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How to say 'I'm exhausted' in Irish

useful phrases

You might already know how to say 'I'm tired' in Irish (Tá mé tuirseach / Tá tuirse orm) but here are a few great expressions to use when you're absolutely shattered!


Tá mé maraithe amach

This expression literally means 'I'm killed out'. Notice how the ending of the word ('the') is barely pronounced in Connacht Irish. The word sounds more like 'mar-ee' - as the final 'the' is dropped in speech. This is a very recognisable feature of Connacht Irish, and you'll hear it very often if you start to pay attention. Here is another example:

'imithe' - pronounced 'im-ee'

Tá sé imithe / He has left

You can compare the differences between the three main dialects on the website:

 Try out some other words with this 'the' ending, e.g. críochnaithe (finished) and your ear will become attuned to this difference in no time!

Bhí an obair ar fad críochnaithe faoi am lóin / All of the work was finished by lunchtime.


Traochta / Spíonta

Two words for 'exhausted' are 'traochta' and 'spíonta'. You could also just say:

Tá mé an-tuirseach / I'm very tired

Tá mé thar a bheith tuirseach / I'm extremely tired (lit. I'm beyond being tired)

Tá cuma spíonta ort / You look exhausted (lit. you have an exhausted appearance)

Breathnaíonn tú traochta / You look exhausted


An dá chois

In English we might say 'I'm falling down with the tiredness'.

The equivalent expression in Irish is:

Tá an dá chois ag imeacht fúm / lit. My two legs are going from under me.

You've probably come across the word 'cos' for 'leg' before, but you'll notice that a different form of the word is used in this expression: 'cois'.

(There is a 'h' in 'cois' in the example given - this is because the number two triggers lenition (a 'h') on a word following it).

The word 'cois' (and not 'cos') was used in Irish in certain grammatical situations in the past, in particular after prepositions, e.g. 'on' (ar)

Tá rud éigin ar cois / There is something afoot

This form of the word is also used after the number two - two legs: dhá chois.

Don't ask me why this form of the word has survived in that particular situation ;-)

mo dhá chois / my two legs


Useful everyday expressions in Irish

The Irish language soap opera, Ros na Rún, is a great programme to watch in order to pick up useful everyday expressions. As there are characters from all of the main Gaeltacht areas on the programme you will also be starting to attune your ear to the differences between the dialects. You might also like to check out our previous blog about great Irish language television programmes.


Learn Irish the easy way with All About Irish

All About Irish also offers a number of courses which are built around everyday conversations and so are packed with useful everyday phrases in Irish, including the Beyond Beginner courses (Beyond Beginner 1 and Beyond Beginner 2); and the Learn Irish Through Conversation Courses. If you have any questions at all you can contact All About Irish here. And finally, if you'd like to receive the All About Irish newsletter with useful tips and tricks for learning Irish then just click here.



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