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Home > Gaelic > Grammar > Past and future tense of regular verbs

Gaelic

Past and future tense of regular verbs

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Forming the past and future tenses of verbs in Gaelic is straightforward on the whole. If you know the root of a verb, then you can form other tenses.

The Past Tense

There are variations in the way verbs form the past tense. They can be looked at in the following way:

  1. To form the past tense of verbs beginning with a consonant insert an h after the first letter of the root, e.g. dhùin. The three exceptions are verbs beginning with the letters l, n, or r. They do not require an h, e.g. laigh
  2. All verbs beginning with a vowel put dh' before the initial vowel to form the past tense, e.g. dh'òl
  3. Verbs which begin with f+vowel have dh' inserted before the f and have an h inserted after the f, e.g. fuirich becomesdh'fhuirich.

N.B. There are no verbs beginning with the letter h in Gaelic.

Examples

Verb begins with consonants b, c, d, g, m, p, s, t

RootMeaningPast tense
brisbhris
cuir
dùin

gabh

mill

pòs
suidh
tog

Verb begins with consonants l, n, r

RootMeaningPast tense
las
nigh
ruith

Verb begins with vowel

RootMeaningPast tense
aithnich

èirich

ith
òl
ullaich

Verb begins with f + vowel

RootMeaningPast tense
fuirich
falaich
faighnich
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