chapter  Chapter 12
10 Pages

Impersonal forms

ByNancy Stenson

One last set of suffixes, found across all dialects, is used for the various tenses of what is traditionally known as the autonomous verb or briathar saor. This is an impersonal form, used when the subject of a verb is unknown or unimportant, or when the speaker simply does not wish to specify who performed or experienced the event expressed by the verb. The unspecified subject can be translated into English as one or someone or they, used with a non-specific reference, or by a passive form if the verb is transitive. The suffixes are added to the stem of the verb in place of the personal endings described in the last chapter. Table 12.1 shows the impersonal forms of regular verbs. Regular impersonal forms First-conjugation: díol–‘sell,’ tuig–‘understand’ Present díoltar tuigtear Past díoladh tuigeadh Future díolfar tuigfear Past habitual dhíoltaí thuigtí Conditional dhíolfaí thuigfí Second-conjugation: ceannaigh–‘buy,’ éirigh –‘rise’ Present ceannaítear éirítear Past ceannaíodh éiríodh Future ceannófar éireofar Past habitual cheannaítí d’éirítí Conditional cheannófaí d’éireofaí