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How are you all ? Working hard I hope. I'm Stuart Traill, currently teaching here in Melbourne

Here's a few things to help you along. First we have a verb drill program that you can download and save to use on your own computer. Click here ... Verb drill.

The next drill is for prepositional pronouns. That sounds like quite a mouthful but it's really quite simple. Click here ... Prep-pronoun drill.

When using either of the two drills on your computer here's a few tips.

This year I'm taking my class through verbs in general. Here's a list of the 90 most common verbs in Irish. I understand it was compiled after some research at Cork University. You probably know already that verbs can be either first or second conjugation, and as well there a small number of irregulars. Click here ...Common verbs.

Study the list and see if you can correctly identify which are first and which are second conjugation. Check with your teacher to see if you are right. See if you can devise some games in class to get you using these verbs in conversation. Start off in the present tense and then work outwards from there.

Once you get all that sorted out, then try something a bit more advanced.....

When I was learning I always had trouble with irregular verbs. Some of the text-books did not seem to have the whole story, especially when it comes to knowing when to use "ní" or "níor" in the past tense. Here's a useful document that I made showing everything you need to know about irregular verbs. Click here ...Irregular Verbs.

It's colour coded to show exactly what makes them different from normal verbs. Makes a good glance card if you put the two pages back to back and then laminate it.

Ag lorg foclóra ? Looking for a good on-line dictionary ? Here's a few to get you started

One of the best can be found at the Crannog website

Another can be found at this website

And one more here

Here is another good one

Help, my keyboard has no fada !

Your keyboard is actually smarter than it looks, and thanks to those fine people at Microsoft you can do any accent for any language.

If you are using Microsoft Word then go into help and look under "type international characters" for the whole story. What follows here is just for a fada.

What we call a fada in Irish is known in other languages as an acute accent and can be typed over any vowel. Just hold down the CTRL key and press the apostrophe key. Then release both keys and now type any vowel. It will appear with a fada. Works for capitals as well.

If your e-mail software doesn't support this keyboard feature then don't panic. Just compose your text using MS-Word and then copy/paste the finished text into your e-mail. Fadas will be preserved. Same if you want to put Irish text into a webpage of your own or submit it as a guestbook entry to a site like this one.

Alternatively, if your keyboard has a numeric keypad over on the RHS then you can enter the character code directly. This is good for things like spreadsheets where you often can't type fadas directly using the method described above, and where cutting and pasting is not really practical for lots of small entries. Just hold down the "ALT" key and then type a 4 digit number on your numeric keypad as follows :

Uppercase works like this

Lowercase works like this

And if you really get stuck then you could always copy and paste one of ours.....

Slán agaibh...Stu