Irish/Commonly Confused Words

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General Information[edit]

Irish

  1. History
  2. Alphabet
  3. Spelling
  4. Pronunciation
  5. Grammatical Changes
  6. Basic Sentence Structure
  7. The Article
  8. Nouns
  9. Verbs
  10. Commonly Confused Words
  11. Compound Prepositions
  12. Prefixes
  13. Dictionaries
  14. Other Resources
  15. Common phrases
  16. Cognates
  17. Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words[edit]

Here is a guide to words that are commonly confused by beginning students of the Irish language. You may find it helpful to print this list out and keep it handy while reading or translating passages in Irish.



a is used before a noun (e.g., a name) to address someone or something.

  A Sheáin...        Seán,...
  A chara...         (Dear) Friend,...
  Féach, a Mhamaí!   Look, Ma!


a is also used before a noun to indicate possession.

  a chara   his friend
  a cara    her friend
  a gcara   their friend


a is also used before a number when counting.

  a haon, a dó, a trí...   one, two, three...


a is also used before a verbal noun when the direct object precedes it.

  Tá mé sásta míle a shiúl.   I am willing to walk a mile.


a is also used before a verb in a relative clause.

  Feicim an fear a bhí sásta.                 I see the man who was satisfied.
  Feicim an bord a bhfuil an leabhar air.   I see the table which the book is on.



an can mean "the".

  Feicim an sagart.   I see the priest.


an is also used to form a question.

  An bhfuil sí anseo?   Is she here?


an- is a prefix meaning "very", "excellent", or "great".

  Tá Máirtin an-mhór.       Máirtin is very big.
  Tá an-charr ag Máirtin.   Máirtin has an excellent car.



ann can mean "there" or "in it", or simply to complete a sentence with the verb .

  Tá teach ann.       There is a house (there).
  Tá sé seomra ann.   There are six rooms in it.


ann can also mean "able".

  Tá an crann in ann fás.   The tree is able to grow.



aon can mean "one" or "any".

  Tá aon charr amháin ag Cáit.     Cáit has one car.
  Níl aon charr ag Cáit.   Cáit hasn't any car.



cathaoir means "chair".
cathair means "city".
ceathair means "four".


ceann means "head", "roof", "end" or "one".
céanna means "same".
cheana means "already" or "previously".


(dhá) is used in the conditional mood to mean "if".

  Dá mbeadh Máirtín anseo...   If Máirtín were here...


(dhá) can also mean "to/for his/her/its/their".

  Thug sé dá cháirde iad.   He gave them to his friends.
  Thug sé dá cáirde iad.    He gave them to her friends.
  Thug sé dá gcáirde iad.   He gave them to their friends.


dhá can also mean "two", when followed by a noun.

  dhá chapall   two horses


do can mean "your".

  do chóta   your coat


do is also used to "to" or "for".

  Tá mé ag scríobh litir do Cháit.   I am writing a letter for Cáit.


can also mean "to/for him/it".

  Tabhair an leitir seo dó.   Give this letter to him.


can also mean "two" (without a noun, e.g., when counting).

  a haon, a dó, a trí...   one, two, three...


also means "burning".


fear means "man".
féar means "grass".
fearr means "better".


fuair means "got".
fuar means "cold".


is means "is", "am", "are".

  Is mé an dochtúr.   I am the doctor.


is can also be a contraction for agus("and").


muinteoir means "teacher".
muintir means "people".


means "or".
means "nor", "neither".
na is the article in the plural and feminine singular genitive.


post means "job" or "post".
pósta means "married".


can mean he, it, or six.


  Tá sé láidir.           He is strong.
  Tá sé chapall anseo.   There are six horses here.



siúl means "walk".
súil means "eye".