Module 1: Grammar
If you want to make a simple statement about something that is happening you start the statement with tá.
The next part of the statement should refer to the subject of the sentence, and should be a noun. This could be a definite thing like 'the boat' or an indefinite thing like 'a boat'. It could also be a person's name or pronoun (he or she: there is no 'it' in modern Irish - in grammatical terms everything is either masculine or feminine.)
So, tá mé = táim = I am.
If you want to say 'you are', you keep the tá and replace mé with tú.
So, tá'n tú = you are.
You can see how to use tá in the box on the right. Remember, the order of words in Irish is reversed: the tá is 'am' and the mé is 'I'.
The passive and impersonal form of tá is táthar. So, for example, if you want to say 'it is being worked on' you would say: táthar ag obair air.
Opposite you can see what the personal pronouns are in Irish.
There is one thing you might or might not want to bother with right now, we'll tell you about it anyway.
verbs (doing words) in the Irish language were like that everywhere but
in the northern dialects they broke up in two.
grammatical terms we say that in Munster the verb and pronoun appear as
one word, it's the synthetic form. Elsewhere it is the analytic form.
We'll show you below how the tá - examples look and are pronounced in Munster. You don't have to learn them right now but we'll ease you slowly into this way of speaking.
Tá sé and Tá sí are often said
nowadays but strictly speaking they are included in tá.
Now, in order to form a simple sentence you could add a so-called verbal noun to any of the above forms of tá.
A verbal noun (Irish: ainmbhriathar), together with tá describes:
In our text we read that Sarah is travelling. She says Tá mé ag taisteal. This is currently taking place, as Sarah is not at home in Cork but obviously moving around with her backpack.
She also says that she is working in Cork. Even though she isn't working at the moment she is currently employed there. So she can say Tá mé ag obair i gCorcaigh.
The Irish verbal noun corresponds to the english 'ing' form like 'working', 'travelling' 'learning', and can be recognized easily by the preceding word ag.