Irish language

The Bluffer gives a fair hearing to another irregular verb

AN gCLUIN TÚ MÉ?: The Bluffer’s hearing is going down the Swanee at a rate of knots and it won’t be long before he needs a horn to listen to the praise of his many fans 
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad míle fáilte isteach chuig the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

A lot of conversation is about what you have heard people say when you are having a chat or what you hear on the radio or TV, or increasingly nowadays, on a podcast.

So the verb to hear is very important, let’s get tore into.

Cluinim is I hear and it’s followed by cluin tú, cluin sé, cluin sí etc - I hear, you hear, he hears, she hears etc.

(Cluin is short for cluineann ...)

The negative is ní chluinim, ní chluin tú, etc. - I don’t hear, you don’t hear and so on and the interrogative (when you ask a question not necessarily in a cell with a light shining in a suspect’s eyes) is an/go/nach gcluin.

But lets make some useful sentences out of the above.

In Irish when you are asking a question, you normally leave the an out so you’d get (an) gcluin tú sin? Do you hear that? if you hear things that go bump in the night.

Ní chluinim - I don’t.

Nach gcluin siad tú? Don’t they hear you?

Cluin - they do.

The past tense, telling or asking people what they’ve heard is chuala mé, níor chuala mé and ar/gur/nár chuala mé.

So you’ll have noticed that the an/go/nach changes to ar/gur/nár.

(Like any language there are different accents and people pronounce chuala differently but in Ulster we would tend to pronounce it hulla.)

So you could ask ar chuala tú Theresa May inné? Did you hear TM yesterday? 

If you did, you would say chuala or níor chuala.

Chuala mé go raibh tú tinn - I heard you were sick.

Nár chuala tú mé ag scairtigh ort? - Did you not hear me calling you? 

Chuala mé nár éirigh leat an bus a fháil - I heard you didn’t manage to get the bus.

The verb to hear is very useful to practice because you’ll hopefully have noticed that go/nach or gur/nár corresponds with the word that as in I heard that you at the concert for example.

The future tense of cluin is cluinfidh and it’s the same for everybody - cluinfidh mé, cluinfidh tú, etc.

The negative is ní chluinfidh mé, etc and an/go/nach gcluinfidh mé, etc.

(Yes, it’s back to an/go/nach in the future).

Ní chluinfidh tú uaim go ceann tamaill - you won’t hear from me for a while is how you could less than subtly tell someone you’re giving them the boot while pretending you’ve got a job in Abu Dhabi.

Another important aspect of cluin is what’s called the verbal noun and all verbs have one. In the case of cluin, the verbal noun is cluinstin, ag cluinstin is hearing and a chluinstin means to hear.

An dtig leat mé a chluinstin? Can you hear me? (literally, can you me to hear?)

So now you can have conversations about having heard the new Jiggy album (it’s called Translate and it’s great) or the latest S-Town podcast which is also fab or you can tell your neighbours all the gossip that you’ve heard about yer man and yer woman from down the street - although the Bluffer forbids gossip!

CÚPLA FOCAL

Cluinim (clinyim) - I hear 

cluin tú, cluin sé, cluin sí etc (clin too, clin shay, clin she) - I hear, you hear, he hears, she hears

ní chluinim, ní chluin tú (nee khlinyim, nee khlin too) - I don’t hear, you don’t hear 

(an) gcluin tú sin? (glin too may) - Do you hear that?

Ní chluinim (nee khlinyim) - I don’t

Nach gcluin siad thú? (nakh glin shade hoo) -  Don’t they hear you?

Cluin (clin) - they do.

ar chuala tú Theresa May inné? (er hulla too TM inyay) Did you hear TM yesterday

Chuala mé go raibh tú tinn (hulla my gaw roe too chin) - I heard you were sick

Nár chuala tú mé ag scairtigh ort? (narr hulla too may eg scartchee ort) - Did you not hear me calling you? 

Chuala mé nár éirigh leat an bus a fháil (hulla may naar eerree lat un bus a isle) - I heard you didn’t manage to get the bus

cluinfidh mé, cluinfidh tú (clinyee may, clinyee too) -  I will hear, you will hear

Ní chluinfidh tú uaim go ceann tamaill (nee khlinyee too wooam gaw kyun tamil) - you won’t hear from me for a while

An dtig leat mé a chluinstin? (un jig lat may a khlinshtin) - Can you hear me?

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