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Ritheann sé liom - Ideas in Irish

useful phrases

To talk about an idea or thought ‘occurring’ to you use the verb ‘rith’ (run) with the preposition ‘le’ (with) - literally ‘it runs with me that…’

Rith + le

Rith sé le Seán go raibh an post is leadránaí ar domhan aige.

It occurred to Seán that he had the most boring job in the world.

Rith sé liom nach raibh Seán leath chomh deas agus a cheap daoine.

It occurred to me that Seán wasn’t half as nice as people thought.

Ritheann sé liom go mbeidh rudaí ag athrú thart anseo.

It occurs to me that things will be changing around here.

Níor rith sé riamh liom go n-inseodh sé bréag.

It never occurred to me that he would tell a lie.

Cuimhnigh + ar

The verb ‘cuimhnigh’ is generally used to mean ‘remember / consider / think’ and it can also be used as another way to say that a thought occurred to you. The verb is used with the preposition ‘ar’.

Níor chuimnigh mé ar cuireadh a thabhairt dó / níor rith sé liom cuireadh a thabhairt dó.

I never though of inviting him / it didn’t occur to me to invite him.

Nár chuimhnigh tú riamh ar cheist a chur? / nár rith sé riamh leat ceist a chur?

(to be said with sarcasm ;-) )

Did you never think of asking? / did it not occur to you to ask?

(Aside: notice that ‘to ask a question’ in Irish is literally ‘to put a question’: Chuir Mary go leor ceisteanna orm faoi mo phost / Mary asked me a lot of questions about my job; bíonn Mary i gcónaí ag cur ceist ar dhaoine faoi rudaí nach mbaineann léi / Mary is always asking people about things that are none of her business).

An chéad rud…

When something ‘occurs’ to someone, it is usually the first thought that pops into their head. This is another phrase that might be useful when talking about something occurring to you:

An chéad rud a tháinig i mo cheann ná cé mhéad a chosnódh sé.

The first thing that came into my head was how much would it cost

An chéad rud a rith liom ná cén fáth nach raibh sé ag an gcóisir.

The first thing that occurred to me was why wasn’t he at the party.

Feic + do

Another useful phrase with a similar meaning is ‘feictear dom’.

Feictear dom

It seems to me

Feictear dom nach tú an duine ceart don jab seo.

It seems to me that you are not the right person for this job.

Feictear dom nach fiú a bheith ag caint leat.

It seems to me that it’s not worthwhile talking to you / there’s no point talking to you.

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

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