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Present continuous in Irish?

I have read all Tips and Notes in Verbs: Present 1, but I still can't manage how to conjugate a verb into present continuous. I already saw some sentences with the particle 'ag' plus a verb form after it, but I can't understand how to conjugate it correctly. I searched in Google about it, but I couldn't find anything, so that's why I'm writing here.

August 31, 2014



Present continuous is formed with tá + pronoun + verbal noun. That's it, really. Tá mé ag ithe, tá tú ag ithe, etc. For negative, just replace tá with níl, and with an bhfuil for questions.


Finding the verbal noun (Ainm Briathartha) is fairly irregular, and the noun after that is in the Tuiseal Ginideach. It's a complicated process for a beginner, so I'll divide it up into steps to make it easier.

1) Lets take the sentence "I am eating my dinner". "I am" would be translated as "tá mé", the verb for eat is "ith" and the word for dinner is "dinnéar".

2) Now we need the to find the verbal noun of the verb "to eat".

  • Go to an online dictionary like this and type in the name of the verb you're looking for. Type in "ith" in this case into the search bar.

  • Click on the grammar tab and look for the Verbal Noun which is ithe in this case.

3) Now we need to find the Tuiseal Ginideach of dinnéar.

  • Type "dinnéar" into the search box of the same site and click on the grammar tab and look for the genitive case in the singular, dinnéir in this case.

4) Now we can put the sentence together:

Tá mé ag ithe mo dhinnéir.

Notice how the word mo didn't affect the genitive much, but you still add the seimhiú (the h).

Now for another example:

1) "We are writing a letter". We are ="Tá muid", to write ="scríobh" and letter = "litir". (Táimid and Tá muid mean the exact same thing, just different dialects)

2) Type "scríobh" into the dictionary and click on grammar. The verbal noun is scríobh.

3) Type "litir" into the dictionary and click on grammar. The tuiseal ginideach is litreach.(It's irregular).

4) Tá muid ag scríobh litreach, We are writing a letter.

If there is a preposition e.g. ar, Tá mé ag féachaint ar an gcrann, I am looking at the tree, then you can ignore the tuiseal ginideach and just add the changes that accompany the preposition.

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