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Irish Grammar

Being Irish a Celtic language, it has peculiar features which are unknown to other languages.
One aspect of Irish syntax that is unfamiliar to speakers of other languages is the use of the copula (known in Irish as an chopail). The copula is used to describe what or who someone is, as opposed to how and where. This has been likened to the difference between the verbs "ser" and "estar" in Spanish and Portuguese, although this is only a rough approximation. The copula, which in the present tense is "is", is usually demonstrative:
Is fear é: "It is a man."
Is Sasanaigh iad: "They're English."

When saying "this is", or "that is", "seo" and "sin" are used:
Seo í mo mháthair: "This is my mother."
Sin é an muinteoir: "That's the teacher."

Another feature of Irish grammar that is shared with other Celtic languages is the use of prepositional pronouns. For example, the word for "at" is "ag", which combines with the pronoun "me" (which is mé), to form agam "at me". This is used with the verb "bi" ("to be"), to form the closest equivalent of the verb "to have".
Tá leabhar agam. (ag + mé): "I have a book."
Tá deoch agat. (ag + tú): "You have a drink."
Tá ríomhaire aige. (ag + é): "He has a computer."
Tá páiste aici. (ag + í): "She has a child."

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As for nouns, in Irish there are 5 cases: the 4 like those in German as well as the vocative as the 5th case. Iin the official standard there are supposedly only now 3 cases, whereby nominative, accusative and dative are combined.

Nouns inflect according to two grammatical genders (inscní): masculine (firinscneach) and feminine (baininscneach). Basically, those living things which are male are named with masculine nouns, for female creatures then feminine nouns.

But, as in any language, there are definite exceptions to the rule: e.g.: stail = stallion is feminine, cailín = girl is masculine (about the suffix -ín see below)

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