18-March-2021 – Lesson 4 in honor of St. Patrick – Beannacht Dé ort! (Blessing of God on you!) “Ban-akHt dJay ort”. I mentioned in lesson 2 that the word beannacht means both a blessing and a greeting. In prior lessons the word for God was Dia but in this phrase we are conveying the meaning ‘of God’ as we say Beannacht Dé (Blessing of God). This phrase could be reversed in English as ‘God’s Blessing’ showing possession of the blessing belonging to God. In Irish, possession is shown with the nouns in the reverse order and the second noun is in the genitive case (an tuiseal ginideach) to convey this meaning of possession. To see if a noun has a different spelling when it is in the genitive case, one only needs to look in an online Irish dictionary (resources for learners). Dia is a noun in the nominative case (an tuiseal ainmneach) and Dé is the same noun with a different spelling in the genitive case (an tuiseal ginideach).
Do you recall in lesson 3 that we explained duit changes to daoibh when addressing more than one person? In today’s phrase we have the prepositional pronoun ort (on you) which is a word that comes from combining ar (on) and tú (you). Duit (to/for you) is also a prepositional pronoun which derives from combining do (to/for) and tú (you). If you want to give the blessing above to more than one person we use oraibh (on you all) pronounced “or-iv” in place of ort (on you). Beannacht Dé oraibh!
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