Irish language

Coming to grips with an irregular verb – without coming to blows

COME ON, MAYO: Will it come to pass that Stephen Rochford and his team with come good with the plan they have come up with to give the highly-fancied Dublin their come-uppance
Robert McMillen


Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad míle fáilte isteach chuig the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

We’re coming back to come this week to see what we can come up with.

It’s a handy verb to know the ins and outs and rounabouts of because it is used in a lot of situations that don’t correspond to English.

When he was young he thought that “where are you from?” was cá thagann tú ó?

This of course is gibberish.

Cá has thú?” or Cárb as duit?” are two ways of asking someone where they come from.

Is as Dún Geannainn mé - I am from Dungannon is one answer so there is no need for the word come the way there is in English.

Here’s another one. 

Tar anseo means come here but in Irish you could also say goitse or goitse anseo - which is a corruption of gabh anseo (go here).

You know when you have a son who comes and goes as he pleases you would say tá a cheann is a chosa leis or tá a ceann is a cosa léi if it’s a daughter whom you never see apart from laundry visits.

And if the prodigal son or daughter did arrive at the family home for a surprise visit, you could summon up all your sarcasm and ask cad é a tháinig ort? - what came over you!  

Or you could use a lovely wee word and ask 

cad é na siabhrógaí a tháinig ort? - What on earth has come over you?

Or what about if you are at a football, hurling or camogie match or if little Áine is doing the half-marathon as she flashes by you, you might get the chance to gulder Ar aghaidh leat, Áine - come on, Áine.

And when she wins, or when turns round as Darren warbles The Theme from Titanic on The Voice or when your mate gets that final nose job, they all might proudly say: “fíoraíodh m’aisling!” My dream came true.    

And what about little phrases that use come in English but not a form of tar in Irish?

Bhuel, instead of how come? you would say cad chuige? in Ulster.

When you think your husband/wife/offspring/boss aren’t being honest and you want them to come clean, tell them to déan an fhírinne - literally to make the truth, right hand up to God.

Ba bheag nár bhuaigh sí means se came close to winning.

Teacht/ag teacht is the Irish for coming and it is used a lot too.

For instance, if you are talking about your dreams to one day be an astronaut, you are talking about san am atá le teacht - in the future or literally in the time that is coming.

There are lots of other phrases using come that pop up and one way to learn them is to look up the latest on-line Irish dictionary and head to

Here you’ll find meanings of come other than “move or travel towards or into a place thought of as near or familiar to the speaker.”
You’ll find come again, come alive, come cheap, come in handy, to come a long way, come off it!, to come on strong, to come out and say something, don’t come the innocent with me and so on. It will also make you realise what a wonderful English vocabulary you have! 



Cá has thú? (ca has hoo) - where are you from?

Cárb as duit? (carab as ditch) - where are you from?

Is as an Ómaigh mé (is iss un ohmy may) - I come from Omagh  

Tar anseo (tar anshaw) - come here 

goitse (gutcha) - come here 

goitse anseo (gutcha anshaw) - come here 

tá a cheann is a chosa leis (taa a kyun iss a khusa lesh) - he comes and goes

cad é a tháinig ort? (cadge ay a haneek ort) - what came over you!  

cad é na siabhrógaí a tháinig ort? (cadge ay ne sheeowrogee a haneek ort) - What on earth has come over you?

Ar aghaidh leat, Áine (er ay lat, anya) - come on, Áine.

fíoraíodh m’aisling! (feereeoo mashling) - my dream came true

cad chuige? (ca tee) - how come

déan an fhírinne (jaan uneeranya) - come clean

ba bheag nár bhuaigh sí (ba vig nar wooee she) -  she came close to winning

Teacht/ag teacht (chakht/eg chakht) - coming

san am atá le teacht (san am ataa le chakht) - in the future







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