Irish Language Blog

An Teaghlach – The Family Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in Irish Language

Dia daoibh!

Today I wanted to share with you some an teaghlach (family) vocabulary, some grammar, as well as some resources to help with your Irish language journey.

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

An chlannfamily (children)

Athair – Father

Máthair – Mother

Deartháir – Brother

Deirfiúr – Sister

Tuismitheoir(í) – Parent(s)

Mac – Son

Iníon – Daughter

Seanathair/ Daideo – Grandfather/ Grandad

Seanmháthair/ Mamó – Grandmother/ Granny

An athair tú? – Are you a father?

An máthair tú? – Are you a mother?

Nach tuismitheoir tú? – Aren’t you a parent?

Nach seanmháthair tú? – Aren’t you a grandmother?

An bhfuil páistí agat? – Do you have children?

Tá. Tá beirt pháistí agam. – Yes. I have two children.

Tá clann agam/againn. – I/we have a family.

Níl páistí (ar bith) agam/againn. – I/we have no children (at all)

Tá mé/Tá muid ag súil le páiste (eile). – I/we are expecting a (another) child.

An bhfuil tú pósta? – Are you married?

Cé hí do bhean chéile? – Who is your wife?

Cé hé d’fhear céile? – Who is your husband?

Cé mhéad páiste atá agat/agaibh? – How many children do you/you (pl) have?

An bhfuil deartháireacha/deirfiúracha agat? – Do you have a brothers/sisters?

Tá. Tá beirt dheartháireacha agam agus deirfiúr amháin. – Yes. I have two brothers and one sister.

In this vocabulary list we see the verb ‘to have’ in English. In Irish there is no straightforward verb ‘to have’ so instead they use ‘ag‘ (at) to represent this – something that you ‘have’ is described as being ‘at’ you.

Agam – (at me) I have

Agat –  (at you) You have

Aige – (at him)He has

Aici – (at her) She has

Againn – (at us) We have

Agaibh – (at you all)You all have

Acu – (at them) They have

So, if you wanted to say I have two children, you would say tá beirt pháistí agam, literally ‘two children at me.’ Or you could negate it and say níl clann agam – I do not have children, literally ‘no children at me.’ 

Now that we have learned some new expressions and vocabulary, you may be asking yourself – how do I pronounce all of it? I would like to introduce you to ABAIR, which is a project of the Phonetics and Speech Laboratory at the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. They have been developing synthetic voices for Irish since 2008. They have covered all three major dialects of Irish – Gweedore (Ulster), Ráth Chairn (Connaught) and the Dingle Peninsula (Munster). Click here to check it out and play around!

Slán go fóill! 

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Siobhán:

    Go raibh maith agat. Is brea liom é sin.

  2. Rudy Jakma:

    Thanks, I want to learn Irish, but am struggling with the language. This promises to be very helpful.

  3. David Woodnutt:

    Thank you – that’s really helpful!

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