Thoir (irregular verb)

From Scottish Gaelic Grammar Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The irregular verb thoir means "to give", "to take with", "to take from", "to bring" depending upon which preposition it is used with. Thoir is one of 11 irregular verbs in Gaelic. Because many of the forms of thoir take forms based on the root bheir, it is often mixed up with the verb beir 'catch'. They're not the same verb at all!


  • thug do "gave
  • thug le take with/"bring" thug mi leam an leabhar I took the book with me. The preposition is obligatory.
  • thug bho "take from"

Summary of forms

  • Independent forms of the verb thoir are used without any particles.
  • Dependent forms of the verb thoir are used after an, nach, gun and other verbal particles.
  • Unlike regular verbs, the dependent past tense particle do is never used with thoir.

context independent Dependent
basic forms active past thug tug
Future bheir3 toir
Relative Future --- bheir
impersonal1 past thugadh tugadh
future bheirear toirear
relative future --- bheirear
Conditional Mood active bheireadh2
(bheirinn1 in 1st singular)
(toirinn1 in 1st sing)
impersonal bheirte toirte
Imperative Mood 2nd person singular thoir1 ---
plural thoiribh1
verbal noun toirt


  • 1 these forms are not used with any subject, they contain the subject in the inflection of the verb (Pro-Drop)
  • 2 takes tu rather than thu in the 2nd person.
  • 3 don't confuse bheir with the verb Beir 'catch'! They are not the same verb.

Non Conditional Moods (indicative, interrogative, negative)

Active Voice

Past tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question embedded
1 thug mi an tug mi cha tug mi nach tug mi gun tug mi
2 thug thu an tug thu cha tug thu nach tug thu gun tug thu
3 masc thug e an tug e cha tug e nach tug e gun tug e
3 fem thug i an tug i cha tug i nach tug i gun tug i
1 pl thug sinn an tug sinn cha tug sinn nach tug sinn gun tug sinn
2 pl thug sibh an tug sibh cha tug sibh nach tug sibh gun tug sibh
3 pl thug iad an tug iad cha tug iad nach tug iad gun tug iad

Present tense

As is common in Gaelic, there is no present tense form of the verb. When a simple present meaning ("I give something") or a progressive meaning (I am giving something) is intended, the periphrastic construction is used with the present tense of the verb bi (be), i.e., tha, along with the verbal noun.

Tha mi a' toirt an rud do
be.pres 1s prog the thing to.3sm
I'm giving the thing to him.

Future tense

The future tense in Gaelic is used to express the idea that an event will happen sometime after the speech time. Unlike English, the future tense can also be used with a present tense meaning, to express the idea that an action is habitual.

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question Relative Future1
1 Bheir mi an toir mi cha toir mi nach toir mi a bheir mi
2 Bheir thu an toir thu cha toir thu nach toir thu a bheir thu
3 masc Bheir e an toir e cha toir e nach toir e a bheir e
3 fem Bheir i an toir i cha toir i nach toir i a bheir i
1 pl Bheir sinn an toir sinn cha toir sinn nach toir sinn a bheir sinn
2 pl Bheir sibh an toir sibh cha toir sibh nach toir sibh a bheir sibh
3 pl Bheir iad an toir iad cha toir iad nach toir iad a bheir iad


  1. the relative future is used after certain particles such as ma or the particle used with questions a.

Impersonal/Passive Voice

Gaelic verbs don't technically have a Passive verb form. Instead the passive is typically represented through a periphrastic construction using the verbs Rach or Tha + the passive marker air. It does, however, have an impersonal form. The Impersonal is used to indicate an indeterminate subject. thugadh can be best translated as "someone gave". When used with a pronoun, the pronoun represents the logical object of the verb. So "thugadh e" means "Someone gave/took it". This is often translated as "it was taken/given", hence the typical "passive" label.

Since Gaelic doesn't distinguish between subject and object pronouns (unlike it's sibling Modern Irish), it is very difficult to determine if these pronouns are subjects or objects. We list them here as if they were subjects, with the understanding that the pronouns in the following tables represent the logical objects of the verb (the thing that was said, not the sayer).

Past tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question
3 masc thugadh e an tugadh e cha tugadh e nach tugadh e
3 fem thugadh i an tugadh i cha tugadh i nach tugadh i
3 pl thugadh iad an tugadh iad cha tugadh iad nach tugadh iad

Present tense

The use of a passive in the present tense is odd, even in English. We leave this blank here.

Future tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question Relative Future1
3 masc bheirear e an toirear e cha toirear e nach toirear e a bheirear e
3 fem bheirear i an toirear i cha toirear i nach toirear i a bheirear i
3 pl bheirear iad an toirear iad cha toirear iad nach toirear iad a bheirear iad


  1. the relative future is used after certain particles such as a the particle used with questions, or ma "if".

Conditional Mood


Declarative Question Negative Negative Question
1 bheirinn1 an toirinn cha toirinn nach toirinn
2 bheireadh tu2 an toireadh tu cha toireadh tu nach toireadh tu
3 masc bheireadh e an toireadh e cha toireadh e nach toireadh e
3 fem bheireadh i an toireadh i cha toireadh i nach toireadh i
1 pl bheireadh sinn (bheireamaid3) an toireadh sinn (an toireamaid3) cha toireadh sinn (chan toireamaid3) nach toireamaid sinn (nach toireamaid3)
2 pl bheireadh sibh an toireadh sibh cha toireadh sibh nach toireadh sibh
3 pl bheireadh iad an toireadh iad cha toireadh iad nach toireadh iad


  1. The 1st person singular form is never used with an overt pronoun, the verb contains the pronoun already.
  2. The pronoun tu is used here instead of thu
  3. The 1st person plural has a special inflected form, which like the first person singular is never used with a pronoun. This 1st person plural form is rarely used anymore.


Declarative Question Negative Negative Question
3 masc bheirte e an toirte e cha toirte e nach toirte e
3 fem bheirte i an toirte i cha toirte i nach toirte i
3 pl bheirte iad an toirte iad cha toirte iad nach toirte iad

Imperative Mood

  • Singular: thoir!
  • Plural/polite: thoiribh!


  • Black, Ronald (2006) Cothrom Ionnsachaidh Peebles: Self-published.
  • Byrne, Michel (2002) Gràmar na Gàidhlig. Eilean Leòdhais: Stòrlann-Acair.
  • Deiseal Earranta tta (2006) Reference Cards: Sealbhairean Roimhearach/Riochdairean Roimhearach.
  • Mark, Colin (2004) The Gaelic-English Dictionary/Am faclair Gàidhlig-Beurla. London: Routledge
  • Mark, Colin (2006), Gaelic Verbs: Systemised and Simplified" 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Steve Savage Publishers.
  • Lamb, William (2003) Scottish Gaelic. 2nd edition. Munich: Lingcom Europa