I in front of verbs in welsh

I’m sure there’s been an answer to this, but i can’t find it! Why is i sometimes used in front of verbs and sometimes not? In challenge 23 why is it mae’n bwysig fwyta digon and not i fwyta? Does it matter if the i is in there or not, or is there a rule of thumb for when it is or isn’t used?

In Welsh, the ‘to’ is usually included in the verb, so no need to have a separate ‘i’, but as a general rule (there are always exceptions!), you would put the ‘i’ in if the sense of ‘to’ is “in order to”. So in your example, you wouldn’t say “it’s important in order to eat enough”, so you don’t need the extra ‘i’.


oh ok - that makes it clearer! Thanks :slight_smile:

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I have always struggled with when to use ‘i’ and this is probably the first time that I have understood it :grinning::grinning::grinning: . But to keep the ‘rule’ in my head, would it be correct to say ‘mae’n pwysig fwyta i fyw’ and not ‘mae’n pwysig fwyta byw’?


Brilliant - that’s kind of what I’d got it to, but I hadn’t seen it confirmed anywhere.
Diolch yn fawr @siaronjames (thanks for asking Kate, good clarification question Peter :slight_smile:

Change of tack - twlid (throw) isn’t in any dictionary I’ve got access to - is that because it’s a more southern word? Similarly gytre for ‘home’. Have learned both in the southern courses… can you help Siaron?

Realise recommendation of a more comprehensive Welsh-English dictionary might be what I need(?) Currently have GK’s much appreciated Modern Welsh Dictionary, Ap Geiriaduron and Google (for when otherwise drawing a blank, but…)


twlid is, I think, a passive form of tawlu - dictionaries will give you a verb but not necessarily their conjugated forms.
gytre is a colloquial spelling of gartref - again, dictionaries usually won’t list colloquial spelling variations.

My go-to online dictionaries are these:
https://geiriaduracademi.org/ - English to Welsh only, but good for giving you examples of useage, not just a list of words.
http://geiriadur.ac.uk/gpc/gpc.html - Welsh to English only, can seem a bit on the ‘academic’ side and not quite so easy to navigate, but useful.
https://geiriadur.uwtsd.ac.uk - Welsh to English and English to Welsh, and lots of filters to choose from (although to be honest, the filters I usually use are “everything” and “whole word” or “part of a word or phrase”)

Twlid could be either taflyd, a variant of taflu, therefore a VN…or (as I think @siaronjames was implying) taflwyd - the autonomous/impersonal form was/were thrown. We’d have to see the context to know which.

(My money’s on taflyd).

GPC does give tawlu as an alternative to taflu, though I must admit, I’ve never heard anyone use tawlu, so perhaps it’s quite regional by now.

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The GPC also interestingly suggests that tawl-/tafl- comes from the same root as the Ancient Greek word for ‘city’ polis, originally pTOLis, which might imply that in Welsh the tawlu variant is the original one, with taflu being a development from that. Perhaps. Or perhaps not.

Taflu is standard these days - tawlu and taflyd widely heard hither and you (yma ac acw!), though.

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Hi @siaronjames @garethrking - thank you for your thoughts. But if it’s making you think, no wonder I’ve not found it!

Re: context (all southern course) - twlid - old course 2, lesson 6 (where Iestyn comments will also hear taflu used) - lots of throwing balls/things at a wall.

First came across in (‘current’ course) level 3, challenge 2, in phrase i dwlid e ; mainly throwing things over walls and hotels in level 3! I hadn’t realised actually mutated twlid until doing the old course lesson.

Thank you for online dictionary suggestions :slight_smile: - what would you suggest bookwise?
(Confess I do like having an actual book where it’s a realistic option)…

The Geiriadur Yr Academi is available in book form - it’s a bit of a lump size-wise and price-wise though.
My only other book dictionary is Y Geiriadur Mawr. It’s good for obsolete words.
You already have Gareth’s dictionary - that would be the other one I’d recommend.


While used in past expressions - eg.‘he was throwing a ball at the wall’, also appears in expressions like ‘you will have time to throw the ball at the wall’, ‘I will have a desire to throw a ball at the wall’, ‘throwing the ball is useful’… Does that help?

Well that is definitely the VN, so it’s taflyd/tawlyd.

I don’t pretend to grasp why that makes it clear!! - but does that mean it’s likely twlid is a colloquial spelling/way of saying tawlyd?

With consensus between you that taflu is the word more commonly heard…

yep, I think that’s got to be what it is :slight_smile:


Because of the i before the dwlid - if it’s the preposition i, then it must be a noun after it, so that can only be the VN; likewise if that i is really ei (pronounced i anyway), then again it can only be followed by a noun, so again VN here.


I’m not sure about that, but it IS definitely the standard.

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:smile: :+1: Have you considered a career in politics?! :smile:

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