The Conditional Tense of the Verb TO BE

The independent form of the verb is Bhiodh (or Bhitheadh for more emphatic usage), and the dependent form Biodh (or Bitheadh for more emphatic usage). As with the other tenses the dependent forms are used with the dependent particles Cha, Am and Nach to provide the four forms of the verb. There are, however separate forms for the 1st person singular - Bhithinn, and 1st person plural Bhiomaid† (or Bhitheamaid for more emphatic usage) :
Bhithinn / Bhiodh / Bhiomaid - for positive statements
Bhithinn fuar - I would be cold
Bhiodh tu / e / i / sibh / iad fuar - You / he / she / you / they would be cold
Bhiomaid fuar - We would be cold
Cha bhithinn / Cha bhiodh / Cha bhiomaid - for negative statements
Cha bhithinn fuar - I would not be cold
Cha bhiodh tu / e / i / sibh / iad fuar - You / he / she / you / they would not be cold
Cha bhiomaid fuar - We would not be cold
Am bithinn? / Am biodh? / Am biomaid? - for asking a question (interrogative)
Am bithinn fuar? - Would I be cold?
Am biodh tu / e / i / sibh / iad fuar? - Would you / he / she / you / they be cold?
Am biomaid fuar - Would we be cold?
Nach bithinn? / Nach biodh? / Nach biomaid? - for a negative question (negative interrogative)
Nach bithinn fuar? - Would I not be cold?
Nach biodh tu / e / i / sibh / iad fuar? - Would you / he / she / you / they not be cold?
Nach biomaid fuar - Would we not be cold?

This form is becoming less common, and particularly in spoken Gidhlig is being replaced by the more regular Bhiodh sinn etc
The second person singular thu changes to tu in the conditional tense
Note that Cha always lenites the following word if possible, thus  Cha bhithinn / Cha bhiodh / Cha bhiomaid

Saying Yes and No
The pattern is the same as the other tenses you have met. You need to use the positive or negative forms of the verb in the conditional tense :
Am biodh tu toilichte le sin? - Would you be happy with that? Bhiodh - Yes Cha bhiodh - No

Repeated Past and Continuous Conditional Tenses

The conditional tense of the verb To Be with a present participle conveys either a continuous conditional action or a repeated past action. The meaning is understood from the context :
Bhithinn ag obair anns an sgoil - I would be working in the school
Bhithinn ag obair a h-uile l - I (usually) worked every day
Cha bhiodh iad a' dol dhan sgoil - They wouldn't be going to school
Cha bhiodh iad a' dol dhan sgoil a h-uile l - They (usually) didn't go to school every day


a h-uile - every (before noun) cinnteach - certain
cofhartail - comfortable sona - happy

m (m) - occasion, time balla (m) - wall
bodach (m) - old man cat (m) - cat
cise (m) - cheese cta  (m) -coat
crodh (m) - cattle gual (m) - coal
preas (m) - cupboard, press solas (m) - light
cathair (f) - chair

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.Bhithinn a' dol dhan chilidh a-mireach 2.Cha bhiodh iad a' dol dhan bhaile idir
3.Bhiodh an cat daonnan aig an teine 4.Am biodh e ag obair air a' bhta? Bhiodh
5.Cha bhithinn uabhasach toilichte 6.Nach biodh iad sona a' cluich air a' chladach?
7.Bhiodh m ann air a' bhrd agus cise anns a' phreas 8.Bhiodh an crodh air a' mhonadh aig an m sin

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.There would be coal on the fire and a light in the room 2.I would be cold outside without a coat
3.It would be nice (good) and warm at the fire 4.He would not be long running up the street
5.Wouldn't they be singing in the hall tonight? No 6.We would certainly be returning to the hotel
7.It would be dry and warm in the morning 8.I would not be comfortable in that chair

1.I would be going to the ceilidh tomorrow 2.They wouldn't be going to (the) town at all
3.The cat would forever (always) be at the fire 4.Would he be working on the boat? Yes
5.I wouldn't be terribly pleased 6.Would they not be happy playing on the shore?
7.There would be butter on the table and cheese in the cupboard 8.The cattle would be on the moor at that time

1.Bhiodh gual ann air an teine agus solas ann anns an rm 2.Bhithinn fuar a-muigh gun chta
3.Bhiodh e math agus blth aig an teine 4.Cha bhiodh e fada a' ruith suas an t-srid
5.Nach biodh iad a' seinn anns an talla a-nochd? Cha bhiodh 6.Bhiodh sinn gu cinnteach a' tilleadh dhan taigh-sta
7.Bhiodh e tioram agus blth anns a' mhadainn 8.Cha bhithinn cofhartail anns a' chathair sin

This lesson in PDF format

Lessons.gif (3478 bytes)

dmlelland - Faodar na leasanan seo ath-riochdachadh le aithneachadh dhan ghdar
dmlelland - These lessons may be reproduced with credit to the author