Irish Language Blog

Clásail Choibhneasta Neamhdhíreacha san Aimsir Fháistineach: Indirect Relative Clauses in the Future Tense Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in Irish Language

Now that we’ve seen the indirect relative clauses in the present and past tenses, let’s look at similar sentences in the future tense. 


As previously, we’ll look further at the verb “to be” and also a couple of regular verbs.  Eventually we’ll be working our way through the other ten irregular verbs Irish has and na foirmeacha diúltacha.   For those who aren’t exactly tugtha don ghramadach, we’ll have a sos soon, since both Lá Fhéile Bríde and Lá an Úitsigh are coming up, both topics I can’t resist, especially an t-úitseach, which I don’t think has often been discussed in Irish!. 


Let’s quickly review the verb “to be” in the present, past, and future tense in simple sentences (i.e. sentences without relative clauses).  Note the form “mbeidh,” since that’s the one we’ll be using for the future tense of our clásal coibhneasta neamhdhíreach. 


Aimsir láithreach: Tá an lá go breá.  An bhfuil an lá go breá?  Tá, tá an lá go breá.

(The day is fine.  is the day fine?  Yes, the day is fine).


Aimsir chaite: Bhí an lá go breá.  An raibh an lá go breá?  Bhí, bhí an lá go breá. 

 (The day was fine.  Was the day fine?  Yes, the day was fine). 


Aimsir fháistineach: Beidh an lá go breá.  An mbeidh an lá go breá?  Beidh, beidh an lá go breá.  (The day will be fine.  Will the day be fine?  Yes, the day will be fine).


The “mbeidh,” “raibh” and “bhfuil” forms of the verbs “beidh,” “bhí.” and “tá” are called the “foirmeacha spleácha.”  They are used in certain types of questions and also in indirect relative clauses. 


Remember the last blog’s examples for the present and past tenses:

Sin é an fear atá tinn.  That is the man who is ill. 

Sin é an fear a bhfuil a mhac tinn.  That is the man whose son is ill. 

Sin é an fear a bhí tinn.   That is the man who was sick.

Sin é an fear a raibh a mhac tinn.   That is the man whose son was sick. 


Now let’s add the future.  Agus “dea-scéal” anseo!  Although “beidh” is part of the irregular verb “to be,” it’s not as irregular as “” and “bhí” are.  I bhfocail eile, we don’t switch to a completely different root like we did with tá / bhfuil and bhí / raibh.  Now we just have plain old urú (eclipsis).  Did you ever think that just eclipsis would look so good?


Here are the same sentences in the future tense, first direct, then indirect:

Díreach: Sin é an fear a bheidh tinn.  That is the man who will be ill.

Neamhdhíreach: Sin é an fear a mbeidh a mhac tinn.  That is the man whose son will be ill. 


Not that I can really imagine much context for using these sentences.  Unless you’re Livia, as played by Siân Phillips in I, Claudius.  She seemed to know when every last mother’s son would be ill — without even resorting to fáistineacht (augury).  Meas tú sin anois!


Let’s wrap up, as we’ve been doing, with the same regular verbs we’ve used before (bris, tóg), but now in the future tense.  Here, all we have to do is eclipse the verb.  Ailliliú!


Oh, and just a little reminder for anyone really new to na briathra.  The future tense endings we’ll be using here are “–fidh” and “–faidh,” both pronounced “hee” (the “f” is pronounced like an “h”).  With eclipsis, we’ll get “mbrisfidh” and “dtógfaidh.”  


Brisfidh an fear an fhuinneog.  Sin é an fear a bhrisfidh an fhuinneog.  Sin é an fear a mbrisfidh a mhac an fhuinneog.  (The man will break the window.  Direct: That’s the man who will break the window.  Indirect: That’s the man whose son will break the window). 


Tógfaidh an slíbhín an t-airgead.  Sin é an slíbhín a thógfaidh an t-airgead.  Sin é an slíbhín a dtógfaidh a mhac an t-airgead. 


So, now we’ve done na foirmeacha díreacha agus na foirmeacha neamhdhíreacha san aimsir láithreach, san aimsir chaite, agus san aimsir fháistineach.  Mh’anam!


Of course, we’ve just been sticking to the “whose” type of sentences.  I’ll drum up some additional examples with the prepositional constructions (like “That’s the man to whom I gave the money).  And we’ll do some negatives soon and get back to those other ten briathra neamhrialta.  Ach roimhe sin, beidh sos againn ón ngramadach!

Nótaí: diúltach, negative; tugtha do [TUG-huh duh], fond of; spleách [splawkh], dependent; brisfidh [BRISH-hee] will break; tógfaidh [TOHG-hee] will take

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  1. Mise Áine:

    Ag foghlaim liom! Tá bealach iontach agat, a Róislín, le simplíocht a chur in áit na deacrachta. Go raibh maith agat, a chara na Gaeilge.

  2. Rick Forbes:

    aaaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh but seriously this is the bit that I need because it has been preventing me from improving my reading.

    You explain things very well a Róisín.


  3. Róislín:

    A Áine, a chara,

    GRMA arís eile as nóta cineálta eile. Nach bhfuil muid go léir ag foghlaim linn, beagán ar bheagán? Bím ag iarraidh rud nua a fhoghlaim faoin Ghaeilge ach’an lá agus faoin Bhéarla chomh maith. Ar cheann de na focail is nuaí agam sa Bhéarla — glocalization (glocalisation), agus sa Ghaeilge téarma suimiúil air — logdhomhandú. “Staycation” (cineál “focal na bliana” faoi laethanta saoire i 2009) ní bhfuair mé sa Ghaeilge in aon áit fós.

  4. Róislín:


    Glad you’re finding the blogs useful. I’ll be returning to more relative clauses as soon as I deal a little bit more with “sneachta,” since the latter is such a timely topic.

    As you suggest, really mastering the relative clauses makes reading easier and more fun. It’s such an inherent part of literary expressiveness — to build sentences and wrap them around several ideas at once. The fact that so many of them begin with the particle “a,” a word that has eight homonyms in Irish, just makes the dúshlán all the greater.

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