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  5. Firinscneach nó Baininscneach…


Firinscneach nó Baininscneach ? Masculine or Feminine?

Hello fellow Irish learners,

I know that many people (myself included) have problems determining if a word in Irish is Masculine or Feminine . So i was very happy when my teacher, (who is a native Irish speaker) handed us notes telling us on how we can determine if a word is masculine or feminine.

Here they are..:

But wait, first, 'leathan' vowels equal are "a,o,u" and 'caol' vowels are "i,e"

words are Firinscneach/ Masculine when..:

  • the word finishes on a 'Consan leathan' (which means if it finishes with a 'leathan' vowel before it's last consonant. E.g. on ,an, un ) an example of consan leathan is 'Uaigneas'

  • a word finishes with 'Eoir, óir, éir, úir' ,an Example of this rule is 'Múinteoir' and 'dochtúir'

(Note, most of these endings come in words relating to occupations/jobs.)

  • a word finishes with 'ín' ,an example is 'cailín'

  • a word finishes on a vowel and is a concrete noun! ,an example is 'file'

  • a word finishes on '(e)acht' and has one syllable ,an example is 'leacht'

A word is Baininscneach/Feminine when... :

  • a word finishes on a 'Consan Caol' (which means it finishes with a 'caol' vowel before its final consonant, E.g. in,) ,an example is 'fuil'

  • a word finishes with 'lann' ,an example is 'pictiúrlann' or 'dánlann'

  • a word finishes with '(e)acht' and has two syllables! ,an example is cumhacht'

  • a word finishes with '(a)íocht' ,an example is 'filíocht'

  • a word finishes with 'eog' or 'óg' ,an example is 'babóg'

  • a word finishes on a vowel and is Abstract! ,an example is 'oíche'

NOTE: All languages are automatically baininscneach/feminine except 'Béarla' (english) which is masculine.

Fell free to ask any questions, i will do my best to answer.

May 30, 2015



Your teacher’s notes sound similar to the Acme™ declension guesser. Note that there are exceptions to these guidelines, e.g. aintín is feminine despite ending with -ín ; gnólacht is masculine despite having two syllables and ending with -acht.


he may have got them from that website, i'm not sure.


Is "ubh" one of those exceptions? I was wondering why we never saw *"an t-ubh", and apparently it's second declension feminine. So is it exceptional, or am I not understanding the rules?


yes you are correct it's feminine/Baininscneach


An bhean is feminine and it makes sense but it's an exception...

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