words with the possessive pronoun a (their), "n" is added to the main word. For instance, the word for the worker in Irish is "oibrí". The conjugation for her magazine will be "a n-oibrí"; a+n-word.
  • To conjugate, such words with the possessive pronoun bhur (your), "n" is added to the main word. For instance, the word for treasure in Irish is "ulaidh". The conjugation for your treasure will be "bhur n-ulaidh"; bhur+n-word.

Here is a table with the possessive pronouns conjugated with words starting with a vowel along with their examples:

Irish ConjugationsEnglish Translations
M'ainmMy name
D'ainmYour name
A AinmHis name
A H-AinmHer name
A N-AinmTheir name
Bhur N-AinmYour (all) name
Ár N-AinmOur name
M'almónMy almond
D'almónYour almond
Ár N-AlmónOur almond
A AlmónHis almond
A H-AlmónHer almond
A N-AlmónTheir almond
Bhur N-AlmónYour (all) almond
M'anlannMy sauce
D'anlannYour sauce
Ár N-AnlannOur sauce
A AnlannHis sauce
A H-AnlannHer sauce
A N-AnlannTheir sauce
Bhur N-AnlannYour (all) sauce
M'uaighMy grave
D'uaighYour grave
Ár N-UaighOur grave
A UaighTheir
A H-UaighHer grave
A N-UaighTheir grave
Bhur N-UaighYour (all) grave
M'eàrrMy section
D'eàrrYour section
Ár N-EàrrOur section
A EàrrTheir section
A H-EàrrHer section
A N-EàrrTheir section
Bhur N-EàrrYour (all) section
M'irisliabharMy magazine
D'irisliabharYour magazine
Ár N-IrisliabharOur magazine
A IrisliabharTheir magazine
A H-IrisliabharHer magazine
A N-IrisliabharTheir magazine
Bhur N-IrisliabharYour (all) magazine
M'oibríMy worker
D'oibríYour worker
Ár N-OibríOur worker
A OibríTheir worker
A H-OibríHer worker
A N-OibríTheir worker
Bhur N-OibríYour (all) worker
M'ulaidhMy treasure
D'ulaidhYour treasure
Ár N-UlaidhOur treasure
A UlaidhTheir treasure
A H-UlaidhHer treasure
A N-UlaidhTheir treasure
Bhur N-UlaidhYour (all) treasure

Singular Words (Consonants)

Each pronoun is conjugated in a different way for the words starting with a singular consonant.

  • To conjugate a singular word starting with a consonant with the possessive pronoun mo (my), add an "h" after the consonant of the word. For instance, the word for the son in Irish is "mac". The possessive pronoun for my name will be "mo mhac"; mo+h after first consonant in the word.
  • To conjugate such words with the possessive pronoun do (your), add an "h" after the consonant of the word. For instance, the word for tree in Irish is "crann". The possessive pronoun for your tree will be "do chrann"; do+h after first consonant in the word.
  • To conjugate such words with the possessive pronoun Ár (our), add and m before the consonant. For instance, the word for student in Irish is "dalta". The possessive pronoun for our student will be "Ár mdalta"; ár+m-word.
  • To conjugate such words with the possessive pronoun A (their), add an m before the consonant. For instance, the word for vote in Irish is "vóta". The possessive pronoun for their vote will be "A vóta"; a+m-word.
  • To conjugate a singular word starting with a consonant with the possessive pronoun A (his), add an "h" after the consonant of the word. For instance, the word for the train in Irish is "traein". The possessive pronoun for his train will be "A thraein"; a+h after the first consonant of the word.
  • Conjugating the pronoun a "her" is relatively simple as the pronoun is added before the word. For instance, the word for the school in Irish is "scoil". The possessive pronoun for her school will be "A scoil"; a+word.
  • And finally to conjugate Bhur (ya'll) you can simply follow what you did with Ár (our) and A (their), you can add and m before the consonant. For instance, the word for the dress in Irish is "gúna". The possessive pronoun for her school will be "Bhur mgúna"; bhur+m-word.

Here is a table with the possessive pronouns conjugated with words starting with a consonant along with their examples:

Irish wordsEnglish Translations
Mo mhacMy son
Do mhacYour son
Ár macOur son
A mhacTheir son
A macHer son
A macTheir son
Bhur macYour (all) son
Mo scoilMy school
Do scoilYour school
Ár scoilOur school
A scoilTheir school
A scoilHer school
A scoilTheir school
Bhur scoilYour (all) school
Mo chrannMy tree
Do chrannYour tree
Ár mcrannOur tree
A mcrannTheir tree
A chrannHis tree
A crannHer tree
Bhur mcrannYour (all) tree
Mo dhaltaMy student
Do dhaltaYour student
Ár mdaltaOur student
A mdaltaTheir student
A dhaltaHis student
A daltaHer student
Bhur mdaltaYour (all) student
Mo vhótaMy vote
Do vhótaYour vote
Ár mvótaOur vote
A mvótaTheir vote
A vhótaHis vote
A vótaHer vote
Bhur mvótaYour (all) vote
Mo thraeinMy train
Do thraeinYour train
Ár mtraeinOur train
A mtraeinTheir train
A thraeinHis train
A traeinHer train
Bhur mtraeinYour (all) train
Mo ghúnaMy dress
Do ghúnaYour dress
Ár mgúnaOur dress
A mgúnaTheir dress
A ghúnaHis dress
A gúnaHer dress
Bhur mgúnaYou're (all) dress

Many learners add another "m" or "h" to the words which are wrong. If a word has an "h" as a second alphabet then it does not need to conjugate in the case of Mo, do, and a (my, your, and his). Similarly having a word that starts with m does not require another "m" to be added to it in the case of ár, a, and Bhur (our, their, and ya'll's).

Plural Words

I know you must be tired of learning all those baffling conjugations in the case of vowels and consonants. One way of conjugating the possessive pronouns with plural words is using "cuid." Cuid roughly translates to some or share. Well, guess what? It's not the same in the case of plurals.

There is no difference in the words (having vowels and consonants) because these are not conjugated here. Many people make the mistake of conjugating the words as well since they have practiced to do so with all other cases. But it is important to remember not to conjugate the words.

Conjugations are only for the term "cuid," and you can learn them quickly. Here is how to conjugate each possessive pronoun using "cuid."

  • For mo, do and a (my, your, his) an "h" is added after c in cuid these making it "chuid". For instance, saying mo chuid uisce means "my (share of) water". Similarly, "do chuid uisce" and "a chuid uisce" means "your water and his water".
  • For Bhur, ár and a (ya'all, our and their) a "g" is added before cuid thus making it "gcuid". Ya'll's water, our water and their water will become "bhur gcuid uisce", "ár gcuid uisce" and "a gcuid uisce".
  • For A (her) no conjugations are needed and the word is written as it is. Her water will become "a cuid uisce"

*Note: Cuid is usually used for uncountable nouns e.g liquid. It can also be used for all the things/ people which are in the form of a group but can be separated. Cuid cannot be used with things/ people who show a sense of permanency, such as body parts and family members. It should not be used for anything that is an inherent belonging of a person.

Prepositional Pronouns

Prepositional pronouns are the pronouns that deal with the spatial and temporal directions of something. There are different prepositions, for example, on, under, above, etc. Prepositional pronouns are written right next to the prepositions, and that is why they have this name.

Here are some examples with prepositional pronouns and their usage for you to learn from:

Irish sentencesEnglish TranslationsPrepositional pronounsEnglish Translations
Tá sé liom.He is with me.liomWith me
Tá mé leis.I am with him.leisWith him
Tá sé léi.He is with her.léi.with her
Tá sí leo.She is with them.leowith them
Tá siad linn.They are with us.linnwith us
Tá muid leat.We are with you.leatwith you
Tá muid libh.We are with you (all).Libhwith you (all)
Tá sé orm.It is on me.orm.on me
Tá sé ort.It is on you.ort.on you
Tá sé orainn.It is on us.orainn.on us
Tá sé uirthi.It is on her.uirthi.on her
Tá sé air.It is on him.air.on him
Tá sé orthu.It is on them.orthu.on them
Tá sé oraibh.It is on you (all).oraibh.on ya'll
Tábhachtach dom.Important to me.domto me.
Tábhachtach duit.Important to you.duitto you
Tábhachtach diImportant to herdito her
Tábhachtach dóImportant to himto him
Tábhachtach dúinnImportant to usdúinnto us
Tábhachtach dóibh.Important to them.dóibhto them

Emphatic Forms

The emphatic form of pronouns is the form in which the emphasis is on the pronouns themselves. For instance, myself, himself, etc. are some of the emphatic pronouns. The following are the emphatic pronouns in the Irish language with examples:

Irish SentencesEnglish Translation
Tá mise go donaI myself am bad
Tá tusa go donaYou, yourself, are bad
Tá muidne go donaWe, ourselves, are bad
Tá seisan go donaHe, himself, is bad
Tá sise go donaShe, herself, is bad
Tá siadsan go donaThey, themselves, are bad
Tá sibhse go donaYou (all), yourselves, are bad.

*Note: The word dona means bad in Irish.

 

Wrapping Up

Irish Pronouns

If you liked this blog, feel free to check out other blogs on Ling App by Simya Solutions. We also have blogs on sentences in Irish and Irish verbs. I hope by now you can quickly tell what's yours and what's not with the help of Irish pronouns.

The Ling app has different creative ways for you to learn any language. You can check each link out to make notes on other languages. It is essential to enjoy learning because that helps one retain the information better.

Happy learning!

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Samaha Kazmi

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