common irish phrases

Most Common Irish Verbs

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Common Irish Verbs 

Visiting foreign countries and interacting with people out there is so much fun. So, have you ever planned to go to Ireland sometime, interacted with locals in Dublin and wondered how to communicate with them? Most locals can speak English, but if you try to speak the Irish language, they highly appreciate it. However, using the wrong words or grammar in front of their locals would be embarrassing. So, save yourself from all the embarrassment and avoid mistakes. Start studying the basics of the language, the grammatical rules for using verbs, and different Irish phrases.

Well, the Irish language is unique and resilient. It has been preserved through centuries of adversity. Over 33 million Americans have Irish ancestry. Whether or not you are one of them, studying the language will make you fall in love with it. However, the language is both interesting and complex, but you need to understand every aspect of it to express yourself; it will make you feel connected to everyone else.

In this article, we will discuss some common Irish verbs that Irish people use in everyday conversation and how they work. Mastering different forms of verbs in the target language helps a lot to learn. Before moving forward directly to the verbs, let’s just have a quick overview of the Irish language.

Irish Language-Overview

Irish, also known as Erse or Gaelic, is a member of the Celtic language family from the Goidelic group spoken in Ireland. It is one of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland. Students learn Irish in public schools, as it’s mandatory for some jobs.

Regarding grammar, the Irish still use a case system, just like Latin and German. It’s called an accusative system because it shows different functions for nouns, pronouns, and Irish proverbs. In the case of grammatical verbs, there are three main verb tenses given below:

most common irish verbs
irish verbs sheet

Past Tense (Aimsir Chaite):  when signifying the event that happened in the past.

Present Tense (Aimsir Laithreach): when describing something happening at present.

Future (Aimsir Fhaistineach): for the event that hasn’t happened yet.

For example, if you have a word like “wash,” the root word for it in Irish is ‘nigh,’ and this is how it works:

  • In the past, it’s ‘Nigh me.’
  • At present, it’s Ním
  • And in the future tense, it is Nífidh mé

See how words are formed. We know it is quite difficult for beginners to compare the basic question words and Irish slang words. To learn Irish more quickly and structure your sentences in the future, memorizing the most common Irish verbs would be an ideal choice.

Most common Irish verbs

Here are some common verbs and their translation that Irish people use in their daily conversation. It will help you a lot to communicate with the locals.

In learning Irish verb forms, beginners often encounter synthetic forms and analytic forms, deviating from the normal rules found in standard language usage. Irish proverbs and Irish Verb Sheets serve as valuable resources for understanding tense forms and syllable verbs, providing insight into the nuances of most Irish verbs.

Irish Verbs


a fhógairt To announce
Beir To take
Cabhraigh To help
Cuir To put
Déan To do or to make
éist To listen
Faigh To get
Féach To look
glan To clean
Úsáid To use

These are some of the common Irish verbs; there are a lot more. Start with these, practice and memorize them, and then move on to more verbs. See how quickly you learn the language.

Irregular Verbs in the Irish language

Those we have discussed above are the regular verbs let’s look at some irregular verbs.

In contrast to the English language, which has 200 irregular verbs and roughly 880 in Spanish, we can’t deny that the Irish language is much simpler than both languages because it only has 11. So it is much easier for anyone to do it. Before we jump right into them, let’s take some time to understand what an irregular conjugation verb is and how it functions.

Well, irregular verbs are words that do not follow the basic rules or patterns when changing tenses. For instance, In English, we learn that the most basic rule is to just add -ed, -ing, -ied, or -tense suffixes to verbs to create different forms of the verb. However, some irregular verbs that do not follow these rules are:

  • Go become went, in the past tense. Similarly,
  • Get as got
  • Eat as ate
  • Fun as ran
  • Find as found when changing the tense in the past.

Some common irregular Irish verbs include Abair, which means ‘sing’; beir means to ‘catch’; clois means to ‘hear’; and faigh means to get. You can check out the list of 11 irregular verbs online and how they are converted into other tenses. Are you looking for a Certified translation of a university application?

Other than regular or irregular verbs, Irish verbs are also divided based on dependency. These are dependent forms of the verb, used after the particles, while the independent forms of the verb when no particle precedes the verb.

Irregular verbs in the Irish language present unique challenges for learners, particularly concerning their forms and conjugations. One significant aspect is the independent form, where certain irregular verbs deviate from regular patterns. These irregularities manifest in various forms, including the conjunct form, which differs from standard verb conjugations.

Audrey Nickel, a notable figure in Irish language education, has emphasized the importance of understanding irregular verbs. Through her work, learners gain insights into navigating complexities such as inflected forms and using indefinite articles with irregular nouns.

Defective verbs represent another category of irregularity, where verbs exhibit incomplete or irregular conjugations. In the context of the 19th century, linguistic scholars began documenting these irregularities, shedding light on the endless forms and irregular conjugations of simple verbs.

When combined with irregular verbs, the definite-marked noun further complicates sentence structure and comprehension. Seán Gaeilge, a fictional character representing the Irish-speaking community, encounters these irregularities in everyday language use.

Possessive pronouns also interact with irregular verbs, adding layers of complexity to their usage. Understanding the type of mutation triggered by irregular verbs and their relationship with the previous vowel aids in proper conjugation.

Equative adjectives, which establish comparisons, may also behave irregularly with certain verbs, leading to exceptions to syncope and influencing the usual stress patterns of syllables. Mastery of irregular verbs involves identifying stressed syllables and conjugating them correctly, especially in the context of the 3rd person.

In summary, irregular verbs in the Irish language intersect with various linguistic elements, from noun forms to possessive pronouns, requiring learners to navigate exceptions and irregularities for fluency.

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Common Irish Phrases

As English is the second official language of Ireland, Irish people have quite a unique relationship with it. So when you hear common Irish sayings, you start wondering what these people are talking about, right? Here are some of the most common Irish phrases, Irish slang words, and their translations:

1) Sleeven 

It is a common Irish phrase, used for sly or underhanded person.

2) Happy Out

It means content in your surroundings

3) Fluthered

 You might have heard it in pubs or bars; it means ‘very, very drunk.’

4) Quare

In Irish people use awful to emphasize, or it means ‘very’. For example, “The weather was awful good.”

5) Quare 

It is also another phrase from very, which is derived from the word queer.

6) Any Use? 

The phrase is used to ask someone, ‘Was it good?’

7) Your “oul fella” and your “oul wan”

In Irish, these phrases refer to ‘your father’ and ‘your mother’ respectively.

8) Donkey years 

This term refers to an ‘awful lot of years’.

9) Cute Hoor

Cute hoor refers to the person, ‘ who quietly engineers things to their advantage’. For example, this girl is a real cute hoor.  

10) Eejit 

Eejit means “Complete fool”; it refers to a person who does something silly. For example, Alex is such as eejit.

Learning the Irish Language Better

Learning this language better involves delving into various linguistic elements, including verbal nouns, independent forms, and inflected forms. In the 19th century, efforts were made to refine the understanding of Irish nouns, common verbs, and the usage of indefinite and definite articles. Initial mutations play a crucial role in Irish grammar, affecting the verbal adjective, vowel-initial words, and forming complex verbs. Middle Irish introduces concepts like Deuterotonic form and dependant forms alongside conjunct and feminine forms.

Modern forms of Irish have evolved, considering aspects such as endless forms and the distinction between simple and defective verbs. Agent nouns and definite noun phrases are vital components, as well as the dative article suffix and article fusion. Translation services aid in bridging language gaps, while personal pronouns and infixed pronouns facilitate communication.

Understanding mutations, including nasal mutations and exceptions to syncope, is essential. The Central Translation Unit is pivotal in Gaelic translation, especially considering spelling reforms and stress on syllables, particularly the even-numbered syllable. Third-person usage has evolved since the 17th century, influencing feminine u-stem nouns and dative forms. Overall, mastering these linguistic intricacies enhances proficiency in the Irish language.

As you read the best information on Irish verbs, sayings, slang, phrases and how they function. So, if you finally decided to start practicing Irish today and are wondering where to start, let us help you. Several websites and platforms offer to teach you Irish in the best possible way. Some of them are,

Ling Application 

This application will help you learn any language quickly because it offers an easy way for people who know nothing about languages to start. With no need to spend too much time or effort, learners can find comprehensive courses designed by experienced linguists worldwide. You can learn any particular language, such as Irish or Scottish English.


It is another platform for learning languages. Millions of people are learning languages for free on Memrise. You can enroll yourself and start practicing Irish today. It is fast and mind-bogglingly effective.

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