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  5. "Do you have children?"

"Do you have children?"

Translation:An bhfuil clann agat?

September 5, 2014



Is there a reason clann is used instead of páisti'? Are they synonyms?


Páistí is children in general; clann is your children. I don't know for sure why DL used clann -- perhaps because it's more specific???


I see, go raibh maith agat. Interesting that in another exercise I saw 'an bhfuil páistí uathu?', I think it was - maybe DL just rotates the usage for exposure to different words. GRMA


That's also okay. If I'm asking about your sons/daughters, I can say either clann or páistí. I've heard that sometimes a new (untaught) word just pops up in an exercise. or maybe that's how DL always introduces new vocab,


Im also confused about this. Surely paisti means children.


Paistí does mean children, clann means family in the sense of family descended from you. I.e. children/ offspring


gasúr is also a suitable word for children. it used to only refer to boys but is now used for both sexes


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?


I think gasur is just another word for boy (not your children) and girseach is used for a girl. It is regional and is used more so in Ulster Irish


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 leanbh younger?


Where did clann come from? This has not been introduced.


In what region of Ireland do they use Clann to mean children?


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 refers to your children and is the standard usage. It is not any sort of slang. Read some of the other posts on this page, please.


Thanks. I did see your previous post and I'm not doubting you, but I've not come across it before in relation to something as specific as just your own children.


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.


Thanks, but completely beyond my capacity to understand. One day perhaps.


Oh. Here's the first sentence: Is ionann ‘clann’ agus na páistí a bheirtear do thuismitheoirí. 'Clann' is the same as children born to parents.


Family in the broad sense would be "muinteoir" (not sure about the spelling there). Clann would be used for children/siblings.


múinteoir means "teacher".

muintir can be used to refer to "Household, community, family; associates, adherents, followers; party, retinue".


clann = offspring

deartháireacha agus deirfiúracha = siblings


Even though I accept Clann is more correct, if you are talking about your own children, I still think "an bhfuil pástaí agat" should be accepted, as meaning "do you have children with you".


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.


Okay, I'm struggling with bhfuil- what exactly does it mean? Been trying to get it to 'click' for me... to no avail


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


Strictly speaking, all verbs have a dependent form. But for regular verbs it happens to be the same as the independent form.


Is "atá" also a form of bí? If so, what's the difference between "atá" and "bhfuil?"


atá is the relative particle a combined with the independent present tense of () This combining of the relative particle with the verb only happens with - for all other verbs, and for the dependent present tense form of (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 (fuil), but it is using it with an interrogative particle, not a relative particle, so it has no particular point of comparison with atá.


I just tend to think of it as :

"is" or "are" but that would be a very simplified explanation for it and would not entirely cover it, but it helped me understand it a liitle.


Much appreciated! Thanks, Stephen!


I thought clann was family and paisti should be children?

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