Getting started

The past tense - an aimsir chaite - describes an event which has already happened.


To put a verb into the past tense, follow these three rules.

  1. When the verb begins with a consonant, aspirate / séimhiú the verb.
  2. When the verb begins with a vowel, put a d' before the verb.
  3. When the verb begins with an f, put a d’ before the verb and aspirate / séimhiú the verb.
An aspiration / séimhiú is when the letter h is placed after the first letter in a word.

Remember that you cannot séimhiú / aspirate words that begin with l, n, r and sc, sm, sp, st or vowels.

Here is a shorter version of the rules.

  1. consonant + séimhiú / aspirate
  2. vowel + d’
  3. f + d’ + séimhiú / aspirate