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How to say 'I have to go' in Irish

tips for learning irish useful phrases

You probably already know to say 'slán leat' when saying goodbye to someone, but here are some more nice easy phrases in Irish that you can use when making your departure. How many do you already know? Make sure to try them out the next time you get the opportunity!


Caithfidh mé é a ghearradh

This literally means 'I have to cut it', and is an informal way of saying 'I have to head off'. It also implies that you're in a bit of a hurry to get going. Notice that the 'é' can barely be heard when this phrase is spoken at conversational speed.


Tá orm imeacht

The meaning of this phrase is 'I must go' or 'I have to go'. It implies that there's no other option - maybe you need to be somewhere else, and you can't sit around ag ól tae, agus ag caint agus ag comhrá an lá ar fad / drinking tea and talking and chatting the whole day.

Although literal translations between languages don't often work, sometimes it can help - the literal translation of this phrase is 'It's on me to go'.

By the way, both 'tá orm' and 'caithfidh mé' are two ways to say 'I must' or 'I have to', and they can be used interchangeably. Therefore you could also say 'caithfidh mé imeacht'.


Bualifidh muid an bóthar

This doesn't really need much explanation as it's an expression used in English also - 'let's hit the road'.

The literal translation here is 'we will hit the road'.


Fág seo

This is a very informal way of saying to someone that it's time to get moving, to head off - and that you're both going to head off together. Use it where you might say 'let's go' in English. The literal meaning is 'leave here'. 

If you watch 'Ros na Rún' you'll likely hear this phrase at least once per episode! Keep your ears open for it!


These are just a few ways to tell someone that you're heading off, or that it's time to leave. If you liked this post then check out these similar posts:

How to say 'hello' in Irish

How to say 'thank you' in Irish

How to say 'well done' in Irish


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