I have

I’ve seen more than one way of saying ‘I have’ . What is the difference between saying Mae ci gyda fi and Mae gen i ci?

None. They both mean the same: Mae ci gyda fi is used in the southern course as its heard more often in south Cymru/Wales and Mae gen i ci in the northern as its heard more there.


Oh dear, is “Mae ci gen i” totally wrong, because that’s what I’m likely to say!! Certainly “Mae ddrwg gen i” for I’m sorry!! Oh, and I say “Yn i ddim” for “I don’t know!” Is that right? I don’t remember learning it, it just was!!!

No, not wrong at all, so far as I know. Just less usual (in the north) than “mae gen i ci”.
I can remember discussing it in the old forum, and, while we learn the most common pattern in the north and south respectively, variations are possible.

Much more significant (I think) is that “gan” (which is where “gen” comes from) changes according to the noun or pronoun it is used with (gen i, ganddo fo, ganddi hi, etc), whereas “gyda” does not change (so far as I know, and I don’t know the reason why one changes and the other doesn’t, although I am sure there is a good reason :slight_smile: ).

I suspect what you are really saying is “wn i ddim” (from “gwn i ddim”), i.e. short form of gwbod.
There seem to be a few variations on this, and this too has been discussed here occasionally.
e.g. i asked about “dwn im” which I’d heard on S4C (northern speaker).
Paid a phoeni. :slight_smile:


No, it’s not, it’s absolutely fine, just another variation :sunny:

Oh, you are quite right!! I nearly spelled it that way, because it was a toss-up as to whether it sounded ‘w’ (cwm) or ‘y’ (yna)!!
Diolch!! :blush:

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This topic has been useful for me too! I might be jumping the gun here but would/could you ever say, e.g. Mae gyda fi Ci? I’ve only ever used Mae _ gyda fi/ti etc, so it blew my mind hearing “Mae gyda fi” in Level 1, though at this point in the course it has not been used to talk about an object, only concepts…

Yup, but it would soften, so ‘mae gyda fi gi’ :sunny:

Ah I see, diolch yn fawr Aran! So is this a preferred/more common way of saying it these days? Or is it another case of either/or depending on the situation/speaker? :smile:

Not particularly, it’s just a variation :sunny:

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There is no circumstance where “Mae ci gyda fi” is right to say you have a dog. “Mae ci gyda fi” translates as “there is (a) dog with me”, which, unless you have a very specific sentence and context, will never make sense. If people tell you it’s a regional variant (to South Wales), they’re wrong and the people who say “mae ci gyda fi” are wrong.

Even as a Carmarthenshire hwntw, I know that the way to say “I have a dog” is “Mae gen i gi” (though I’m not 100% sure on the mutation without looking it up - always been my achilles’ heel), and that any variant involving “gyda” is wrong, regardless of syntax, because “gyda” means “with”.

Interesting … but you’re wrong.


I’m sorry Catrin, but “mae ci gyda fi” is a perfectly legitimate way to express possession. You’re right in that there are other ways to express possession, but people who use “mae ci gyda fi” - and there are plenty of them, both first language speakers and learners who have been taught that construction, not to mention countless grammar books - are not wrong.

Welsh has many regional differences as you will know, and yes, the North/South divide is often a generalisation more than anything, so not everyone in S.Wales uses the gyda construction, but it is more common in areas there than it is in the North.


Don’t get me wrong, in colloquial speech I’ll say “ma’ ci 'da fi” or maybe “ma’ 'da fi ci” but I’d be technically wrong. There were plenty of first language Welsh peers in my school who would always use “gyda” and “gen” interchangeably including to express possession like this, but that’s because they either didn’t listen when they were younger or their parents were so colloquially Carmarthenshire that they didn’t know the difference. They have different meanings though, so it’s clunky to say “gyda” in that context. Like in English the difference between to and too. People will know what you mean, and tons of people get it wrong/don’t know the difference, and typos (at least I hope they’re typos) exist in print, but that doesn’t mean they’re right to use them interchangeably.

Colloquial Welsh is, as you say, sometimes not grammatically perfect. However, it is not “wrong”, neither is it a product of not listening at school or being too colloquial-anywhere. It is natural spoken Welsh which varies from area to area and it is perfectly acceptable.


Hi, Catrin. I don’t at all doubt that you were taught something else. However, the “mae . . .gyda fi” form is taught in the standard Welsh Government Welsh for Adults curriculum (southern version, Cwrs Mynediad), in the terrific Modern Welsh grammar compendium by Gareth King, in the old BBC Catchphrase series, and, well, in many many other places.

I know you’re new as a registered user here. You’ll find that the SSIW community is friendly and terrific at helping people learn how to communicate in natural spoken Welsh, of which there are quite a few variants!


All through school in south wales I was taught mae ci gyda fi, I’m sure I’ve got that sentence etched in my brain. It wouldn’t be the first thing I was taught that was technically inncorrect or not really used by actual welsh speakers however! Using Dw’in still feels wrong to me after all the years of having Rydw in drilled in!

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Yes, all those things seem very familiar :smile:

It can be ‘ci gyda fi’ or ‘gyda fi ci’ however either is right - neither is wrong. :sunny:

Rich :slight_smile:

Slightly tangential to the above, by why does ‘mae gyda fi’ cause soft mutation? Is it something about the phrase as a whole, or is it the word ‘fi, or is it something else?

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Hi @LiamQ

Any word which ends up right next to the subject/ person of a sentence, takes soft mutation ( if it’s a letter that soft mutates).

In the present tense with its regular order, there is either an ‘yn’ or dim next the person - and dim goes to ddim for this very reason of course.

Other tenses which don’t require an ‘yn’ - cause a mutation. Eg dylwn i fynd - I should go.

If you can get your head around it, it’s a very useful way of getting mutations right which otherwise require you to learn a miriad of specific situations.

Rich :slightly_smiling_face: