My wife's birthday

Apologies for spelling. I don’t understand what’s happening at the start of lesson 14 (course 2) says:

Birthday - penblwydd
Her birthday - ei phenblwydd hi

My wife - fy ngwraig e
Your wife - Dy wraig d

But then:

my wife’s birthday - penblwydd ngwraig e (I presume the fy/ver is just getting swallowed)
your wife’s birthday - penblwydd dy wraig d

Is it mere word order that gives “my wife” or “your wife” possession of “birthday” in those latter two sentences?

Yup. Think of these possessives as, in a way, adjectival. So:

A red car - Car coch
Dai’s car - Car Dai

It’s just another way of describing a car, and it’s all done through word order. The complication you’re facing is that when using the personal pronouns, a slightly more complex (and variable according to personal preference) pattern is apparent, but you don’t have to worry about that with other possessives.

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yes, what Rob said!

another tip - the word order may be easier to ‘get’ if you imagine a silent “of” after the thing ‘being possessed’ - birthday (of) my wife, birthday (of) your wife, etc.

The ‘of’ isn’t required in the welsh but it might help to make sense of the word order in translation. The best thing to do though is not worry about the ‘why’ too much at first - it’s one of those patterns that you’ll soon pick up without having to think about it!


Thank you both. I just wasn’t sure if that would be it, what with word order sometimes being so fluid.