Back to Blog

Mo chuid airgid / My money

easy grammar tips

The word 'cuid' often causes confusion for people starting to learn Irish, and it's easy to see why! If mo means 'my' and gruaig is the Irish for 'hair' then surely 'my hair' would be mo ghruaig, right?! Well, kind of, but not fully! You'll also see mo chuid gruaige! The short video above explains when and how to use the word 'cuid' with possession, and read on for some more examples.


Using 'cuid' when denoting possession

Here are some examples of 'cuid' in phrases which denote possession:

Mo chuid gruaige / my hair

Do chuid oibre / your work

A chuid airgid / his money

A cuid airgid / her money

A gcuid eolais / their knowledge

Ár gcuid leabhar / our books

Bhur gcuid capall / your (pl.) horses


Cuid / Chuid / gCuid

Before we look at when to use cuid however, you might have spotted that there are three forms of the word in the list above: cuid / chuid  / gcuid

This is because the possessive pronouns in Irish (mo,my; do, your; a,his; a, her etc.) cause an effect on the following noun. You can read more about the possessive pronouns in Irish here. If you watch that short video you'll know exactly why these three forms (cuid / chuid / gcuid) exist!


When to use 'cuid'

Cuid is very commonly used with possession when the thing being referred to is either:

(a) a 'mass noun' or

(b) a plural noun.

Money, air, advice, research, knowledge, hair, blood, furniture, and time are all examples of mass nouns.

Mass nouns are generally uncountable. A way to test for a mass noun is to see if 'a' can be used before it...if not, then it is 99% probable that you are dealing with a mass noun!

(You wouldn't say 'a blood'; 'a money'; 'a time' etc.)

Plural nouns are exactly what it says on the tin: books / houses / cars / horses.


Don't stress!

And here's the thing...

there's no need at all to stress over whether to use cuid or not. Cuid tends to be used before mass nouns, and plural nouns, but....

not always!

Some dialects tend to use cuid more than others; sometimes it may be used more often after certain of the possessive pronouns than others; and sometimes it is used more with certain nouns than others!

It's worth watching out for the use of cuid but definitely not worth over-analysing it (unless that floats your boat)!

The use of cuid before certain mass nouns is very common however, and once you start watching out for these when reading/listening you'll become a master at using cuid in no time at all! Unbeknownst to yourself you will start to get a feel for whether or not you should use cuid with any particular noun.


How to learn Irish grammar

The best way to learn Irish grammar is in two steps: (1.) focus on getting a basic understanding of whatever particular point of grammar you are looking at; and (2.) start to watch out for examples of this particular point whenever you are reading or listening to Irish. Understanding first, and then familiarity through lots of examples! You'll get the hang of it in no time! 

If you want to know more about learning Irish with me have a look at the various courses which I offer here. I offer Beginner Irish courses, along with courses for intermediate and more advanced learners. If you've any questions at all about any of my courses you can contact me here.

Finally, make sure to sign up to my mailing list here if you'd like to receive regular quick and easy tips for learning Irish!

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.