In making affirmative statements in the future tense, all changes are 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 [B-F-G-O-P-R-S1-S2].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” [N] . Also, be aware that there are a few two syllable verbs in the First Conjugation which maintain two syllables in the root [T].
2. For 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 [A-D-E-M-S3-U]. 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…” [C-I-L].
Second, to the root add these endings:
1) For First Conjugation verbs, add:
- “…fidh” if the root’s final vowel is slender (an ‘i’ or ‘e’), or
“…faidh” if the root’s final vowel is broad (an ‘a’, ‘o’ or ‘u’).
2) For Second Conjugation verbs, add:
- “…eoidh” if the root’s final vowel is slender (an ‘i’ or ‘e’), or
“…óidh” if the root’s final vowel is broad (an ‘a’, ‘o’ or ‘u’).
Negative Statements and Questions
Negative statements and questions are constructed in the future tense by making these changes to the affirmative statement form:
- 1) Negative Statements – Add ” Ní” before the verb, and “séimhiú” (lenite) an initial consonant in the verb where possible.
- 2) Questions – Add “An” before the verb, and urú (eclipse) an initial consonant in the verb where possible.
- 3) Negative Questions – Add “Nach” before the verb, and urú (eclipse) an initial consonant in the verb where possible. If the verb begins with a vowel, “n-” is added before the vowel.
Note: The letters like this “[A]” are keys to the linked examples.