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I need help in Irish with the lenitions and possesives - could anyone please explain them to me?

Hi everyone :) Well, as the title says: I don't want to figure out the meaning of the context everytime and some of the grammar is a bit confusing to me... Any Irish nerds here who might want to help me? :*

January 9, 2015



Mo (my) and do (your, singular) trigger lenition. A (his) triggers lenition too, but a (her) does not.

Ár (our), bhur (your, plural) and a (their) trigger eclipsis.


Every consonant except for l, n and r can take a séimhiú, which is a h after the first letter of the word.

The consonants b, c, d, f, g, p and t can take an úrú which is a letter placed before the first letter of the word, and kinda cancels out the first letter.

The úruithe (úrús) are:

B - mB

C - gC

D - nD

F - bhF

G - nG

P - bP

T - dT

So a word after Mo (my), Do (your) and A (his) takes a séimhiú. If the next word begins with a vowel, or an "f" followed by a vowel, then it doesn't take a séimhiú, but an apostrophe is added except for "a (his)". e.g.

Mo charr, do d'fhuinneog, and a theach.

M'athair, d'úll and a ainm.

When a word comes after a (her), then no séimhiú is added and a "h" is added before the word if it begins with a vowel.

a carr, a hathair.

For a word after ár (our), bhur (yer) and a (their), an úrú is added before the first letter if it is a consonant and an "n-" is added if it is a vowel. e.g.

Ár nAthair (or ár n-athair), bhur gcarr and a bhfuinneog.

For words beginning with l, n or r there won't be a difference between his, her and their. e.g. the sentence "a rothar" means his bike, her bike and their bike.

Wikipedia covers this very well.


Thanks! Just wrote everything down! :)


Ná habair é. You're welcome.


Very comprehensive thanks.

How do you mark up text by the way? [b] bold [/b] doesn't seem to work.


You use one asterisk on either side of the word/phrase for italics, two for bold.


GRMA now i can relax

[deactivated user]

    Oh I would be grateful if someone enlightened me on those phenomena too! I am following this discussion! :D


    @EpicAwe Alright, thank you... I really have syntax problems with longer sentences... I always turn them upside down, so embarassing....

    @DespoinaTi Oh I understand you, dear, I really do... I mean, al those letters in front of words you already learned and then you think "What? Why is that pronounced differently now?" Beautiful language but really strange grammar...


    Just remember that the verb goes first, then the subject and lastly the object. VSO


    Ahhh, alright, thanks very much! :)

    [deactivated user]

      I know.. And trying to remember all those grammar rules plus the exceptions to each rule is killing me :P


      That's why I made myself a little book with all the Gaelic rules - I really have to write that down to keep it in my head. And I can look it up then, if I need to :)


      I'm struggling with the Gaelic, also. Here's a link that might help. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_grammar


      Wow, that's helpful, thanks to you, too! :)

      • 2321

      As a general rule, if the possessor is singular, then you use lenition. If it's plural, then you use eclipsis. The exception to this is her, which does neither.

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