The Past Tense - Regular Verbs

As you discovered in a continuous action in the past is expressed by using the past tense of the verb To Be with the present participle :
Bha e a' cluich anns a' phirc fad an l an-d - He was playing in the park all day yesterday

In contrast, you must use the past tense (or finite) of a verb to express a single completed action in the past. Fortunately, this corresponds very closely in meaning with the finite verb in English.

Whenever possible lenite the root of the verb to get the  independent form of the past tense. Verbs beginning with a vowel (and lenited  fh - which is silent) are preceded by an initial dh'.
The dependent form of the verb = do + independent form :
Verbal Noun Root Independent * Dependent
bualadh - hitting buail bhuail do bhuail
fgail - leaving fg dh'fhg do dh'fhg
leughadh - reading leugh leugh do leugh
ruith - running ruith ruith do ruith
seasamh - standing seas sheas do sheas
sgrobhadh -writing sgrobh sgrobh do sgrobh
l - drinking l dh'l do dh'l
togail - lifting / building tog thog do thog

As with the verb To Be add either Cha, An / Am or Nach to the dependent form to get the negative and interrogatives.

* Grammar: Historically the Independent and Dependent were identical. However, in the Independent do was in an unstressed initial position and was subsequently lost but its leniting influence remains.

Example Uses :
Bhuail iad - They hit
Cha do bhuail iad - They didn't hit
An do bhuail iad? - Did they hit?
Nach do bhuail iad? - Didn't they hit?
Dh'fhg iad - They left
Cha do dh'fhg iad - They didn't leave
An do dh'fhg iad? - Did they leave?
Nach do dh'fhg iad? - Didn't they leave?
Leugh iad - They read
Cha do leugh iad - They didn't read
An do leugh iad? - Did they read?
Nach do leugh iad? - Didn't they read?
Ruith iad - They ran
Cha do ruith iad - They didn't run
An do ruith iad? - Did they run?
Nach do ruith iad? - Didn't they run?
Sheas iad - They stood
Cha do sheas iad - They didn't stand
An do sheas iad? - Did they stand?
Nach do sheas iad? - Didn't they stand?
Sgrobh iad - They wrote
Cha do sgrobh iad - They didn't write
An do sgrobh iad? - Did they write?
Nach do sgrobh iad? - Didn't they write?
Thog iad - They lifted
Cha do thog iad - They didn't lift
An do thog iad? - Did they lift?
Nach do thog iad? - Didn't they lift?
Dh'l iad - They drank
Cha do dh'l  iad - They didn't drink
An do dh'l iad? - Did they drink?
Nach do dh'l iad? - Didn't they drink?

With the Dependent Clause
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)five.gif (1001 bytes)) :
Tha e ag rdh gun do bhuail iad e  - He says that they hit him
Tha e ag rdh nach do bhuail iad e - He says that they didn't hit him
Tha e ag rdh gun do dh'fhg iad  - He says that they left
Tha e ag rdh nach do dh'fhg iad - He says that they didn't leave

The Relative Verb
Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)two.gif (1009 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)) :
'S iadsan a bhuail mi - It's they who hit me
'S iadsan nach do bhuail mi - It's they who didn't hit me

With Interogative Pronouns
Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)two.gif (1009 bytes)two.gif (1009 bytes)) :
D leugh thu anns an sgoil an diugh? - What did you read in school today?
C sgrobh an litir? - Who wrote the letter?
Carson a bhuail thu am balach? - Why did you hit the boy?
Ciamar a sheas i? - How did she stand?
Cuin a dh'fhg thu? - When did you leave?
Cit an do thog iad an taigh? - Where did they build the house?

With Conjunctions
Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)two.gif (1009 bytes)three.gif (1008 bytes)) :
Sgrobh mi litir mus do dh'fhg mi - I wrote a letter before I left
Bha e dorch nuair a bhuail an cr am balach - It was dark when the car hit the boy
Leugh mi am pipear-naidheachd fhads a dh'ith mi dnnear - I read the paper while I ate dinner
Mur do bhuail thusa am balach, c bhuail? - If you didn't hit the boy, who did (hit)?

Saying Yes and No
The pattern is the same for the verb To Be. You need to use the positive or negative forms of the verb in the Past Tense :
An do bhuail iad an c ? - Did they hit the dog? Bhuail - Yes Cha do bhuail - No
Nach do sheas iad aig an doras? - Didn't they stand at the door? Sheas - Yes Cha do sheas - No


smhach - quiet

boireannach (m) - woman coire (m) - kettle, corry
leanabh (m) - baby pipear-naidheachd (m) - newspaper
briosgaid (f) - biscuit dideag (f) - toy, bauble
leithid (f) - like, type staidhre (f) - stair

bris, briseadh - break caidil, cadal - sleep
freagair, freagairt - answer goil, goil - boil, seethe
ps, psadh (aig) - marry saoil, saoilsinn (air) - think (about)
tisich, tiseachadh (air) - start (to) tuit, tuiteam - fall

fad an l - all day leithid de rud - such a thing

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.Dh'fhg an toit a h-uile rud anns an taigh salach 2.An do chuir thu bainne anns a' chopan? Chuir
3.C bhris an uinneag agam? 'S ise a bhris i 4.Cha do dh'fhuirich e fada nuair a thill sinn
5.Nach do cheannaich iad cr r? Cheannaich 6.Chluich ar leanabh leis an dideig fad an l
7.Chuir mi an t-uisge anns a' choire agus ghoil mi e 8.Dh'ionnsaich mi Gidhlig nuair a bha mi nam bhalach
9.Shaoil mi gum b' aithne dhomh e 10.Can e mar a sgrobh iad e

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.Did you buy anything in the shop? No 2.He put his hand on her hand
3.I broke my leg when I fell down the stairs 4.My sister returned from her holiday last night
5.Did she answer the question correctly? Yes 6.I ate the biscuit before I drank the milk
7.Who moved my chair away from the fire? It's him that moved it 8.Why did you marry that man / that woman?
9.I wrote a long letter when I returned home 10.They played quietly while she slept

1.The smoke left everything in the house dirty 2.Did you put (some) milk in the cup? Yes
3.Who broke my window? She broke it 4.He didn't stay long when we returned
5.Didn't they buy a new car? Yes 6.Our baby played with the toy all day
7.I put the water in the kettle and I boiled it 8.I learned Gidhlig when I was a boy
9.I thought that I knew him 10.Say it as they wrote it

1.An do cheannaich sibh cil anns a' bhth? Cha do cheannaich 2.Chuir e a lmh-san air a limh-se
3.Bhris mi mo chas nuair a thuit mi sos na staidhrichean 4.Thill mo phiuthar bhon saor-l aice a-raoir
5.An do fhreagair i a' cheist gu ceart? Fhreagair 6.Dh'ith mi a' bhriosgaid mun do dh'l mi am bainne
7.C ghluais mo chathair air falbh bhon teine? 'S esan a ghluais i 8a.Carson a phs thu am fear sin?
8b.Carson a phs thu an t sin?
9.Sgrobh mi litir fhada nuair a thill mi dhachaigh 10.Chluich iad gu smhach fhads a chaidil i

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