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thar mholadh beirte

Níl sé thar mholadh beirte

easy grammar tips useful phrases

It's just not up to scratch!

There is a great expression in the Irish language to say that something is below par, or leaves a lot to be desired:

Níl sé thar mholadh beirte

It’s pretty crap (you wouldn’t find two people to praise it!)

Níl an leabhar sin thar mholadh beirte - ná cuir do chuid ama amú á léamh.

That book is nothing special - don’t waste your time reading it.

Ní airím thar mholadh beirte inniu

I don’t feel great today


The word ‘moladh’ means praise; and ‘beirt’ means two people.

As you probably already know when two nouns come together in Irish the second noun is now in what is called the ‘genitive case’ (an tuiseal ginideach) and often has a different form. Nouns in English don’t change in this way…..which is why it can take a little while to become familiar with this concept. (We explain it fully in our Tuiseal Ginideach course).


Moladh + beirt = Moladh beirte

(‘beirte’ is the genitive form of ‘beirt’).

Moladh beirte

The praise of two people


Did you notice that the preposition ‘thar’ causes a séimhiú (a ‘h’)?

Thar mholadh beirte

beyond the praise of two people

Níl do charr thar mholadh beirte, ba cheart duit ceann nua a fháil

Your car should be on the scrapheap, you should get a new one


The preposition ‘thar’ doesn’t always trigger a séimhiú however - when it refers to something of a general nature, rather than a specific nature, then there is no sound change, and therefore nó séimhiú.

Here are a few common phrases containing ‘thar’:

Thar barr

top class

Chuala mé go bhfuil an t-óstán sin thar barr, ba breá liom dul ann.

I heard that that hotel is excellent, I would love to go there.

Thar sáile

Abroad (lit. across sea-water)

Cén uair a bheidh muid ábalta dul thar sáile arís, meas tú?

When will we be able to go abroad again, do you reckon?

Thar lear


Chaith siad an samhradh seo caite thar lear

They spent last summer abroad


‘Thar’ is often used to refer to a span of time, e.g. overnight

D’fhan sé i mBaile Átha Cliath thar oíche

He stayed in Dublin overnight

Coinníodh san ospidéal thar oíche é

He was kept in the hospital overnight


Tá ranganna Gaeilge le All About Irish thar barr ar fad!

Irish classes with All About Irish are great altogether!

Ar chláraigh tú fós? Tosaíonn ranganna nua gach mí.

Have you registered yet? New classes start every month.