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Bidh / Bi / Bith Bidh / Bi / Bith

The verb “to be” can often be a bit confusing, as it is one of the ten Irregular Verbs in Gaelic. Many forms of bi sound very similar but can have rather different meanings. Let’s look at a few examples of the verb bi now.

Bidh

Both the future tense and the habitual form use the same word, so to say that you regularly do something, use bidh.

Bidh mi a' ruith

- I run

Bi

When used as a question, such as if you wanted to ask someone if they run, bidh becomes bi, as it follows am.

Am bi thu a' ruith?

- Do you run?

You also use bi after gum, mura, or nach:

Carson nach bi thu a' ruith?

- Why don't you run?

Bhi

When using the negative form of the verb, use bhi following cha.

Cha bhi i a' tighinn còmhla rinn

- She will not come with us

Biodh - Conditional

To say something 'would' be the case, use the form bhiodh.

Bhiodh e math dhut

- It would be good for you

When using nam, gum, mura, or nach, this form drops the h to become biodh.

Am biodh tu deònach tighinn còmhla rium?

- Would you be willing to come with me?

Bith

Only use the form bith with sam:

Chan eil leisgeul sam bith agad

- You have no excuse

Bhith

Use bhith when using gu or a:

Chan eil e math dhut a bhith a' dol ro luath

- It is not good for you to go too fast

Bi

And finally, use bi when giving an instruction:

Bi faiceallach mus tuit thu!

- Be careful before you fall!