Lesson 18: The Preposition ‘le’

In this lesson we are taking a look at the preposition ‘le’ which means ‘with’ in English. We’ll be looking at the associated grammar with ‘le’. We’ve also added a new jingle to the podcast to spice things up a bit and you’ll get to hear Jarlath do his Robert DeNiro impersonation.

Enjoy the podcast!


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Lesson notes:
Le         With
Liom     With me
Leat      With you
Leis      With him
Léi        With her
Linn      With us
Libh      With you (plural)
Leo       With them

Tá mé ag caint.
I’m talking. 

Tá mé ag labhairt.
I’m speaking. 

Tá mé ag éisteacht.
I’m listening. 

Tá mé anseo le hAntaine.
I’m here with Antaine (Add a small ‘h’ to names with vowels).

Tá mé ag caint liom féin.
I’m talking to myself.

Tá mé ag labhairt le Peadar.
I’m speaking to Peadar.

Tá mé ag éisteacht leis an fhear.
I’m listening to the man (‘fh’ is silent).

NB: In Irish, there are two kinds of vowels; Slender and Broad. Slender vowels are ‘i’, ‘í’, ‘e’ and ‘é’. Broad vowels are ‘a’, ‘á’, ‘u’, ‘ú’, ‘o’ and ‘ó’. Both sets of vowels affect the pronunciation of Irish words. A good crude tip to help differentiate between slender and broad vowels is the phrase ‘Insufficient Eating makes you slender’, but you may have a better mnemonic to help you remember. Look at the following two examples and how their pronunciation is affected:

Tá mé ag caint leis an bhean.
I’m talking to the woman (‘bh’ + slender vowel (e) gives a‘v’ sound).

Tá mé ag éisteacht leis an bhuachaill.
I’m listening to the boy (‘bh’+ broad vowel (u) gives ‘w’ sound).


Phrase of the week:
Ná habair smid!
Don’t say a word!


Iontach maith!
Very good!


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Posted in Easy Irish Podcasts
2 comments on “Lesson 18: The Preposition ‘le’
  1. Barb says:

    Re the sentence : Tá mé ag caint leis an bhean.
    Why isn’t it: Tá mé ag caint léi an bhean. (?)
    I understand the “h”, but Shouldn’t it be “with her” ?? Or is bean a masculine noun?

    • admin says:

      Thank you Barb for your question. The reason is that before the definite article (‘an’ which in English is ‘the’ and in this context ‘the woman’) it takes the ‘leis’ form regardless. Now if the sentence was ‘I was talking to her’ it would be ‘Bhí mé ag caint léi.’

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