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Gaeilge: Oral

Now that the examinations are fast approaching, you should immediately focus on priorities. The oral test should be number one on your list, both now and in the immediate future. Don't forget -- the orals will be held during the first half of April. Yes, this examination will take place during the week beginning 7 April or during the week beginning 14 April!

The oral is a very important test -- 150 marks! It is worth 25% of the entire mark for Irish in the Leaving Certificate. So, you should surely devote 25% of your study of Irish to this important test.

The marks will be alotted as follows:

1 Reading test: 30 marks

2 Conversation: 120 marks

Total: 150 marks

1 The reading test:

At the very beginning of the test you will be asked to read a short piece of prose. You are required to choose and prepare five passages from the fifteen passages which have been prescribed.

The examiner will choose, from your list of five, the piece which you must read -- and you will be given one minute to read it carefully to yourself. Then you will be asked to read it aloud.

Note: When you are choosing your five extracts, it is not necessary to choose any single dialect. Choose any five passages from the list.

Don't forget! You simply have to prepare five short piecs. Do not postpone this simple task. Prepare each passage now! You will never have a better opportunity to earn thirty marks in advance of a major examination!

2 The conversation

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The conversation is worth 120 marks. Undoubtedly, this is the most important part of the Irish examination. Therefore, you should practice conversational Irish immediately, if you have not already begun.

Start preparing common topics of conversation now!

Consider the following important points:

- The oral is not a test of your knowledge of world affairs! Therefore, if you are asked a question on a topic about which you know nothing, be honest -- say so! However, you should always be prepared to answer questions about matters -- even about current affairs -- which directly affect your own life.

- Prepare a wide vocabulary on topics such as the following: yourself; family; home; place of residence; school; subjects which you are studying; your favourite subject -- and why; you choice of work or profession; hobbies and pastimes; holidays; films; music; sport; stories of interest in the news.

Prepare yourself for the following questions:

1 Cad is ainm duit?

2 Cén aois thú?

3 Cá bhfuil tú i do chónaí? Inis dom faoin áit sin.

4 Cárb as tú?

5 Cén cineál scoile ina bhfuil tú? Cén t-ainm atá ar an scoil? Inis dom faoin scoil. Céard é an locht is mó atá ar an scoil? An nglacann na daltaí páirt i gcúrsaí spóirt? Cad iad na foirne atá sa scoil. Conas tá ag éirí leo? Cad é do thuairim faoin éide scoile?

6 An bhfuil locht ar bith ar an scoil? Cén locht é sin?

7 Céard iad na hábhair atá á ndéanamh agat don Ardteist? Céard é an t-ábhar is fearr leat? Cén fáth?Cén t-ábhar nach dtaitníonn leat? Cén fáth?

8 Cén caitheamh aimsire atá agat? Inis dom faoi.

9 Céard é an cluiche is fearr leat? Cá mbíonn tú ag imirt? Inis cúpla rud dom faoin gcluiche. Céard a tharlaíonn nuair a dhéantar feall ar dhuine? Cén cineál éide a chaitheann na himreoirí? Cén eagraíocht a dhéanann na cluichí a reáchtáil? Inis dom faoin eagraiocht sin -- e.g. Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (GAA), Cumann Peile na hÉireann (FAI) agus Cumann Peil Rugbaí na hÉireann (IRFU).

10 Cén post ba mhaith leat a bheith agat? Cén fáth? Céard a bheidh le déanamh agat chun post mar sin a fháil? An bhfuil taithí ar bith agat ar an obair sin? Inis dom faoi sin.

11 An bhfuil suim ar bith agat i gcúrsaí polaitíochta? Inis cúpla rud dom faoi chúrsaí polaitiúla in Éirinn. Cad is ainm don Taoiseach? Cad is ainm don Uachtarán? Cá gcónaíonn an tUachtarán? Céard a tharlaíonn nuair nach mbíonn an bua ag páirtí ar bith san olltoghchán? An mbíonn ceannairí ar bith eile sa Dáil lasmuigh den Taoiseach agus den Cheann Comhairle? Cad a thugtar orthu? Cad a cheapann tú faoi chúrsaí polaitiúla i dtuaisceart na tíre seo faoi láthair? Céard é do thuairim faoi George Bush?

12 Céard é do mheas faoi staid na Gaeilge inniu? An raibh tú riamh sa Ghaeltacht? Inis dom faoi sin. An léann tú nuachtán Gaeilge ar bith? Inis dom faoi.

13 Conas a chaith tú na laethanta saoire anuraidh?

14 Conas a chaitheann tú an deireadh seachtaine de ghnáth?

15 Cad a cheapann tú faoin aos óg i gcoitinne? An mbíonn an iomarca ólacháin ar siúl acu? An dóigh leat go mbíonn a lán díobh ag glacadh drugaí? Cén réiteach a bheadh agat féin ar fhadhb na ndrugaí? Céard a cheapann tú faoin gcosc ar chaitheamh tobac in áiteanna poiblí?

16 Cad é an nuachtán is mó a léann tú? Cad chuige a dtaitníonn an nuachtán sin leat? Cad a cheapann tú faoin gcaighdeán iriseoireachta in Éirinn? An dóigh leat go bhfuil an iomarca cumhachta ag iriseoirí?

17 An raibh tú riamh thar lear? Inis dom faoi sin.

18 Céard é an clár teilifíse is fearr leat? Inis dom faoi.

19 Cad é do thuairim faoin gcóras oideachais? An dóigh leat go mbíonn an iomarca brú ar scoláirí? Cad iad na hathruithe a dhéanfá i do scoil féin dá mbeifeá i do phríomhoide?

20 Inis dom faoi scannán maith nó faoi chlár maith teilifíse a chonaic tú le déanaí.

21 Inis dom faoi leabhar maith a léigh tú le déanaí.

22 Cén t-eolas atá agat faoin gconspóid a bhí ann le déanaí maidir le híocaíochtaí -- nó le deontais -- a thabhairt do dhaoine a imríonn cluichí gaelacha.

- It is important to remember that 45 of the marks for the conversion are allotted go grammar. It would be a good, idea, therefore to devote some time to the study of grammar now -- especially the verbs. Now is the time to practice the past (aimsir chaite), present (aimsir ghnátháithreach) and future (aimsir fháistineach) tenses. And, if you are aiming for a really high grade, you certainly should practice the modh coinníollach. Prepare yourself for such questions as:

- Céard a dhéanfá dá mbuafá milliún euro sa Chrannchur Náisiúnta?

- Céard a dhéanfá dá mbeadh míle euro agat?

- Céard a dhéanfá dá mbeifeá i do phríomhoide ar an scoil seo?

- Céard a dhéanfá dá mbeifeá i do Thaoiseach?

- Céard a dhéanfá dá mbeifeá i d'Uachtarán?





An Modh Coinníollach

The modh coinníollach is not as difficult as it often seems. It comes directly from the aimsir fháistineach. All you need to do is to delete the ‘dh’ from the aimsir fháistineach and to replace it with ‘nn’. Study the following examples.



béarfaidh mé — bhéarfainn

beidh mé — bheinn

cloisfidh mé — chloisfinn

déanfaidh mé — dhéanfainn

déarfaidh mé — déarfainn

feicfidh mé — d’fheicfinn

gheobhaidh mé — gheobhainn

íosfaidh mé — d’íosfainn

rachaidh mé — rachainn

tabharfaidh mé — thabharfainn

tiocfaidh mé — thiocfainn



brisfidh mé — bhrisfinn

cuirfidh mé — chuirfinn

glanfaidh mé — ghlanfainn

ólfaidh mé — d’ólfainn

sábhálfaidh mé – shábhálfainn

ceanglóidh mé — cheanglóinn

ceannóidh mé – cheannóinn

dúiseoidh mé — dhúiseoinn

fiafróidh mé — d’fhiafróinn

imreoidh mé —d’imreoinn

inseoidh mé — d’inseoinn







Diarmaid ÓTuama has taught Gaeilge at the Institute of Education since 1974. Having worked part-time in the earlier years, he joined our full-time staff in 1998. Prior to joining the full-time staff at the Institute, he was on the staff of Clonkeen College, Blackrock for twenty four years. He is the author of more than twenty five school books, as well as ofTrátaí Úra a collection of short stories. He spends his summers in Gaoth Dobhair, where he works as Príomhoide in Coláiste Cholmcille, a popular Coláiste Samhraidh. He was editor of Foinse sa Rang, a special supplement for Leaving Certificate students in the weekly newspaper Foinse from 1997 to 2007. He is currently editor of several Gael Linn publications.






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