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Autonomous Form

Autonomous Form

Affirmative Statements

In making affirmative statements in the Autonomous Form, some changes are always made at the end of the verb. First, identify the root of the verb as follows:

1. For the majority of First Conjugation (usually one syllable) verbs, the entire verb is the root. Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below. An exception is when the verb ends with “igh”. In that case, if there is an accented vowel immediately before the “igh”, simply drop the “igh” to expose the root. In all other cases, delete the “igh” and replace it with an “í”. Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below. Also, be aware that there are a few two syllable verbs in the First Conjugation which maintain two syllables in the root. Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below.

2. For the Second Conjugation (usually multi-syllable) verbs, part or all of the end of the verb is generally removed to reveal the root. Whenever these verbs end in “(a)igh” (the most common type), simply drop that syllable. Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below. In most other cases, squeeze the vowels out of the last syllable and tack the remaining consonant(s) onto the end of the first syllable. For example, with the verb “codail”, squeeze the “ai” out of the second syllable and add the remaining “l” to the end of the first syllable to make the root – “codl…”. Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below.

Second, to the root add these endings:

1) For First Conjugation verbs, add:

If last vowel in root is 

‘e’ or ‘i’

a’, ‘o’ or ‘u’

Past Tense

…eadh

…adh

Present Tense…

…tear

…tar

Future Tense…

…fear

…far

Conditional Tense…

…fí

…faí

Past Habitual Tense…

…tí

…taí

2) For Second Conjugation verbs, add:

If last vowel in root is 

‘e’ or ‘i’

a’, ‘o’ or ‘u’

Past Tense

…íodh

…aíodh

Present Tense…

…ítear

…aítear

Future Tense…

…eofar

…ófar

Conditional Tense…

…eofaí

…ófaí

Past Habitual Tense…

…ítí

…aítí

Conditional and Habitual Past

Conditional and Habitual Past tenses will also require changes at the begining of the verb. Start with the basic verb and séimhiú (add an “h” after) an initial consonant if it is a: B,C,D,F*,G,M,P or T. (In other words, all consonants except L,N,R and sometimes S.) Séimhiú (add an “h” after) an initial ‘S’ only if the following letter is a vowel or an L,N or R. Otherwise, leave an initial ‘S’ unchanged. An initial L,N or R always remain unchanged. Add “D'” before an initial vowel or an initial ‘F*’.

Negative Statements and Questions

Negative Statements and Questions are made in the autonomous form by adding verbal particles before the verb, and often by also making changes to the beginning of the affirmative statement form. The rules follow according to the tense (except for the Past Tense, where séimhiú is not used!). See the appropriate rules listed on the other pages here for the tense needed.


*Note: When ‘F’ takes a séimhiú it becomes silent so that the first sound heard in the verb is the following vowel. Because of this, “D'” is added before “fh” as though the verb started with a vowel.


Please refer to the samplaí (examples) in the chart below.

Autonomous Form – Samples

Réimniú
Conjugation

Samplaí
Examples

A

2

Athraítear na bindealáin chuile lá. The bandages are changed every day.

(Present) Ní athraítear … An athraítear …? Nach n-athraítear …?

B

1

Buailtear an brat le bata adhmaid. The carpet is beaten with a wooden stick.

(Present) Ní bhuailtear … An mbuailtear …? Nach mbuailtear …?

C

2

Codlaíodh an oíche amuigh faoin spéir. The night was slept under the open sky. 

(Past) Níor codlaíodh … Ar codlaíodh …? Nár codlaíodh …?

D

2

Dúiseofar sa leaba mhí-cheart amárach Somebody will awaken in the wrong bed tomorrow. 

(Future) Ní dhúiseofar … An ndúiseofar …? Nach ndúiseofar …?

E

2

Déireofaí ina h-onóir, cinnte. Somebody would rise in her honor, surely.

(Conditional) Ní éireofaí … An éireofaí …? Nach n-éireofaí …?

F

1

Fágadh na prátaí lofa sa ngort. The rotten potatoes were left in the field. 

(Past) Níor fágadh … Ar fágadh …? Nár fágadh …?

G

1

Glanfar an t-iasc ar ball. The fish will be cleaned (gutted) in awhile.

(Future) Ní ghlanfar … An nglanfar …? Nach nglanfar …?

I

2

Inseofar scéalta scanrúla Oíche Shamhna. Scary stories will be told on Halloween.

(Future) Ní inseofar … An inseofar …? Nach n-inseofar …?

L

2

Labhraítí an Ghaeilge ar fud na tíre. Irish used to be spoken throughout the country.

(Past Habitual) Ní labhraítí … An labhraítí …? Nach labhraítí …?

M

2

Mharófaí an fealltóir fuafar. Somebody would kill the loathsome traitor.

(Conditional) Ní mharófaí … An marófaí …? Nach marófaí …?

N

1

Nífí siad murach an easpa uisce. They would be washed but for the lack of water.

(Conditional) Ní nífí … An nífí …? Nach nífí …?

O

1

Ólfar deoch shláinte anseo anocht. A healing potion will be drunk here tonight. 

(Future) Ní ólfar … An ólfar …? Nach n-ólfar …?

P

1

Póstar sa séipéal gach seachtain. Somebody gets married in the chapel every week.

(Present) Ní phóstar … An bpóstar …? Nach bpóstar …?

R

1

Rití chun fógartha a thabhairt. Somebody used to run to give a warning.

(Past Habitual) Ní rití … An rití …? Nach rití …?

S1

1

Sheastaí siad le balla. They used to be stood against the wall.

(Past Habitual) Ní sheastaí … An seastaí …? Nach seastaí …?

S2

1

Sroichfí an cuspóir le pleanáil. The goal could be attained with planning.

(Conditional) Ní shroichfí … An sroichfí …? Nach sroichfí …?

S3

2

Smaoinítí go raibh adharca orthu. It used to be thought that they had horns.

(Past Habitual) Ní smaoinítí … An smaoinítí …? Nach smaoinítí …?

T

1

Taispeánadh a phas don oifigeach. His passport was shown to the officer.

(Past) Níor taispeánadh … Ar taispeánadh …? Nár taispeánadh …?

U

2

Ullmhaíodh dinnéar ar a seacht a chlog. Dinner was prepared at seven o’clock.

(Past) Ní ullmhaíodh … An ullmhaíodh …? Nach n-ullmhaíodh …?