"Do you have children?"
Translation:An bhfuil clann agat?
In my reading, I've seen gasúr used for children of both sexes, but never used it myself because, as you say, it was just a word for a young boy, and I've never heard it used in the region where I've studied, so I'm not confident enough to use it myself. Is it regional?
I believe gasúir would be needed in this sentence, wouldn't it?
Thank you, Rachel. When I wrote that I hadn't spent a lot of time in the Gaeltacht. Now I know that you are exactly right about the use of gasúr and girseach in Ulster Irish. In Connemara Irish, a gasúr can be a boy or a girl (so kind of a synonym for páiste. I'm not sure whether they use gasúr or just garsún in Munster. Thanks again for the helpful comment.
Is clann used to mean 'immediate family' (i.e. your kids) in a modern Gaeilge slang way?
I've only come across it referring to family in the broadest sense (i.e. immediate family plus other blood-related close family of the same surname, plus occasionally, closely blood-related other families, such as those daughters marry into and 2nd/3rd cousins evolve into through marriage etc): come across up to now that is.
It's a common misconception. Here's something from the 'Cruinneas' section of the website aistear.ie:
CLANN / TEAGHLACH / MUINTIR Is ionann ‘clann’ agus na páistí a bheirtear do thuismitheoirí. Is ionann ‘teaghlach’ agus 'muintir' agus an líon tí go léir, idir pháistí agus tuismitheoirí agus daoine muinteartha. B'ait an rud é, mar sin, déagóir a rá go bhfuil ochtar ina chlann nó gur chaith sé an Nollaig lena chlann. 'Tá ochtar sa teaghlach' agus 'Chaith mé an Nollaig le mo mhuintir' atá i gceist aige dáiríre.
Úsáidtear ‘clann’ chomh maith ag trácht ar shinsir daoine nó de ghrúpa daoine arb ionann sloinne dóibh: ‘duine de Chlann Uí Ruairc é’.
Your previous knowledge is mentioned in the second paragraph while the more common meaning (clann = your children) is in the first paragraph.
Do I understand properly that páistí refers to people of a certain age, while clann refers people of a certain set of parents? For example, when my children were all young and living at home, I could call them either mo pháistí or mo chlann, but now that the youngest is in her twenties, mo pháistí doesn't really fit and mo chlann is correct?
Pretty much. Páistí can be any sort of children: Mom: 'My children are growing up fast.' I say, 'I wish those children weren't playing in the street.' Primary school principal: 'The children are learning to read.' That's pretty much the same as English. Clann refers to children in relation to parents. Mo chlann = my sons and daughters. (As you said, you could say mo pháistí, but I would expect them to be young.)
The problem is that many people in Ireland as well as overseas, use clann to mean family. A nine-year old describing her family should say 'Tá cúigear i mo theaghlach,' not anything about 'mo chlann' because she does not have children. You do hear that, though, but it is incorrect.
It is called the 'dependent' form of the present tense of 'bí.' (Dependent because it doesn't stand alone, always with an, ní, go, . . .) Thankfully, most verbs do not have a dependent form.
tá = am, is, are
an bhfuil (historically, an + fuil) = am?, is?, are?
níl (historically ní + fuil) = am not, is not, are not
The past tense also has a dependent form: raibh
bhí = was, were
an raibh = was? were?
ní raibh = wasn't , weren't
atá is the relative particle a combined with the independent present tense of bí (tá) This combining of the relative particle with the verb only happens with tá - for all other verbs, and for the dependent present tense form of bí (fuil), the relative particle a remains separate from the verb.
You use atá with a direct relative clause, you use a bhfuil with an indirect relative clause.
The bhfuil in an bhfuil is also using the dependent present tense form of bí (fuil), but it is using it with an interrogative particle, not a relative particle, so it has no particular point of comparison with atá.