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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Polarity: whether the word can be or is negated

There is no word for “yes” or “no” in Irish. Instead, a negative particle is used in combination with the verb to give a negative polarity.

Neg: negative

The negative particle * can be used in almost every tense, except the past. It causes lenition to relevant consonants (see Form), otherwise there is no change. In the past tense the particle is written as níor, and does not trigger any further lenition, though the word may already be lenited due to past tense morphology (see Tense).

*In the Ulster dialect, this particle also appears as cha (see Dialect)


The interrogative negative particle nach is used to pose a negative question, or to introduce a clausal complement (see PartType).


The verb “to be” (in Irish ) is given the negative form níl in the present tense, as a contraction of ní bhfuil. It can inflect to show (for instance) person.


Polarity in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [el] [es] [et] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gd] [gub] [hy] [jaa] [ky] [pcm] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tn] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urj]