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Aonad 1 Unit 1

Click the Sound File above to hear the Lesson

Learning how to ask someone’s name and answering with a name.

If you wish to find out someone’s name, the normal question used where Irish is spoken in Ulster is

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

which translates as “what is the name that is on you? (“ort” meaning “on you”)

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

Try it – cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

Depending on your name, the answer might be:

Colm an t-ainm atá orm

(meaning, Colm is the name that is on me)

Here are other sample answers:

Máire an t-ainm atá orm.

Gráinne an t-ainm atá orm.

Pádraig an t-ainm atá orm.

Síle an t-ainm atá orm.

When someone asks your name, out of politeness or curiosity or forgetfulness, you very often want to know the speaker’s name in return.  You might reply to them by asking

Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

And what is your name?

Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

Or for greater emphasis, agus cad é an t-ainm atá ortsa?

And what is your name?

Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ortsa?

Note the emphatic sa sound in ortsa

Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ortsa?

And what is your name?

So let’s listen to two speakers asking each other’s names:

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

______ an t-ainm atá orm. Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ortsa?

______ an t-ainm atá orm.

And again:

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

______ an t-ainm atá orm. Agus cad é an t-ainm atá ortsa?

______ an t-ainm atá orm.

There is no guarantee of course that you will meet the main Ulster version of asking someone their name.

It is useful therefore to briefly look at two other ways of finding out someone’s name.

One of these is very widely used and it is

Cad is ainm duit?

Cad is ainm duit?

Cad is ainm duit?

To which the reply might be:

Máirtín is ainm dom

Máirtín is ainm dom

(in Ulster you will more likely hear the word ‘dom’ pronounced as ‘do’ and we’ll stick with it)

Mairtín is ainm dom (‘do’)

Peadar is ainm dom.

Michelle is ainm dom.

Áine is ainm dom.

The return question in this case is

Agus cad is ainm duit?

And what is your name?

Agus cad is ainm duit?

Agus cad is ainm duit?

Let’s listen to an example of this exchange:

Cad is ainm duit?

_______ is ainm dom. Agus cad is ainm duit?

_______ is ainm dom.

And again:

Cad is ainm duit?

_______ is ainm dom. Agus cad is ainm duit?

_______ is ainm dom.

A simpler way sometimes used to find out someone’s name is the informal

Cé thusa?

Who are you?

Cé thusa?

Cé thusa?

The answer again is straightforward:

Is mise Conall.

Is mise Deirdre.

Is mise Anna.

Is mise Caoimhín.

Let’s listen to an example of this exchange:

Cé thusa?

Is mise _______.

Agus arís, and again

Cé thusa?

Is mise _______.

You should now practise out loud three of the ways you can ask someone their name in Irish.

Cad é an t-ainm atá ort?

Cad is ainm duit?

Cé thusa?

Make sure you know these before we move on to Aonad 2/Unit 2.

As we say in the Irish proverb:

Tús maith leath na hoibre

A good start is half the battle.

Tús maith leath na hoibre.

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