Irish

Town and country

This Revision Bite will give you practice at describing your area.

Warm-up exercise

Conversation simulation: My area

Sample answers with teacher's comments

Compare how Sinéad and Micheál answered this question and find out why the teacher gave Micheál a higher mark.

1. Cá bhfuil tú i do chónaí? - Where do you live?

Sinéad gives only one piece of information in her answer.

Micheál extends his answer. He gives the name of the place where he lives, explains that it is in the country and volunteers details about where exactly it is situated.

2. Cad iad na rudaí is maith leat faoi do cheantar? - What do you like about your area?

Sinéad mentions only one point about what she likes. The question asked for 'na rudaí' so she is not achieving full communication.

Micheál offers lots of points about what he likes and develops his answer to include reasons and explanations. He even compares his life in the country to life in the town.

3. Cad iad na rudaí nach maith leat faoi do cheantar? - What do you not like about your area?

Again, Sinéad mentions only one point about what she dislikes. The question asked for 'na rudaí' so she is not achieving full communication.

Micheál , once more, extends his answer and uses a variety of structures and phrases.

4. Cad iad na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an saol sa bhaile mhór, dar leat féin? - What, do you think, are the advantages of life in the town?

Sinéad's information is limited and again she offers only one point.

Micheál gives a detailed account of the advantages of life in the town. He expresses and justifies his opinions. He uses an excellent standard of language, including idiomatic language, to present his ideas.

5. Ar mhaith leat bheith i do chónaí in áit ar bith eile in Éirinn nó i dtír eile? - Would you like to live anywhere else in Ireland or in any other country?

Sinéad answers the question but does not take the opportunity to elaborate.

Micheál shows initiative and sustains a well-developed response. He deploys a variety of structures and tenses, including conditional. He speaks with a high degree of fluency which gives a clear and natural feel to his answer.

Transcript and translation

1.Cá bhfuil tú i do chónaí? - Where do you live?

Sinéad says:

Tá mé i mo chónaí faoin tuath.

I live in the country.

Micheál says:

Boy

Tá mé i mo chónaí i gceantar beag tuaithe darb ainm Cnoc an Dúin. Tá sé suite míle go leith taobh amuigh de Bhaile na hAbhann ar an bhealach go Lios Dubh.

I live in a little country area called Forthill. It is situated a mile and a half outside Rivertown on the way to Lisdoo.

2. Cad iad na rudaí is maith leat faoi do cheantar? - What do you like about your area?

Sinéad says:

Is maith liom na daoine.

I like the people.

Micheál says:

Boy

Is breá liom an áit féin mar tá an radharcra go hálainn agus bíonn sé iontach deas sa samhradh. Thig liom dul ag rothaíocht agus ag siúl sna sléibhte. Tá atmaisféar deas cairdiúil san áit mar tá aithne ag gach duine ar a chéile. Bíonn an saol faoin tuath ciúin, suaimhneach agus folláin agus ní bhíonn trioblóid agus brú tráchta ansin mar a bhíonn sa bhaile mhór. Ach, thar rud ar bith eile, is anseo a rugadh agus a tógadh mé agus tá mé in aice le mo chairde.

I love the place itself because the scenery is beautiful and it's really nice in summer. I can go cycling and walking in the mountains. There's a nice, friendly atmosphere in the place because everyone knows each other. Life in the country is quiet, peaceful and healthy and there is no trouble and traffic-jams like there are in the town. But, more than anything else, this is where I was born and reared and I am beside my friends.

3. Cad iad na rudaí nach maith leat faoi do cheantar? - What do you not like about your area?

Sinéad says:

Tá sé róchiúin.

It is too quiet.

Micheál says:

Boy

Bíonn an tuath ciúin sa gheimhreadh agus is beag a bhíonn le déanamh ansin. Níl a lán áiseanna sa cheantar do dhaoine óga agus bíonn orainn dul go dtí an baile mór le himeachtaí sóisialta a fháil. Níl club óige ná pictiúrlann againn agus tá muid cúig mhíle ar shiúl ón tsólann is cóngaraí dúinn.

The country is quiet in winter and there is very little to do there. There aren't many facilities in the area for young people and we have to go to the town to find social activities. We have no youth club or cinema and we are five miles from the nearest leisure centre.

4. Cad iad na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an saol sa bhaile mhór, dar leat féin? - What, do you think, are the advantages of life in the town?

Sinéad says:

Tá an saol sóisialta níos fearr.

The social life is better.

Micheál says:

Boy

Is iomaí buntáiste atá ag an bhaile mhór mar áit chónaithe. Bíonn tú in aice leis na háiseanna uilig. Thig leat bualadh le do chairde go minic agus dul chuig an tsólann nó chuig na siopaí. Bíonn i bhfad níos mó le déanamh san oíche - mar shampla, dul chuig an phictiúrlann nó chuig dioscó. Ní bhíonn tú ag brath ar shíobanna mar bíonn busanna agus tacsaithe ar fáil go réidh.

The town has many advantages as a place to live. You are beside all the facilities. You can meet your friends often and go to the leisure centre or the shops. There's far more to do at night - for example, going to the cinema or to a disco. You are not depending on lifts because buses and taxis are readily available.

5. Ar mhaith leat bheith i do chónaí in áit ar bith eile in Éirinn nó i dtír eile? - Would you like to live anywhere else in Ireland or in any other country?

Sinéad says:

Níor mhaith. Is maith liom mo cheantar féin.

No. I like my own area.

Micheál says:

Boy

Níorbh mhiste liom tamall a chaitheamh sa chathair agus mé ar ollscoil. Bhí mé sa Fhrainc anuraidh, ar laethanta saoire, agus caithfidh mé a admháil gur thaitin sé go mór liom. Bhí dúil mhór agam sa teas agus sa bhia fosta. Ba mhaith liom dul ag taisteal agus tamall a chaitheamh ag obair i dtír eile, b'fhéidir, ach ní dóigh liom gur mhaith liom bheith i mo chónaí thar sáile. Is breá liom an tír seo agus tá muintir na hÉireann an-chairdiúil. Ba mhaith liom fanacht measartha cóngarach do mo cheantar féin mar, i ndeireadh an lae, níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin! Tá súil agam go mbeidh mé in ann post a fháil anseo.

I wouldn't mind spending a while in the city when I'm at university. I was in France last year, on holiday, and I must admit that I really liked it. I loved the heat and the food as well. I'd like to travel and, maybe, spend a while working in another country but I don't think I'd like to live abroad. I love this country and the Irish people are very friendly. I would like to stay fairly close to my own area because, at the end of the day, there's no place like home! I hope I will be able to find a job here.

Exam tips

  • Try to extend your answer rather than giving the bare minimum. Keep giving and explaining your opinions - not like Sinéad who never gives enough information.
  • Try to use a variety of vocabulary and phrases to improve the quality of your answer.
  • Using simple, common phrases such as 'caithfidh mé a admháil' and 'i ndeireadh an lae' help to give a fluent, natural feel to the language you use.
  • Show that you are familiar with the various tenses by using correctly some verbs in a tense other than the main tense of the answer. Note how Micheál managed to include past, present and future verbs in his response even though his answer was mainly about what he would like.

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