Dedicated to the Gaelic Language of the Isle of Man
Lessoonyn Meanagh

Intermediate Lessons

lesson 17: Loayrt mychione traa - expressing time

We have already learned how to count in Manx so we can use what we already know to express time by using the phrase, 'er y chlag', on the clock, in other words, something o'clock [er y chlag] ---------- er y chlag. So we can go through the hours:

Nane er y chlag ---------- [Nane er y chlag]
Hoght er y chlag ---------- [Hoght er y chlag]

And so on, and when we come to twelve o'clock we can use Daa-yeig er y chlag ---------- [Daa-yeig er y chlag], but we can also refer to either munlaa, midday or noon, munlaa [munlaa] ---------- munlaa, or for midnight we can say mean-oie [mean-oie] ---------- mean-oie. So that's on the hour. What about between times?

The word for a quarter is kerroo [kerroo] ---------- kerroo. For a quarter past, we say 'kerroo lurg' [kerroo lurg] ---------- kerroo lurg, and we simply use that with the number, so it's very straightforward. A quarter past two, kerroo lurg jees [kerroo lurg jees] ---------- kerroo lurg jees.

A quarter past eleven, kerroo lurg nane-jeig [kerroo lurg nane-jeig] ---------- kerroo lurg nane-jeig.

A half-hour is lieh-oor [lieh-oor] ---------- lieh-oor. For half past something, we use it in the same way as kerroo. Half-past five, lieh-oor lurg queig [lieh-oor lurg queig] ---------- lieh-oor lurg queig.

Half-past twelve, lieh-oor lurg daa-yeig [lieh-oor lurg daa-yeig] ---------- lieh-oor lurg daa-yeig.

And as well as using the number twelve, daa-yeig, we can use the same construction whether that's twelve midday or twelve midnight: lieh-oor lurg munlaa [lieh-oor lurg munlaa] ---------- lieh-oor lurg munlaa.

Lieh-oor lurg mean-oie [lieh-oor lurg mean-oie] ---------- lieh-oor lurg mean-oie.

For a quarter to an hour, we use kerroo dys or kerroo gys – dys and gys are both the same meaning and you'll hear them both.

So quarter to seven would be kerroo gys shiaght [kerroo gys shiaght] ---------- kerroo gys shiaght.

A quarter to midnight, kerroo gys mean-oie [kerroo gys mean-oie] ---------- kerroo gys mean-oie.

We've been very exact here, but we'd probably normally say we did things about a certain time, mysh [mysh] ---------- mysh: T'eh mysh nane-jeig, It's about eleven, [Te mysh nane-jeig.] ---------- Te mysh nane-jeig.

Te mysh kerroo lurg nuy. It's about a quarter past nine. [Te mysh kerroo lurg nuy.] ---------- Te mysh kerroo lurg nuy.

Te mysh lieh-oor lurg tree, It's about half-past three. [Te mysh lieh-oor lurg tree.] ---------- Te mysh lieh-oor lurg tree.

And as well as kerroo lurg, a quarter past, lieh-oor lurg, half-past, kerroo dys, a quarter to, or, same thing, kerroo gys, we can use lurg and dys or gys with other numbers to say, for example, ten past – ten past nine, jeih lurg nuy [jeih lurg nuy] ---------- jeih lurg nuy.

Feed dys tree. Twenty to three, [feed dys tree] ---------- feed dys tree.

Sometimes, people will pop the word, minnid, in as well, so it's jeih minnid dys tree, ten minutes to three, [jeih minnid dys tree] ---------- Jeih minnid dys tree.

So we can say five to seven, queig gys shiaght, or queig minnid dys shiaght.

And we can say twenty past seven, feed lurg shiaght, or feed minnid lurg shiaght.

What about where we want to say twenty-five to, or twenty-five past?

For twenty five we use queig as feed, five and twenty, queig as feed [queig as feed] ---------- queig as feed. So twenty-five past two is queig as feed lurg jees [queig-as feed lurg jees] ---------- queig as feed lurg jees].

Twenty-five to eight, queig as feed dys hoght [queig as feed dys hoght] ---------- queig as feed dys hoght.

If we use the word minnid, a minute, we'd say queig minnid as feed dys hoght, five minutes and twenty to eight, [queig minnid as feed dys hoght], queig minnid as feed lurg nane-jeig, five minutes and twenty after eleven, [queig minnid as feed lurg nane-jeig].

And don't forget, you can always use mysh, about, mysh, to give an indication of what time it is, rather than an exact time. Mysh.

Now we can tell someone the time. But what are they going to ask us?

Cre'n traa t'eh? What the time it is, what time is it? The question in already in the word, Cre, what, so we can just ask Cre'n traa t'eh? What time is it? Cre'n traa t'eh? [Cre'n traa t'eh?] ---------- Cre'n traa t'eh?

Cre'n traa t'eh?

T'eh nane er y chlag.

Cre'n traa t'eh?

T'eh mysh lieh oor lurg daa-yeig. about half-past twelve, mysh lieh-oor lurg daa-yeig. Time to finish this lesson – shen eh woish lessoon shiaght-jeig.

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