Appendix:Irish pronouns

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Irish personal and possessive pronouns are not declined as such, but they do have particular forms.

  • The first person plural has alternative forms (based on sinn and muid).
  • The second person singular may lenite when used objectively (but is subject to the dntls rule).
  • Third person pronouns drop their initial s when used with the copula, and objectively.
  • Emphatic forms add suffixes.

The demonstrative pronoun sin derives from the article.

See the category list below for other pronoun types: other demonstrative, definite, interrogative, negative, reflexive, relative.

Summary table


The summary table shows the following forms for the personal pronouns:

  • copular: Is é.
  • analytic verbs:
  • emphasis: Is mise
    • -sa: mise, tusa, sise, sibhse
    • -san: (s)eisean, (s)iadsan
    • -ne: sinne, muidne
  • possessive pronouns, not declined.
  • example synthetic, for standard and dialect/archaic forms.
Number and person Copula Analytic Emphatic Possessive [1] Example Synthetic[2]
subject [3] object [4] copula analytic standard dialect
Singular 1st mise moL, m' [5] -im -im
2nd thú tusa doL, d' [5] - -ir
3rd m é [6] é eisean seisean aL - -idh
3rd f í í ise sise aH
3rd n ea [7] -
Plural 1st sinn [8] sinn sinne árN -imid -imid
muid muid muidne
2nd sibh [8] sibh sibhse bhurN - -tí
3rd iad siad iad iadsan siadsan aN - -id



The etymology table shows how Irish personal pronouns derive, in whole or in part, from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European pronouns *éǵh₂, *túh₂ and *éy.

Pronoun form Middle Irish [9] Old Irish Proto-Celtic PIE
form root
*mī *me *éǵh₂
*tū *túh₂
é é *es *éy
í í? [rfi 1] *sī *sih₂ *só + *éy
[ep 1]
ea [10] ed *id *éy
sinn sinni [11] *snīs *nēs *éǵh₂
muid -mid [12]
sibh sib *swiswis [13] *wos *túh₂
iad íat [14]
siad síat[rfi 2]
mise messe [15]
tusa tussu
eisean ésom
ise sis(s)i
sinne sinni [16] *snīsni
sibhse sib-si
iadsan [14]
mo mo [rfi 3] *moy *moy *éǵh₂
do [ep 2] do [rfi 4] *toy *toy *túh₂
aL [ep 3] aL [ep 4] *esyo [17] *ésyo *éy
aH [ep 3] aH [ep 4] *esyās [18] *ésyeh₂s *éy
ár ar [rfi 5] *anserom *n̥serōm *wéy
bhur for *sweseros *wes *wos
aN [ep 3] aN [ep 4] *eysom [19] *éysoHom *éy


  1. ^ Using the /L H N/ notation to indicate triggering of lenition, aspiration and eclipsis (for which /E/ may also be seen).
  2. ^ Active indicative present, slender. Of these forms, besides the standard first person, only the second singular may be heard today. For other tenses, see for example dialect forms on Nualeargais.
  3. ^ Also conjunctive.
  4. ^ Also disjunctive.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Elision occurs before vowels and lenited f: m'iníon, d'fhear céile.
  6. ^ Not to be confused with Is é...> 'Sé....
  7. ^ The last remaining neuter form in Irish, akin to English it.
  8. 8.0 8.1 There was an older form without the copular s.
  9. ^ Entries for Middle Irish are given only if they differ significantly from Old Irish.
  10. ^ Obsolete spelling eadh.
  11. ^ This is the emphatic form.
  12. ^ Synthetic ending re-analysed as a pronoun.
  13. ^ Reduplicated form of *swīs.
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Old Irish form is the same as the 3rd sg m, é.
  15. ^ Messe ocus Pangur Bán....
  16. ^ Dissimilated from the Proto-Celtic.
  17. ^ The final vowel triggers lenition.
  18. ^ The final -s triggers h-prothesis.
  19. ^ The final nasal triggers eclipsis.

Etymology pointers

  1. ^ Etymology 2 in this entry.
  2. ^ Etymology 3 in this entry.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Etymology 1 in this entry.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Etymology 3 in this entry.

Requests for information

  1. ^ no etymology in entry; suggested in comparison with MGa split of 3rd sg SGa é → é/sé, therefore sí → í/sí.
  2. ^ no etymology in this entry; suggested based on etymology of iad.
  3. ^ no Old Irish entry yet, links to Irish version.
  4. ^ links to entry with preposition "to, for" only.
  5. ^ entry does not describe personal pronoun yet.

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See also