The Conditional Tense - Regular Verbs

The formation of the Conditional Tense of regular verbs is identical to that seen in lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes) for the verb To Be. As you discovered the Conditional Tense of the verb To Be is used with the present participle to express either a continuous conditional action or a repeated past action :
Bhiodh e a' cluich anns a' phirc - He would be playing in the park
Bhiodh e a' cluich anns a' phirc a h-uile l - He played in the park every day

To express both the future and a repeated habitual action in the present you need to use the future tense of a verb.

To get the dependent form of the verb take the root of the verb, and add :
1 -inn / -ainn according to the spelling rule for the first person singular
2 -eamaid / -amaid according to the spelling rule for the first person plural *
3 -eadh / -adh all other persons

* this form is now much less common and is now regularly formed according to rule 3 above

The independent form of the verb is produced by lenition, whenever possible, of the dependent. Verbs beginning with a vowel (and lenited  fh - which is silent) are preceded by an initial dh' :
Verbal Noun Root Independent Dependent
bualadh - hitting buail bhuailinn /
buailinn /
fgail - leaving fg dh'fhgainn /
dh'fhgamaid /
fgainn /
fgamaid /
leughadh - reading leugh leughainn /
leughamaid /
leughainn /
leughamaid /
ruith - running ruith ruithinn /
ruithinn /
seasamh - standing seas sheasainn /
sheasamaid /
seasainn /
seasamaid /
sgrobhadh - writing sgrobh sgrobhainn /
sgrobhamaid /
sgrobhainn /
sgrobhamaid /
togail - lifting / building tog thogainn /
thogamaid /
togainn /
togamaid /
l - drinking l dh'lainn /
dh'lamaid /
lainn /
lamaid /

As with the verb To Be add either Cha / Chan(before a vowel), An / Am or Nach to the dependent to get the negative and interrogative forms of the verb.

Example Uses (A complete analysis is given for only the first two examples) :
Bhuailinn -  I would hit
Bhuaileamaid - We would hit
Bhuaileadh tu / etc - You / etc would hit
Cha bhuailinn * -  I would not hit
Cha bhuaileamaid - We would not hit
Cha bhuaileadh tu / etc - You / etc would not hit
Am buailinn? -  Would I hit?
Am buaileamaid? - Would we hit?
Am buaileadh tu?  / etc - Would you / etc hit?
Nach buailinn? -  Would I not hit?
Nach buaileamaid? - Would we not hit?
Nach buaileadh tu?  / etc - Would you / etc not hit?
Dh'fhgainn  - I would leave
Dh'fhgamaid  - We would leave
Dh'fhgadh tu / etc - You / etc would leave
Chan fhgainn  - I would not leave
Chan fhgamaid  - We would not leave
Chan fhgadh tu / etc - You / etc would not leave
Am fgainn? - Would I not leave?
Am fgamaid? - Would we not leave?
Am fgadh tu? / etc - Would you / etc not leave?
Nach fhgainn?  - Would I not leave?
Nach fhgamaid? - Would we not leave?
Nach fhgadh tu? / etc - Would you  not leave?
Leughadh tu  - You would read
Cha leughadh tu  - You would not read
An leughadh tu?- Would you / etc read?
Nach leughadh tu? - Would you / etc not read?
Ruitheadh tu - You would run
Cha ruitheadh tu - You would not run
An ruitheadh tu? - Would you run?
Nach ruitheadh tu? - Would you not run?
Sheasadh tu - You would stand
Cha sheasadh tu - You would not stand
An seasadh tu? - Would you stand?
Nach seasadh tu? - Would you not stand?
Sgrobhadh tu  - You would write
Cha sgrobhadh tu  - You would not write
An sgrobhadh tu? - Would you write?
Nach sgrobhadh tu? - Would you not write?
Thogadh tu  - You would lift
Cha thogadh tu  - You would not lift
An togadh tu? - Would you lift?
Nach togadh tu? - Would you not lift?
Dh'ladh tu  - You would drink
Chan ladh tu  - You would not drink
An ladh tu? - Would you drink?
Nach ladh tu? - Would you not drink?

* Whenever possible cha / chan will lenite the verb
The second person singular is always tu
† nach
lenites verbs beginning with f

With the Dependent Clause
Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)) :
Tha e ag rdh gum buaileadh e - He says that he would strike
Tha e ag rdh nach buaileadh e - He says that he would not strike
Tha e ag rdh gum fgadh e - He says that he would leave
Tha e ag rdh nach fhgadh e - He says that he would not leave

The Relative Verb

Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)) :
Is mise a bhuaileadh e - It is I who would hit him
Is esan a bhuaileadh mi - It is he who would hit me
Is mise nach fhgadh thu - It is I who would not leave you
Is mise nach fhgadh tu - It is I who you would not leave
Seo leabhar a leughainn - Here's a book I would read
Agus seo leabhar nach leughainn - And here's a book I would not read

With Interrogative Pronouns

Some examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)) :
D thogadh tu air an talamh? - What would you build on the land?
C sgrobhadh litir thugam? - Who would write me letter? (lit. Who would write a letter to me?)
Carson a bhuaileadh tu am balach? - Why would you hit the boy?
Ciamar a sheasadh i? - How would she stand?
Cuin a dh'fhgadh tu? - When would you leave?
Cit an ladh iad? - Where would they drink?

With Conjunctions

Nan / nam  - if replaces ma in the Conditional tense *
This and some other examples are given below.
The pattern is the same as the verb To Be (see lessonbl.gif (1632 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)one.gif (974 bytes)) :
Bhithinn toilichte nam fgadh tu - I would be happy if you would leave
Bhiodh i as aonais mus ladh i an t-uisge salach - She would be without before she would drink the dirty water
Bhiodh tu duilich nan togadh tu taigh an sin - You would sorry if you built (would build) a house there

* Nan
can also be used conditionally with the Past Tense of the verb To Be, much the same way as in English :
Nan robh an t-airgead agam, thogainn taigh r - If I had the money, I would build a new house

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 Conditional Tense :
An sgrobhadh tu litir thugam?- Would you write me a letter? Sgrobhadh - Yes Cha sgrobhadh - No
Nach ladh tu am bainne? - Would you not drink the milk? Dh'ladh - Yes Chan ladh - No

Repeated Actions in the Past

The meaning is understood from the context :
Ghabhadh e bracaist a h-uile madainn - He took breakfast ever morning
Sgrobhamaid litir thuige a h-uile l - We wrote (to) him a letter every day

Able To Do

As with the Future Tense the Conditional Tense may also convey the idea of being able to do something. This meaning is understood from the context :
Tha fios agamsa far an seasainn - I know where I would (could) stand
An sgrobhadh tu d' ainm dhomhsa? - Would (could) you write you name for me?


glan - clean, fresh salach - dirty

Compound Prepositions
as aonais - without

nan / nam - if

coigreach (m) - stranger dorchadas (m) - darkness
talamh (m) - land, ground

atharraich, atharrachadh - change, alter dilt, diltadh - deny, refuse
innis, innse (do) - tell, relate (to) loisg, loisgeadh - burn
reic, reic (ri) - sell (to)

EXERCISE 1 Translate into English
1.Dh'fhgadh e an taigh sin a-mireach 2.Thuirt mi nach bruidhninn riutha a-rithist
3.Bha fios aice nach ruitheadh e air falbh 4.D a sgrobhadh sibh anns an litir?
5.Cha choisichinn dhachaigh anns an dorchadas 6.Shaoil i gun tilleadh iad ro mheadhan-l
7.Chan lainn a-riamh a-mach botal 8.Dh'innis e dhomh gun loisgeadh e na pipearan
9.Cha ghabhadh i airgead bho choigreach 10.Cit an togadh sibh ur taigh r?

EXERCISE 2 Translate into Gidhlig
1.Would you buy that house? Yes 2.You didn't think that you would catch (any) fish in that loch?
3.I wouldn't stay in Glasgow at all 4.He said he would sell his car tomorrow
5.Would you change anything in the room? No 6.She wouldn't drink anything but fresh water
7.I wouldn't deny that he was looking guilty 8.She said she would write a letter to (gu) the newspaper
9.They hoped that everything would work correctly 10.I wouldn't say she was pretty

1.He would leave the house tomorrow 2.I said that I wouldn't speak to them again
3.She knew that he wouldn't run away 4.What would you write in the letter?
5.I wouldn't walk home in the dark 6.She thought that they would return before midday
7.I would never drink out of a bottle 8.He told me he would burn the papers
9.She wouldn't accept money from a stranger 10.Where would you build your new house?

1.An ceannaicheadh tu an taigh sin? Cheannaicheadh 2.Cha do shaoil thu gun glacadh tu iasg anns an loch sin?
3.Chan fhuirichinn ann an Glaschu idir 4.Thuirt e gun reiceadh e an cr aige a-mireach
5.An atharraicheadh sibh cil anns an rm? Chan atharraicheadh 6.Chan ladh i cil ach uisge glan
7.Cha diltainn gun robh e a' coimhead ciontach 8.Thuirt i gun sgrobhadh i litir gun phipear-naidheachd
9.Bha dchas aca gun obraicheadh a h-uile rud gu ceart 10.Chan chanainn gun robh i bidheach

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 autho