Back to Blog

How to say 'don't give up' in Irish

useful phrases

Here are a few nice phrases to know in Irish if you want to encourage someone to keep going. You might even like to say them to yourself from time to time.


Keep going!

'Coinnigh ort' has the same meaning as 'keep going' and is an expression that is very commonly used in Irish language conversation. 'Coinnigh' is the command of the verb 'keep' - notice that in Connacht Irish the final 'igh' is barely pronounced at all. By contrast, in Munster Irish this final syllable is heard much more distinctly, and the final 'igh' sounds more like 'ig' in English. (Check out the online dictionary to hear the different pronunciations).


Fire ahead!

'Ar aghaidh leat' means 'fire ahead' / 'go ahead' / 'go on with you' . This is another great expression to know in Irish and is often used to encourage someone who is hesitating before taking action, to spur them on. Again the final syllable of 'aghaidh' is barely pronounced in Connacht Irish; whereas in Munster Irish this final 'aidh' is pronounced. (Check out the online dictionary to hear the different pronunciations).


Chin up!

'Coinnigh do mhisneach' is a lovely expression to know in Irish, and one to use in times when the going is a bit more difficult than usual. 'Misneach' is the Irish word for 'courage'.

This expression literally means 'keep your courage'. The closest equivalent in English would be 'keep your chin up', but the Irish phrase is more powerful....

it implies that someone already has courage....

now they just need to keep it!


Learn Irish with everyday phrases

When learning short phrases like these off by heart it's a good ideal to pay a little more attention so that you get a little more mileage out of what you learn!

Did you notice, for example, that the word 'do' (your) caused a sound change on the following word: misneach / do mhisneach.

The 'h' which has been inserted marks a sound change: notice that the 'm' sound of 'misneach' has been replaced with a 'v' sound in 'mhisneach'.


Useful expressions to know in Irish

If you liked this short post you might like to check out these other posts with easy Irish expressions:

How to say hello in Irish

How to say 'thank you' in Irish

How to say 'it took me by surprise' in Irish

How to say 'I'm fine' in Irish


The best way to learn Irish

I've spent a lot of time teaching Irish to adults, and learning other languages myself. My top tip for learning Irish is to get a basic understanding of the structure of the language AND learning correct pronunciation in Irish. Once you have a good grasp of both the structure and pronunciation of the language then it's time to get lots of input - good authentic Irish language content. There is lots of excellent free content on the Irish language television stations TG4 and Cúla 4; and there is an excellent selection of great books in Irish for anyone learning Irish.

Check out these blog posts with lots of tips for learning Irish:

Learn Irish with Cúla 4 (the Irish language tv station for children)

Learn Irish with Irish language tv programmes

Reading in Irish


Irish language courses with All About Irish

All About Irish offers online Irish language courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced level. The Beginner Irish course focus on teaching a solid understanding of the structure of the language and the basics of good pronunciation. The Beyond Beginner courses also focus on structure of the language while expanding vocabulary and confidence when speaking Irish. The Learn Irish Through Conversation series teaches everything you need to know about how to use verbs correctly in Irish in the present, future and past tenses - while enjoying short entertaining conversations in Irish. The TEG A2 course contains everything needed to succeed at the TEG A2 exam; and the Learn Irish Through Literature and Learn Irish Through Poetry are great ways to learn more about Irish language literature and poetry while improving your Irish at the same time. If you're not sure which course is right for you please contact me here, and I will help you decide.




Phrases in Irish you won't find in a textbook!

Enter your details to get my FREE guide (with audio) of useful phrases in Irish that you won't find in a textbook.

You will also receive the odd email from me with useful content and resources for learning Irish. My emails are rather sporadic and of course you can unsubscribe whenever you like.