Faigh (irregular verb)

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The irregular verb Faigh means "to get". Faigh is one of 11 irregular verbs in Gaelic.

Summary of forms

  • Independent forms of the verb Faigh are used without any particles.
  • Dependent forms of the verb faigh are used after an, nach, gun and other verbal particles.
context independent After Cha(n) Dependent
basic forms active past fhuair d'fhuair
Future gheibh fhaigh faigh
Relative Future --- gheibh
impersonal past fhuaras/fhuaradh d'fhuaras
future gheibhear fhaighear faighear
relative future --- gheibhear
Conditional Mood active gheibheadh1
(gheibhinn2 in 1st sing)
(gheibheamaid2 in 1st pl)
(fhaighinn2 in 1st sing)
(fhaigheamaid2 in 1st pl)
(faighinn2 in 1st sing)
(faigheamaid2 in 1st pl)
impersonal gheibhte fhaighte faighte
Imperative Mood 1st person singular faigheam2,3 ---
plural faigheamaid2,3
2nd person singular faigh2
plural faighibh2
3rd person faigheadh e, i, iad3
verbal noun faighinn/faotainn


  • 1 with the past tense, relative future and impersonal forms of this verb, the pronoun tu is used instead of thu
  • 2 these forms are not used with any subject, they contain the subject in the inflection of the verb (Pro-Drop)
  • 3 extremely rare/archaic.

Non Conditional Moods (indicative, interrogative, negative)

Active Voice

Past tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question embedded
1 Fhuair mi an d'fhuair mi cha d'fhuair mi nach d'fhuair mi gun d'fhuair mi
2 Fhuair thu an d'fhuair tu cha d'fhuair tu nach d'fhuair tu gun d'fhuair tu
3 masc Fhuair e an d'fhuair e cha d'fhuair e nach d'fhuair e gun d'fhuair e
3 fem Fhuair i an d'fhuair i cha d'fhuair i nach d'fhuair i gun d'fhuair i
1 pl Fhuair sinn an d'fhuair sinn cha d'fhuair sinn nach d'fhuair sinn gun d'fhuair sinn
2 pl Fhuair sibh an d'fhuair sibh cha d'fhuair sibh nach d'fhuair sibh gun d'fhuair sibh
3 pl Fhuair iad an d'fhuair iad cha d'fhuair iad nach d'fhuair iad gun d'fhuair iad

Present tense

As is common in Gaelic, there is no present tense form of the verb. When a simple present meaning ("I get something") or a progressive meaning (I am getting 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' faighinn
be.pres 1s prog get.vn
I'm getting/I get

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 gheibh mi am faigh mi chan fhaigh mi nach faigh mi a gheibh mi
2 gheibh thu am faigh thu chan fhaigh thu nach faigh thu a gheibh thu
3 masc gheibh e am faigh e chan fhaigh e nach faigh e a gheibh e
3 fem gheibh i am faigh i chan fhaigh i nach faigh i a gheibh i
1 pl gheibh sinn am faigh sinn chan fhaigh sinn nach faigh sinn a gheibh sinn
2 pl gheibh sibh am faigh sibh chan fhaigh sibh nach faigh sibh a gheibh sibh
3 pl gheibh iad am faigh iad chan fhaigh iad nach faigh iad a gheibh 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. fhuaras can be best translated as "someone got". Use of a pronoun is completely optional. So "fhuaras" is a completely well-formed sentence. When used with a pronoun, the pronoun represents the logical object of the verb. So "fhuaras mi" means "Someone got me". This is often translated as "I was got", 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 person who was got, not the getter).

Past tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question
1 fhuaras mi an d'fhuaras mi cha d'fhuaras mi nach d'fhuaras mi
2 fhuaras tu1 an d'fhuaras tu cha d'fhuaras tu nach d'fhuaras tu
3 masc fhuaras e an d'fhuaras e cha d'fhuaras e nach d'fhuaras e
3 fem fhuaras i an d'fhuaras i cha d'fhuaras i nach d'fhuaras i
1 pl fhuaras sinn an d'fhuaras sinn cha d'fhuaras sinn nach d'fhuaras sinn
2 pl fhuaras sibh an d'fhuaras sibh cha d'fhuaras sibh nach d'fhuaras sibh
3 pl fhuaras iad an d'fhuaras iad cha d'fhuaras iad nach d'fhuaras iad


  1. The pronoun tu is used here instead of thu

Present tense

The use of a passive in the present tense is odd, even in English. But if forced, one would use a passive periphrastic construction using the present tense of the verb bi followed by the derived subject followed by air and finally the verb in verbal noun form:

Tha mi air faighinn
be.pres 1s passive got.vn
"I am got"

Future tense

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question Relative Future1
1 gheibhear mi am faighear mi chan fhaighear mi nach faighear mi a gheibhear mi
2 gheibhear thu am faighear thu chan fhaighear thu nach faighear thu a gheibhear thu
3 masc gheibhear e am faighear e chan fhaighear e nach faighear e a gheibhear e
3 fem gheibhear i am faighear i chan fhaighear i nach faighear i a gheibhear i
1 pl gheibhear sinn am faighear sinn chan fhaighear sinn nach faighear sinn a gheibhear sinn
2 gheibhear sibh am faighear sibh chan fhaighear sibh nach faighear sibh a gheibhear sibh
3 pl gheibhear iad am faighear iad chan fhaighear iad nach faighear iad a gheibhear 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 gheibhinn1 am faighinn chan fhaighinn nach faighinn
2 gheibheadh tu2 am faigheadh tu chan fhaigheadh tu nach faigheadh tu
3 masc gheibheadh e am faigheadh e chan fhaigheadh e nach faigheadh e
3 fem gheibheadh i am faigheadh i chan fhaigheadh i nach faigheadh i
1 pl gheibheadh sinn (gheibheamaid3) am faigheadh sinn (am faigheamaid3) chan fhaigheadh sinn (chan fhaigheamaid3) nach faigheadh sinn (nach faigheamaid3)
2 pl gheibheadh sibh am faigheadh sibh chan fhaigheadh sibh nach faigheadh sibh
3 pl gheibheadh iad am faigheadh iad chan fhaigheadh iad nach faigheadh 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.


The pronouns here are OBJECT pronouns, not subjects!! "I would be got" etc.

Declarative Question Negative Negative Question
1 gheibhte mi am faighte mi chan fhaighte mi nach faighte mi
2 gheibhte thu am faighte thu chan fhaighte thu nach faighte thu
3 masc gheibhte e am faighte e chan fhaighte e nach faighte e
3 fem gheibhte i am faighte i chan fhaighte i nach faighte i
1 pl gheibhte sinn am faighte sinn chan fhaighte sinn nach faighte sinn
2 pl gheibhte sibh am faighte sibh chan fhaighte sibh nach faighte sibh
3 pl gheibhte iad am faighte iad chan fhaighte iad nach faighte iad

Imperative Mood

The Imperative mood is used when giving a command. 2nd person imperatives are the most common. In English these are translated with by just the verb "Get!". 1st and 3rd person imperatives translated loosely as "Let me get", "let us get", "let he/she/them get". The 1st person plural and third person imperatives are the same as the conditional forms except without lenition

person form
singular 1 faigheam1
2 faigh1
3 masc faigheadh e
3 fem faigheadh i
plural 1 faigheamaid1
2 faighibh1
3 faigheadh iad


  1. The 1st and 2nd person forms are used without subject pronouns.


  • 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. http://www.savagepublishers.com/138.html
  • Lamb, William (2003) Scottish Gaelic. 2nd edition. Munich: Lingcom Europa