Can I...?

Just finishing the first course from total beginner and some how I seem to have missed what must be a pretty important start to a sentence.

How do you start a question with, “Can I have/do/buy/etc…”?

Lots of practice in lesson 2 with “Can you…”, but nothing for “Can I”, unless I missed it?

“Can I ……?” / “May I …….?” is “Ga i ……?” and the word following takes a soft mutation but for “Can I/May I have…”, you don’t need the ‘have’ - it’s built in to the ‘ga’ because that itself comes from cael.

So for your examples -

Can I have (a cup of tea) = Ga I (banad o de)
Can I do (something for you) = Ga I (wneud rhywbeth amdanat ti)
Can I buy (that book) = Ga I brynu (y llyfr yna)
etc - e.g. Can I close the door/open the window = Ga I gau’r drws/agor y ffenest



a quick one that I thought about while hitting the snooze button on this very wet and unmotivating day:
We say something like: “fyffa’i byth…” for “I will never…”

Can I extend this to: “dw i wedi byth…” for “I have never” Or “dw i wedi wastad …” for “I have always wanted” or “dw i wedi wir moyn” for "I have really wanted… " etc
Basically I am trying to add a bit more the “dw i wedi bod yn…” structure we have learned and the above is what seems sort of correct…thanks!

Dwi byth wedi - you’re nearly there, just need to swap the order around.


It’s great that you’re trying to extend structures you’ve learnt, so don’t stop doing that, but you happen to have picked one to work on that isn’t as straightforward as it first seems. Don’t worry though, things will click into place as you come across more examples of useage.

You’re kind of on the right lines, but when you extend ‘dw i wedi’ sentences, those 3 words don’t necessarily stay in that order. e.g. I have always wanted = dw i wastad wedi moyn, I have really wanted = dw i wir wedi moyn

However, when it comes to “I have never”, you need ‘erioed’ for the ‘never’ rather than ‘byth’… dwi erioed wedi


Diolch Rob. I had it that way around the first time but changed it as i was about to submit it!

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Ahh, I thought it was a bit more complicated that that. Thank you! I’ll start trying to stick erioed into my sentences :slight_smile:
Thank you Siaron!

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Many thanks siaronjames. Sorry to complicate but is this countrywide, i.e. N and S variations. I have tended to follow the N variations.

remember, byth is fine if it’s not a ‘wedi’ sentence (i.e. if it’s an ‘yn’ construction), but if it is, you need erioed.


Also, don’t stress about it. I know plenty of first language speakers who would say dwi byth wedi and be unaware that it’s ‘wrong’.


yup, absolutely - that’s very true.

If you need a memory aid, wedi and erioed both have e, no y, and yn and byth both have y, no e.

…but I still say “byth wedi” too, when I’m speaking faster than I’m thinking (which happens a lot :wink: )

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thanks for the memory aid! it works very well!