Irish/Unit 2/Lesson 1

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Unit One: 1 2 3 4

Unit Two: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Unit Three: Lesson Index

Spelling and Pronunciation - Grammar

More Irish language resources can be found at
Wikiversity's Department of Irish Studies

Unit 2 Lesson 1 — Cad is ainm duit?[edit | edit source]

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

Seán: Dia dhuit! Is mise Seán. Cad is ainm duit?
Siobhán: Dia's Muire dhuit. Is mise Siobhán. Conas a litrítear Seán?
Seán: Litrítear S-e-a-fada-n. Conas atá tú?
Siobhán: Go maith, agus tusa?
Seán: Iontach, go raibh maith agat.
Siobhán: Go maith! Slán leat, a Sheáin
Seán: Go dtí amárach.

Hello![edit | edit source]

Béarla (English) Gaeilge (Irish)
Hello Dia duit (deea ditch)
Good morning Lá breá duit!/ Maidin mhaith!
Good night! Oíche mhaith!
See you tomorrow!/ Until tomorrow Go dtí amárach!
Goodbye Slán
  • Dia duit means literally God be with you, the correct response is Dia is Muire duit (God and Mary be with you). The plural is Dia daoibh and Dia is Muire daoibh.
  • Dia daoibh, a rang.
    Good morning, class!
  • Lá breá, a Mháire
    Good morning, Mary.
  • Slán go fóill!
    Bye, see you soon!
More Examples

Dia Duit/Dia Dhuit = Hello to you [singular].

Dia Daoibh/Dia Dhaoibh = Hello to you [plural]

Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? (Galway) Conas atá cúrsaí? (Kerry) Cad é mar atá tú? (Donegal) Conas atá tú? (Caighdeán Oifigiúl) = How are you?

Táim go maith/ceart go leor/go dona/go hainnis/go huafásach/ar fheabhas = I'm good/alright/bad/terrible/awful/excellent

Is maith liom é sin a chloisteáil. = That's good to hear

Aon scéal? = Any news?

Response for no news is dea scéal.

Diabhra Maitheasa (Ciarraí) = Dia dhuit = Greetings.

Fáilte agus féile romhat = "Welcomes" and "Hospitalities" be with you

What's your name?[edit | edit source]

  • Cad is ainm duit?

Asking someone's name in Irish is different from English, the direct translation would be something like 'What name is on you?' 'Cad is ainm duit?'

The reply can be either:

  • (Person's name) is ainm dom, e.g. Seán is ainm dom

This repeats the phrasing of the question and could be translated directly as Seán is the name on me. Another possible reply, as we saw in the dialogue is

  • Is mise (Person's name), e.g. Is mise Siobhán

This literally means I am Siobhán.

Duit - To You[edit | edit source]

'Duit' is the compound form of 'do' (to) and 'tú' (you). In Irish, prepositions (for example, to, with, on, etc) are usually combined with the personal pronoun (me, you, they, etc) to form distinct words. The full table for 'do' is below. You'll notice these are the same forms used in the greeting Dia dhuit/dhaoibh.

Béarla Gaeilge
to me dom
to you duit
to him
to her di
to us dúinn
to you (plural) daoibh
to them dóibh

  • Cad is ainm duit? [Cahd is ahn-m ditch]
    What's your name?
  • Peadar agus Robárd is ainm dóibh.
    Their names are Peter and Robert.
  • Cad is ainm dó?
    What's his name?
  • Cad is ainm dóibh?
    What are their names?

How are you?[edit | edit source]

Béarla Gaeilge
How are you? Conas atá tú? [cun-nus uh-tah too]
An bhfuil tú go maith?
Great! Iontach
Very well An-mhaith
Fine Go maith [Go mah]
Bad Go dona [Go do-nuh]
Really bad Uafásach
And you? Agus tú féin?
Thank you Go raibh maith agat

Go raibh maith agat literally translates as May good be upon you.

  • Robárd: Dia dhuit, a Róisín. Conas atá tú?
    Hello, Roisín. How are you?
  • Roisín: Go hiontach, go raibh maith agat. Agus tusa, a Robáird?
    Very well, thanks. And you, Robert?
  • Robárd: Go maith freisin. Slán leat!
    I'm good too. See you later!
  • When talking to someone directly, an 'a' is put before the name and the name is changed to the vocative case. This will be dealt with in a later lesson.
  • When two vowels come together, a 'h' is usually put before the second vowel. In this example, a 'h' was put between 'go' and 'iontach'

How do you spell that?[edit | edit source]

Béarla Gaeilge
How is it spelled? Conas a litrítear é?
It is spelled... Litrítear...
B as in Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin) B mar Baile Átha Cliath
  • Robárd: Dia duit. Robárd is ainm dom. Cad is ainm duit?
    Good day. My name is Robert. What's your name?
  • Brian: Dia is Muire duit. Brian is ainm dom. Conas a litrítear Robárd?
    Hello. My name is Brian. How do you spell Robert?
  • Robárd: Litrítear é mar seo, R (mar Rothar); O (mar Oráiste); B (mar Baile Átha Cliath); A fada (mar Árainn); R (mar Rothar); D (mar Duine).
    It's spelt R (as in Rothar (Bike)); O (as in Oráiste (Orange)); B (as in Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)); A fada (as in Árainn (Aran, islands off the west coast of Ireland)); R (as in Rothar); D (as in Duine (person)).
  • Brian: Go raibh míle maith agat. Slán, a Robáird!
    Thanks a lot. Goodbye, Robert.
Irish only has one accent mark, resembling the French acute accent, called the síneadh fada (long mark) or simply fada.

Summary[edit | edit source]

In this lesson, you have learned

  • How to greet people (Dia dhuit; Conas atá tú; Slán).
  • How to introduce yourself (Roisín is ainm dom).
  • How to introduce others (Robárd is ainm dó).
  • How to say how you are (Go hiontach; go dona; go maith).
  • How to spell your name (Litrítear P-E-T-E-R).
  • How to ask others about any of the above (Cad is ainm duit?; An bhfuil tú go maith; Conas a litrítear é?).


Irish now has one diacritic, the síneadh fada. There was a second in use in Old Irish - the sí buailte or ponc séimhithe, which is a dot on top of consonants. For example, this diacritic, when represented as a dot on top of the letter b converts the b sound to a v sound. The sí buailte was replaced in Modern Irish with the use of a h immediately after the affected character, thusly the b with the dot on top is now written as bh, etc. The buailte was pronounced bool-che.