When to use á (possessive adjective) instead of a?
How do you recognise when to use á (possessive adjective) instead of a , i had a read of it on teanglann says when its the object of the verbal noun (is it when the á is the object of the verbal noun)
The object of the progressive (ag + verbal noun) is normally in the genitive, but pronouns can't be in the genitive. So when the object of the progressive is a pronoun, the structure changes. If the pronoun is mé or tú, you say:
Bhí sé do mo ghortú - "He was injuring me" - not bhí sé ag gortú mé
Bhí sé do do ghortú - "He was injuring you" - not bhí sé ag gortú tú
Bhí sé dár ngortú - "He was injuring us" - not bhí sé ag gortú muid
Bhí sé do bhur ngortú - "He was injuring you" - not bhí sé ag gortú sibh
When the pronoun is é or í or iad, instead of saying do a, you use á.
This á = do + a, so it is used when a third-person pronoun is the object of a verbal noun, e.g. Táim á cloisteáil (“I’m hearing her”), Beidh tú á fheiceáil (“You’ll be seeing him”), Bhí siad á dtabhairt (either “They were bringing them” in the active voice or “They were being brought” in the passive voice).
á in this case is a contraction of do a that appears before verbal nouns to indicate a pronomial object, the mutation following the á indicates the gender/plurality of the possessive. So, "I am hitting him" would be tá mé á bhualadh; tá mé á bualadh is 'I am hitting her' and tá mé á mbualadh is 'I am hitting them'. Literally, "I am at his/her/their hitting". Otherwise, do a becomes dá. So, basically, it becomes á solely before the verbal noun.