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How to say 'it upset me' in Irish

useful phrases

Here are a few useful ways to say that someone or something is bothering or upsetting you in Irish. Watch out for these phrases whenever you watch Irish language tv or whenever you are reading in Irish.


Ghoill sé go mór orm

The verb goill (pain / distress / upset) is used with the preposition ar; literally something distresses on a person in Irish!

Goill + ar

Ghoill sé uirthi / It bothered her (lit. it upset on her)

Ghoill a bhás orainn / His death upset us

Goilleann sé orm go gcreideann tú é sin / It upsets me that you believe that

Add 'go mór' to increase the level of distress:

Goilleann an t-easaontas go mór ar Sheán / The disagreement affects Seán greatly

Ghoill an easpa tuisceana go mór uirthi / The lack of understanding upset her greatly


Chuaigh sé go smior ionam

Smior is the Irish word for 'bone marrow' and it's a useful word to know as it can be used in lots of expressions in Irish.

Go smior / to the bone marrow

If something is extremely upsetting you can say that 'it went into the bone marrow in me', i.e. it upset me deeply.

Chuaigh sé go smior ionam / It upset me to my core (lit. it went to the bone marrow in me)

Chuaigh sé go smior inti / It upset her to her core (lit. it went to the bone marrow in her)

Chuaigh sé go smior ann / It upset him to his core (lit. it went to the bone marrow in him)


Here are some other ways to use 'go smior':

Bhí mé préachta go smior / I was frozen (lit. I was frozen to my bone marrow)


In English you might say that someone has a particular characteristic 'to his fingertips', e.g.  'She's Irish to her fingertips'.

In Irish the equivalent expression uses 'go smior':

Ealaíontóir go smior atá inti / She is an artist to her marrow (lit. an artist to the bone marrow is in her)


Chuir sé isteach go mór orm

Another way to say that something is upsetting you is to use the verb 'cuir' (put). With this phrase think of something getting inside you, and bothering you

Chuir sé isteach go mór orm / It bothered me greatly (lit. it put in on me a lot)

Tá tú ag cur isteach orm, fan amach uaim! / You're bothering me, keep away from me!

If something doesn't bother you then say:

Ní chuireann sé isteach orm / It doesn't bother me (lit. it doesn't 'put' in on me)

If it absolutely doesn't bother you, even the littlest bit then say:

Ní chuireann sé isteach ná amach orm / It doesn't bother me at all


Cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht!

Don't forget the seanfhocal cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht! (Practice makes perfect). If you want to remember these phrases you are going to have to use them! Say them to yourself whenever something or somebody bothers you (either out loud, or just to yourself). Listen to the short clip above until you're tinn tuirseach de (sick and tired of it)!


How to learn Irish

Learning Irish (or any language) requires lots and lots of repetition. This means lots of listening, and reading to build vocabulary, and speaking practice if you can get it (if you can't try talking to yourself!). Check out all of the online Irish language courses which are available with All About Irish. There are both self-study and live options, so there is something for everyone. If you would like to learn Irish by listening to poetry or literature in Irish then make sure to check out the Learn Irish Through Poetry and Learn Irish Through Literature courses. If you're not sure which course is the right one for you then you can contact me here.



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