Verbal Noun

In Early Modern Irish, the verbal noun has not developed into a genuine infinitive and is thus declined like any other noun and governs the genitive. (Bergin, Stories From Keating, p. xv)

For example, one finds constructions such as ní toil liom fastódh na fileadha (“I am not willing to retain the poets,” literally “the retention of the poets is not will with me.”) Alternatively, this could also be expressed ní toil liom na fileadha d’fhastódh, where the preposition do is used to attach the verbal noun to fileadha (literally, “the poets for retention are not will with me.”)(Bergin, Stories From Keating, p. xv)

The noun to which the verbal noun is appended takes its case in relation to what goes before it.


Nominativecia dá roichfeadh an rí do bhearradh

Accusativedo-chualadar áitheas d’éirghe

Genitiveré linn Mheidhbhe do bheith i gceannas 

go ham a chíosa do thógbheail

Dativeré bráighdibh do chor uaidh

óna clogaibh sin do bhuain

(Osborn Bergin, “Introduction,” Stories from Keating’s History of Ireland, p. xv-xvi)