Irish conjugation

Irish verb forms are constructed either synthetically or analytically.

Synthetic forms express the information about person and number in the ending: e.g., molaim "I praise", where the ending -aim stands for "1st person singular present". In this case, a pronoun is not allowed: * molaim mé is ungrammatical. Molann mé is allowed but using the -aim ending is more common.

Analytic forms are those whose endings contain no information about person and number, and a pronoun is necessary: e.g., molann sibh "you (pl.) praise", where the ending -ann expresses only the present tense, and the pronoun sibh "you" (pl.) must accompany it in order to express "2nd person plural".

In addition to the three persons, Irish also has an impersonal form (also called the "autonomous" form), which is used in forming passives and can conveniently be translated with "one" or "someone" as the subject. Shown below are the distribution of synthetic and analytic forms in the standard language; in the dialects, other patterns may be found, although some of the most important distinctions made in certain dialects are pointed out in this article.

See Irish orthography for a discussion of how verb endings are pronounced.

Regular verbsEdit

There are two conjugation classes of regular verbs, as illustrated below. Forms in italics are not part of the standard language. The suffixes shown change to agree with the word ending in a velarised ("broad") consonant or palatalised ("slender") consonant. In the examples below, verbs ending with "broad" consonants are shown above those ending with "slender" consonants.

Note that in the "historical" tenses (the imperfect, preterite, and conditional), a consonant-initial stem undergoes lenition (and dialectally is preceded by "do"), while a vowel-initial stem is prefixed by d’. A stem beginning with f plus vowel takes both, e.g., fan "wait", d'fhan sé "he waited". The preterite impersonal, e.g., fanadh "one waited", neither undergoes lenition nor receives d’. The -f- in future and conditional stems is pronounced /h/; except in the conditional 2nd person singular and the impersonal, where it remains /f/.

1st conjugationEdit

1st conjugation Irish verbs
Mol - To praise
Tuig - To understand
Mut. Analytic Synthetic
Singular Plural Impersonal
1st 2nd 3rd m./f. 1st 2nd 3rd
Indicative Present None Molann
Tuigeann
-(e)ann Molaim
Tuigim
-(a)im Molair
Tuigir
-(a)ir Molann _
Tuigeann _
Molaimid
Tuigimid
-(a)imid Molann sibh
Tuigeann sibh
Molaid
Tuigid
-(a)id Moltar
Tuigtear
-t(e)ar
Past
Imperfect
Len. Mholadh
Thuigeadh
-(e)adh Mholainn
Thuiginn
-(a)inn Mholtá
Thuigteá
-t(e)á Mholadh _
Thuigeadh _
Mholaimis
Thuigimis
-(a)imis Mholadh sibh
Thuigeadh sibh
Mholaidís
Thuigidís
-(a)idís Moltaí
Tuigtí
-t(a)í
Past
Perfect
Len. Mhol
Thuig
_ Mholas
Thuigeas
-(e)as Mholais
Thuigis
-(a)is Mhol _
Thuig _
Mholamar
Thuigeamar
-(e)amar Mholabhar
Thuigeabhar
-(e)abhar Mholadar
Thuigeadar
-(e)adar Mholadh
Thuigeadh
-(e)adh
Future None Molfaid
Tuigfid
-f(a)id Molfad
Tuigfead
-f(e)ad Molfair
Tuigfir
-f(a)ir Molfaid _
Tuigfid _
Molfaimid
Tuigfimid
-f(a)imid Molfaid sibh
Tuigfid sibh
Molfaid
Tuigfid
-f(a)id Molfar
Tuigfear
-f(e)ar
Conditional Len. Mholfadh
Thuigfeadh
-f(e)adh Mholfan
Thuigfeann
-f(e)ann Mholfá
Thuigfeá
-f(e)á Mholfadh _
Thuigfeadh _
Molfaimis
Thuigfimis
-f(a)imis Mholfadh sibh
Thuigfeadh sibh
Mholfaidís
Thuigfidís
-f(a)idís Mholfaí
Thuigfí
-f(a)í
Imperative None Moleadh
Tuigeadh
-(e)adh Molaim
Tuigim
-(a)im Mol
Tuig
_ Moladh _
Tuigeadh _
Molaimis
Tuigimis
-(a)imis Molaigí / Molaidh
Tuigigí / Tuigidh
-(a)igí /
-(a)idh
Molaidís
Tuigidís
-(a)idís Moltar
Tuigtear
-t(e)ar
Subjunctive Present Eclip.
Go _
Mola
Tuige
-a /
-e
Go molad
Go dtuigead
-(e)ad Go molair
Go dtuigir
-(a)ir Mola _
Tuige _
Go molaimid
Go dtuigimid
-(a)imid Go mola sibh
Go dtuige sibh
Go molaid
Go dtuigid
-(a)id Go moltar
Go dtuigtear
-t(e)ar
Past Eclip.
Dá _
Moladh
Tuigeadh
-(e)adh Dá molainn
Dá dtuiginn
-(a)inn Dá moltá
Dá dtuigteá
-t(e)á Dá moladh _
Dá dtuigeadh _
Dá molaimis
Dá dtuigimis
-(a)imis Dá moladh sibh
Dá dtuigeadh sibh
Dá molaidís
Dá dtuigidís
-(a)idís Dá moltaí
Dá dtuigtí
-t(a)í
Past Participle None Molta
Tuigthe
-ta/-te

2nd conjugationEdit

Second stem verbs take the same base suffixes as first conjugation verbs, but add the infix in -(a)í- (most forms), or -(e)o-/-ó- (in the future and conditional).

Roots ending in a slender consonant undergo syncope before the addition of -í-.

2nd conjugation Irish verbs
Tosaigh - To begin
Inis - To tell
Mut. Analytic Synthetic
Singular Plural Impersonal
1st 2nd 3rd m./f. 1st 2nd 3rd
Indicative Present None Tosaíonn
Insíonn
-(a)íonn Tosaím
Insím
-(a)ím Tosaír
Insír
-(a)ír Tosaíonn _
Insíonn _
Tosaímid
Insímid
-(a)ímid Tosaíonn sibh
Insíonn sibh
Tosaíd
Insíd
-(a)íd Tosaítear
Insítear
-(a)ítear
Past
Imperfect
Len. Thosaíodh
D'insíodh
-(a)íodh Thosaínn
D'insínn
-(a)ínn Thosaíteá
D'insíteá
-(a)íteá Thosaíodh _
D'insíodh _
Thosaímis
D'insímis
-(a)ímis Thosaíodh sibh
D'insíodh sibh
Thosaídis
D'insídis
-(a)ídis Thosaítí
D'insítí
-(a)ítí
Past
Perfect
Len. Thosaigh
D'inis
_ Thosaíos
D'insíos
-(a)íos Thosaís
D'insís
-(a)ís Thosaigh _
D'inis _
Thosaíomar
D'insíomar
-(a)íomar Thosaíobhar
D'insíobhar
-(a)íobhar Thosaíodar
D'insíodar
-(a)íodar Thosaíodh
D'insíodh
-(a)íodh
Future None Tosóid
Inseóidh
-(e)óidh Tosód
Inseód
-(e)ód Tosóir
Inseóir
-(e)óir Tosóid _
Inseóidh _
Tosóimid
Inseóimid
-(e)óimid Tosóid sibh
Inseóidh sibh
Tosóid
Inseóid
-(e)óid Tosófar
Inseófar
-(e)ófar
Conditional Len. Thosódh
D'inseódh
-(e)ódh Thosóinn
D'inseóinn
-(e)óinn Thosófa
D'inseófá
-(e)ófá Thosódh _
D'inseódh _
Thosóimis
D'inseóimis
-(e)óimis Thosódh sibh
D'inseóidís sibh
Thosóidís
D'inseóidís
-(e)óidís Thosóidaí
D'inseófaí
-(e)ófaí
Imperative None Tosaíodh
Insíodh
-(a)íodh Tosaím
Insím
-(a)ím Tosaigh
Inis
_ Tosaíodh _
Insíodh _
Tosaímis
Insímis
-(a)ímis Tosaígí / Tosaídh
Insígí / Insídh
-(a)ígí /
-(a)ídh
Tosaídis
Insídís
-(a)ídís Tosaítear
Insítear
-(a)ítear
Subjunctive Present Eclip.
Go _
Go dtosaí
Go n-insí
-(a)í Go dtosaíod
Go n-insíod
-(a)íod Go dtosaír
Go n-insír
-(a)ír Go dtosaí _
Go n-insí sí
Go dtosaímid
Go n-insímid
-(a)ímid Go dtosaí sibh
Go n-insí sibh
Go dtosaíd
Go n-insíd
-(a)íd Go dtosaítear
Go n-insítear
-(a)ítear
Past Eclip.
Dá _
Dá dtosaíodh
Dá n-insíodh
-(a)íodh Dá dtosaínn
Dá n-insínn
-(a)ínn Dá dtosaíteá
Dá n-insíteá
-(a)íteá Dá dtosaí _
Dá n-insi _
Dá dtosaímis
Dá n-insímis
-(a)ímis Dá dtosaí sibh
Dá n-insíodh sibh
Dá dtosaídís
Dá n-insídís
-(a)ídís Dá dtosaítí
Dá n-insítí
-(a)ítí
Past participle None Tosaithe
Inste
-the/-te

Irregular verbsEdit

There are eleven irregular verbs in Standard Irish; individual dialects have a few more. Most of them are characterized by suppletion, that is, different roots are used to form different tenses. Analytic forms are indicated by the symbol +. The preterites of many irregular verbs take the nonpreterite forms of preverbal particles, e.g., an (interrogative particle) and (negative particle), instead of ar (pret. interrogative particle) and níor (pret. negative particle). Some verbs have different independent and dependent forms in certain tenses; the independent forms are used when no particle precedes the verb, and also after "if" (open conditional) and the direct relative particle a, while the dependent forms are used after all other particles.

Abair "to say"Edit

The d- in this verb's independent forms is not lenited, and the dependent forms are slightly archaic.

Abair conjugation
Abair, "to say" Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present Independent deir deir-
Dependent abrann ab(a)r-
Past Imperfect Independent deireadh deir-
Dependent abradh ab(a)r-
Past Perfect dúirt dúr-
Future Independent déarfaidh déar-
Dependent abróidh abró-
Conditional Independent déarfadh déar-
Dependent abródh abró-
Imperative abradh abair, abraigí; abr-
Subjunctive Present Independent go ndeire go ndeir-
Dependent go n-abra go n-abr-
Past Independent dá ndeireadh dá ndeir-
Dependent dá n-abradh dá n-abr-
Verbal Noun
Past Participle ráite

Beir "to bear"Edit

Beir conjugation
Beir, "to bear" Standard Munster
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present beireann beir-
Past Imperfect bheireadh bheir
Past Perfect rug rug- riug riug-
Future béarfaidh béar-
Conditional béarfadh béar-
Imperative beireadh beir-
Subjunctive Present go mbeire go mbeir-
Past dá mbeireadh dá mbeir-
Verbal Noun breith
Past Participle beirthe

"to be"Edit

If a noun phrase is in the predicate, then forms of the particle "is" are used rather than anything below.

conjugation
Bí, "to be" Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present Independent tá(nn) taoi (2pS), táthaoi (2pP), tádar (3pP); tái-
Dependent fuil fuil-
Negative níl níl-
Present Habitual bíonn bí-
Past Imperfect bhíodh bhí-
Past Perfect Independent bhí bhío-
Dependent raibh rabh-
Future beidh be-
Conditional bheadh bhei-
Imperative bíodh bí, bígí; bí-
Subjunctive Present go raibh go rabh-
Past dá mbeadh dá mbei-
Verbal Noun bheith
Past Participle (none)

Clois / Cluin "to hear"Edit

Clois is used in southern and south-central Irish (Munster, Connemara, Aran Islands etc.), whereas cluin is used in northern and north-central varieties (Mayo, Ulster).

Clois/ Cluin conjugation
Clois/ Cluin "to hear" Southern Irish Northern Irish
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present cloiseann clois- cluineann cluin-
Past Imperfect chloiseadh chlois- chluineadh chluin-
Past Perfect chuala chual- chuala chual-
Future cloisfidh clois- cluinfidh cluin-
Conditional chloisfeadh chlois- chluinfeadh chluin-
Imperative cloiseadh clois, cloisigí; clois- cluineadh cluin, cluinigí; cluin-
Subjunctive Present go gcloise go gclois- go gcluine go gcluin-
Past dá gcloiseann dá gclois- dá gcluineadh dá gcluin-
Verbal Noun cloisteáil cluinstin
Past Participle cloiste cluinte

Déan "to do, to make"Edit

Déan conjugation
Déan, "to do, to make" Standard Munster Ulster, Aran (Connacht)
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present Independent ghní(onn) ghní- ghní(onn) ghní-
Dependent déanann déan- deineann dein-
Past Imperfect Independent (gh)níodh ghní- ghníodh ghní-
Dependent dhéanadh dhéan- dhein dhein-
Past Perfect Independent rinne rinn- dheineadh dhein- rinn rinn-
Dependent dearna dearn- dearn dearn-
Future Independent déanfaidh déan-
Dependent
Conditional Independent dhéanfadh dhéan-
Dependent
Imperative déanadh déan, déanaigí; déan- deineadh dein, deinigí; dein-
Subjunctive Present go ndéana go ndéan- go ndeina go ndein-
Past dá ndéanadh dá ndéan- dá ndeineadh dá ndein-
Verbal Noun déanamh
Past Participle déanta

Faigh "to find, to get"Edit

The f- in forms of this verb is eclipsed rather than lenited after .

Faigh conjugation
Faigh, "to get" Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present Independent gheiheann gheibh-
Dependent faigheann faigh-
Past Imperfect Independent gheibheadh gheibh-
Dependent d'fhaigheadh d'faigh-
Past Perfect fuair fuair-
Future Independent gheobhaidh gheobh-
Dependent faighidh faigh-
Conditional Independent gheobhadh gheobh-
Dependent faigheadh faigh-
Imperative faigheadh faigh, faighigí; faigh-
Subjunctive Present go bhfaighe go bhfaigh-
Past dá bhfaigeadh dá bhfaigh-
Verbal Noun fáil
Past Participle faighte

Feic "to see"Edit

Feic conjugation
Feic, "to see" Standard Munster Ulster
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present Independent feiceann feic- c(h)íonn c(h)í- tchíonn tchí-
Dependent feiceann feic- feiceann feic-
Past Imperfect Independent d'fheiceadh fheic c(h)íodh c(h)í- tíodh tchí-
Dependent fheiceadh fheic-
Past Perfect Independent chonaic chonaic- chnaic chnaic- thain(a)ic thainic-
Dependent faca fac- feaca(igh) feaca- faca fac-
Future Independent feicfidh feic- c(h)ífidh c(h)í- tchífidh tchí-
Dependent gcífidh gcí-
Conditional Independent d'fheicfeadh d'fheic- c(h)ífeadh c(h)í tchífeadh tchí-
Dependent fheicfeadh fheic- gcífeadh gcí-
Imperative feiceadh feic, feicigí; feic-
Subjunctive Present go bhfeice go bhfeic-
Past dá bhfeiceadh dá bhfeic-
Verbal Noun feiceáil feiscint
Past Participle feicthe

Ith "to eat"Edit

Ith conjugation
Ith, "to eat" Standard Cape Clear (Munster)
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present itheann ith-
Past Imperfect d'itheadh d'ith-
Past Perfect d'ith d'ith- duaidh dua-
Future íosfaidh íosfai-
Conditional Independent d'íosfadh díos-
Dependent íosfadh íos-
Imperative itheadh ith, ithigí; ith-
Subjunctive Present go n-ithe go n-ith-
Past dá n-itheadh dá n-ith-
Verbal Noun ithe
Past Participle ite

Tabhair, "to give, to bring, (to be named)"Edit

Tabhair conjugation
Tabhair, "to give, to bring" Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present General tug tug-
Independent bheir bheir-
Dependent tabhrann tabh(a)r-
Past Imperfect General thugainn thug-
Independent bheirinn bheir-
Dependent tabhrainn tabh(a)r-
Past Perfect thug thug-
Future General tabharfaidh tabhar-
Independent bhéaraid bhéar-
Dependent tiubhraid tiubhr-
Conditional General thabharfadh thabhar-
Independent bhéarfadh bhéar-
Dependent tiubhradh tiubhr-
Imperative tugadh tabhair, tugaigí; tug-
Subjunctive Present go dtuga go dtug-
Past dá dtugdh dá dtug-
Verbal Noun tabhairt
Past Participle tugtha

The meaning "to be named" is often found in writings and can therefore be considered as strange for learners. When meaning "to be named" the verbform is usually followed by the preposition "ar", which is also inflected due to the person it is connected with. e.g.:

  • Bhí Seán, mar a thugtaí air, an-shásta. "Seán, as he was (usually) called, was very happy."
  • Tá Seán ag tabhairt an úill dom. "Seán is giving me the apple."

Tar, "to come"Edit

Tar conjugation
Tar, "to come" Standard Munster (some) Connacht (some) Ulster
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present tagann (tig le) tag- tigeann tig- teagann teag- tig tig-
Past Imperfect thagadh thag-
Past Perfect tháinig tháng-
Future tiocfaidh tioc-
Conditional thiocfadh thioc-
Imperative tagadh tar, tagaigí; tag- tagadh tair, tagaigí; tag- tagadh teara, tagaigí; tag- tagadh gabh, tagaigí; tag-
Subjunctive Present go dtag go dtag- go dtí go dtí- go dtí go dtí-
Past dá dtagadh dá dtag-
Verbal Noun teacht
Past Participle tagtha

Téigh, "to go"Edit

Téigh conjugation
Téigh, "to go" Standard Connemara (Connacht) Munster Ulster
Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic Analytic Synthetic
Indicative Present téann téi-
Past Imperfect théadh théi-
Past Perfect Independent chuaigh chu-
Dependent deachaigh deach-
Future rachaidh (raghfaidh) rach- (raghf-) gabhfaidh gabhf- raghaidh ragh-
Conditional rachadh (raghfadh) rach- (raghf-) ghabhfadh ghabhf- raghadh ragh-
Imperative téadh téi- téadh teire/ gabh; té- téadh teir, teiridh; té- téadh téithear; gabh-/té-
Subjunctive Present go dté go dté-
Past dá dtéadh dá dté-
Verbal Noun dul goil goil
Past Participle dulta goite goite

Verbal nounsEdit

Formation of the verbal nounEdit

Irish has no infinitive and uses instead the verbal noun. The verbal noun can be formed using different strategies (mostly suffixes). The most common of these are:

  • Suffix -adh, e.g., bog "soften" : bogadh
  • Suffix -áil, e.g., fág "leave" : fágáil
  • Suffix , e.g., ardaigh "lift" : ardú
  • Suffix -amh, e.g., caith "spend" : caitheamh
  • Suffix -t, e.g., cosain "defend" : cosaint
  • Suffix -úint, e.g., lean "follow" : leanúint
  • Slender consonant is made broad, e.g., coisc "prevent" : cosc
  • Suffix -ach, e.g., ceannaigh "buy" : ceannach
  • No change, e.g., ól "drink" : ól
  • Suffix -cht, e.g., dúisigh "awake" : dúiseacht
  • Suffix -e, e.g., rinc "dance" : rince

Usage of the verbal nounEdit

The verbal noun is used as the infinitive would be used in English.

D'iarr sé orm imeacht. "He asked me to go."
B'fhearr liom fanacht. "I would rather stay."

A progressive can be expressed with the preposition ag and is equivalent to the English present participle.

Tá Seán ag obair. "Seán is working."
Bhí Máire ag caint. "Máire was speaking."

A perfect tense can be formed with either of the compound prepositions tar éis or i ndiaidh and the verbal noun.

Tá sí tar éis baint an fhéir. "She has (just) mowed the grass." (cf. Hiberno-English "She is after cutting the grass.")
Bhí sé i ndiaidh ní na gcupán. "He had (just) washed the cups." (cf. Hiberno-English "He was after washing the cups.")

Preverbal particlesEdit

Irish uses a number of preverbal particles to modify the meaning of a sentence. In a positive statement, no particle is used and the verb comes first (except in Munster Irish where "Do" is placed before verbs in the past, habitual past and conditional, leniting the verb that follows). This is still seen in the Standard Language in said tenses, prefixed to verbs beginning with vowels, e.g., D'ól mé (D'ólas in Munster Irish) meaning "I drank":

  • Tuigeann Seán Gaeilge. "Seán understands Irish."
  • Thuig Seán Gaeilge. "Seán understood Irish."
  • Thuigfeadh Seán Gaeilge. "Seán would understand Irish."

Negative particlesEdit

To negate a statement, the particle is used, which causes lenition; a d’ before a vowel or lenited f is omitted:

  • thuigeann Seán Gaeilge. "Seán doesn't understand Irish."
  • thuigfeadh Seán Gaeilge. "Seán wouldn't understand Irish."
  • ólfadh Séamas an bainne. "Séamas would not drink the milk." (cf. D'ólfadh Séamas an bainne. "Séamas would drink the milk.")
  • fhanfadh Úna liom. "Úna would not wait for me." (cf. D'fhanfadh Úna liom. "Úna would wait for me.")

In the preterite, the particle níor is used . There is lenition but no d’.

  • Níor thuig Seán Gaeilge. "Seán didn't understand Irish."
  • Níor ól Séamas an bainne. "Séamas didn't drink the milk." (cf. D'ól Séamas an bainne. "Séamas drank the milk.")
  • Níor fhan Úna liom. "Úna didn't wait for me." (cf. D'fhan Úna liom. "Úna waited for me.")

(In Ulster, the negative particles cha(n), pret. char are also used)

Interrogative particlesEdit

To pose a simple yes/no question, the particle an is used, which causes eclipsis (no eclipsis of vowels, because an already ends with n). In the preterite ar (+ lenition) is used. The prefix d’ is omitted:

  • An dtuigeann Seán Gaeilge? "Does Seán understand Irish?"
  • An dtuigfeadh Seán Gaeilge? "Would Seán understand Irish?"
  • An ólann Séamas bainne? "Does Séamas drink milk?"
  • An bhfanfadh Úna liom? "Would Úna wait for me?"
  • Ar thuig Seán Gaeilge? "Did Seán understand Irish?"
  • Ar ól Séamas an bainne? "Did Séamas drink the milk?"
  • Ar fhan Úna liom? "Did Úna wait for me?"

These particles are also used to introduce an indirect question:

  • Níl a fhios agam an dtuigeann Seán Gaeilge. "I don't know if Seán understands Irish."
  • Ní mé ar ól Séamas an bainne. "I wonder if Séamas drank the milk."

Negative interrogative particlesEdit

To pose a negative yes/no question, the particle nach is used, which causes eclipsis (in preterite: nár + lenition):

  • Nach dtuigeann Seán Gaeilge? "Doesn't Seán understand Irish?"
  • Nach dtuigfeadh Seán Gaeilge? "Wouldn't Seán understand Irish?"
  • Nach n-ólfadh Séamas an bainne? "Wouldn't Séamas drink the milk?"
  • Nach bhfanfadh Úna liom? "Wouldn't Úna wait for me?"
  • Nár thuig Seán Gaeilge? "Didn't Seán understand Irish?"
  • Nár ól Séamas an bainne? "Didn't Séamas drink the milk?"
  • Nár fhan Úna liom? "Didn't Úna wait for me?"

(In Munster is used instead of nach.)

Wh-interrogative particlesEdit

To pose a wh-question, one of the interrogative particles , cad a/céard a, cathain a, cé a, conas a etc. is used.

  • gcuirfidh tú an litir? "Where will you put the letter?"
  • Cad/Céard a cheapfaidh na comharsana? "What will the neighbors think?"
  • Cathain a dhíolfaidh sibh bhur dteach? "When will you sell your house?"
  • Cé a sheasfaidh i m'aice? "Who will stand next to me?"
  • Conas a ghlanfaidh tú an gúna? "How will you clean the dress?"

SubjunctiveEdit

The subjunctive covers the idea of wishing something and so appears in some famous Irish proverbs and blessings. It is considered an old-fashioned tense for daily speech (except in set phrases) but still appears often in print.

The subjunctive is normally formed from "Go" (which triggers eclipsis) plus the subjunctive form of the verb, plus the subject, plus the thing being wished for. For instance, the subjunctive form of "teigh" (go) is "té":

  • Go dté tú slán. -- May you be well.

(lit: may you go well)

Again, the subjunctive of "tabhair" (give) is "tuga":

  • Go dtuga Dia ciall duit. -- May God give you sense.

In the third example, the wish is also a curse, like this one from Tory Island in Donegal:

  • Go ndéana an Diabhal toirneach de d'anam in Ifreann. -- May the Devil make thunder of your soul in Hell.

The subjunctive is generally formed by taking the present indicative tense of the verb and adding on the appropriate subjunctive ending depending on broad or slender, and first or second conjugation. For example, the present tense first person singular of bog (to move) is bog mé and its subjunctive in the same person is boga mé:

1st Conjugation:

mol (to praise) mola mé mola tú mola sé/sí molaimid mola sibh mola siad
bris (to break) brise mé brise tú brise sé/sí brisimid brise sibh brise siad

2nd Conjugation:

beannaigh (to bless) beannaí mé beannaí tú beannaí sé/sí beannaímid beannaí sibh beannaí siad
bailigh (to collect) bailí mé bailí tú bailí sé/sí bailímid bailí sibh bailí siad

E.g., "go mbeannaí Dia thú"—May God bless you.

There is also some irregularity in certain verbs in the subjunctive. The verb (to be) is the most irregular verb in Irish (as in most Indo-European languages):

Present Indicative tá mé/táim tá tú tá sé/sí tá muid/táimid tá sibh tá siad
Present Subjunctive raibh mé raibh tú raibh sé/sí rabhaimid raibh sibh raibh siad

The Irish phrase for "thank you"—go raibh maith agat—uses the subjunctive of "bí" and literally means "may there be good at-you".

Some verbs do not follow the conjugation of the subjunctive exactly as above. The irregularities apply to verbs whose stem ends already in a stressed vowel, and the rules of Irish orthography and pronunciation mean that it cannot take another:

Present Indicative Present Subjunctive
téigh (to go) téann tú té tú
sáigh (to stab) sánn tú sá tú
luigh (to mention; cite) luíonn tú luí tú
*feoigh (to decay; wither) feonn tú feo tú
  • Although, feoigh does not have a fáda (accent), the 'o' in this position is stressed (pronounced as though it is ó) and so the subjunctive is irregular.

It is important to note that when the subjunctive is used in English, it may not be used in Irish, and another tense might be used instead:

  • If I were (past subjunctive) you, I would study for the exam tomorrow. -- Dá mba (past/conditional of the copula) mise tusa, dhéanfainn (conditional) staidéar ar don scrúdú amárach.
  • I wish *(that) you were (past sub.) here. -- Is mian liom go raibh (present sub.) tú anseo.
  • It is important that he choose (present sub.) the right way—Tá sé tábhachtach go roghnaíonn (present indicative) sé ar an mbealach ceart.
  • **When you're older (present ind.), you'll understand—Nuair a bheidh (future ind.) tú níos sine, beidh tú a thuiscint.
  • *Note that in English, the relative pronoun that can be omitted, but in Irish, the corresponding go must be retained.
  • **Note that in English, the present tense is often used to refer to a future state, but in Irish, there is less freedom with tenses (time is more strictly bound to the appropriate tense, present for present, past for past, future for future). In this particular example, you will be older, and it is then that you will understand.