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Aonad 39 Unit 39


NOTE: Click the sound file above to hear the Lesson.

Cúpla Focal

This Unit builds on last week’s introduction to feminine nouns and allows us to look at how feminine nouns, especially, can change in the genitive case.

Put simply, the genitive case applies in the following instances:

  1. To show “possession”

The word ‘muintir’ means people, the word ‘tír’ means country, and the phrase ‘people of the country’ (the people belonging to/possessed by the country, if you like) is

muintir na tíre

You will see the word ‘na’ in all of our examples using feminine nouns and you will see how the noun changes.


teas/grian – heat/sun

>teas na gréine

ainm/scoil - name/scoil

>ainm na scoile

imeall/cathair – outskirts/city

>imeall na cathrach

tús/seachtain – beginning/week

>tús na seachtaine


  1. Nous are also in the genitive case when they follow the verbal noun (-ing words, doing, eating, speaking..)

ag glanadh/fuinneog – cleaning/window

>ag glanadh na fuinneoige

ag eagrú/leabharlann – organising/library

>ag eagrú na leabharlainne

ag pleanáil/ócáid – planning/occasion

>ag pleanáil na hócáide

ag críochnú/obair – finishing/work

>ag críochnú na hoibre


  1. There are numerous other instances when the noun (in these examples, the feminine noun) is in the genitive case:


Tá mé ag dul chun na Fraince

I am going to France

Tá mé ag dul chun na Fraince


Chaith sí coicís ag taisteal na tíre

She spent a fortnight travelling (around) the country

Chaith sí coicís ag taisteal na tíre


Bhí sé as láthair le linn na seachtaine

He was absent during the week

Bhí sé as láthair le linn na seachtaine


Ní bhíonn sé i gcónaí ag insint na fírinne

He doesn’t always tell the truth

Ní bhíonn sé i gcónaí ag insint na fírinne


Níl tú ag freagairt na ceiste

You’re not answering the question

Níl tú ag freagairt na ceiste


  1. Other examples of the genitive that you might hear in spoken Irish include

ar fud na hÉireann – throughout Ireland

ar son na cúise – for the (good) cause

i rith na hoíche – during the night

le linn na bliana – during the year

os comhair na cúirte – before the court

trasna na sráide – across the road

i lár na páirce – in the middle of the pitch/field

réamhfhaisnéis na haimsire – the weather forecast


Listen for and/or underline the examples of feminine nouns in the genitive as used in the following short passage:

Dhúisigh fuaim na gaoithe mé i lár na hoiche.  Tháinig stoirm trasna na farraige agus bhí a lán damáiste déanta ar fud na dúiche. Le teacht na maidine, chiúnaigh rudaí.


And use a dictionary to fill in the gaps below:

An bhróg bun na bróige

An choill lár na _____________

An chistin trealamh na _____________

An bhábóg teach na _____________

An mhaidin tús na _____________

An long captaen na _____________

An chuach glaoch na _____________

An mhainistir scoil na _____________

An ghealach solas na _____________


That gives you a useful extension exercise with dictionary practice.


Go dtí an chéad Aonad eile, slán go fóill.


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