Plurals in the Irish Language
There are two basic patterns to the way a noun changes. In "weak plurals", the genitive plural is the same as the nominative singular. In "strong plurals", all the plural forms are identical: the genitive plural is the same as the nominative (common) plural and the vocative plural. To summarise:
weak plurals: genitive plural = nominative singular
strong plurals: genitive plural = nominative plural = vocative plural
This information isn't usually that helpful in figuring out the npl, because if you don't know the npl, you probably don't know the gpl or vpl either. But it certainly comes in handy for figuring out the gpl or vpl. So it's worth knowing the difference:
- Weak plurals usually end in: -(a)igh, -a, or -e
- Strong plurals usually end in: -(e)anna, -ta, -te, -tha, -the, -(a)í, -(e)adh, -(a)í, í, -(e)acha, -lte, -lne, OR they're formed by syncopating ("scrunching") the ns and adding -e or -a.
Tip: Think of a very similar word whose plural you do know. In this case, "similar" means ending in the same sequence of letters. Chances are the plural for the "new" word is formed in the same way.
For more information, see: