In the old course (and in class) we are taught ‘I have a friend’ = 'Mar ffrind ‘da fi’ but I hear in challenge 1 that it is ‘Mae gyda fi ffrind’. Why the different form?

you can use both constructions in speech.

mae x gyda fi
mae gyda fi x
mae x gen i
mae gen i x


This isn’t gospel, but…

I think it’s the ‘gyda fi’ or ‘gen i’ part that sparks the mutation. So if your noun is coming after that it needs to mutate (mae gyda fi gi) but if you use the structure where the noun comes after the verb it doesn’t (mae ci gyda fi).

I haven’t actually been taught this (!) - mostly I’ve learned the mutations by ear, so this is just what ‘sounds right’ to me. I’m sure someone will put me right if there’s actually a proper rule about it.


Yes because it’s the possessor that causes the mutation


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You are, of course, quite right! The soft mutation occurs after both.

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Eeeeeh… one way of looking at it! Another (more common way of explaining it) is that it simply happens after the form “gen i” or “gyda fi”.

Ooh, I do love it when I’m right! :wink:

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Ture, but the mutation is caused by the:

So its them that cause a T.M.

Actually opinion is divided on the matter.
If you like that explanation, that’s great, run with it! :blush:

It didn’t realise that was contentious. I’ve always been taught that they cause a T.M.

I’m intrigued now. Could you explain a bit more please?

That’s fine. I don’t think “contentious” is the word - that implies a civil war!
Some of the easy ways to remember wide swathes of mutations are not universally accepted as “rules”, as they seem to come from different places historically as it were, and don’t always cover every variety of Welsh.
No problem though, if it works and helps you remember!

Haha, true. No i didn’t mean to imply any strife. I just hadn’t realised that wasn’t a rule.

For instance, what causes the soft mutation in “prynais i gath”?
Saying it is “i” as the subject of the verb which caused it is nice and simple.

However, it also occurs when the subject is dropped- “prynais gath”.
So it’s normally explained as the object of a short form verb undergoes soft mutation.

However, the subject is not normally dropped nowadays.
But you would require a different set of rules for a more formal Welsh if you say it is the subject causing it.
And historically the object of the verb thing is where the mutation comes from.

So swings and roundabouts!

The traditional way of listing mutations is in long, unrelated lists of words and grammatical forms.

This is difficult to remember! So anything which can put them into groups, whatever the justification for it, could be of use!
But not - necessarily - the ‘best’ way of explaining it grammatically in an abstract way, if you see what I mean.

I feel your pain!

Out of interest, off topic slightly here; other than ‘Celtic’ languages (Kernoweg, Cymraeg, Irish, etc) do you know of other languages that mutate?

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Ah I see what you mean. I guess in my head it’s still the “i” that causes it. Just as “dw i’n wneud o”, to me, the mutation is caused by the “ei” even though it’s been dropped.

Aye, but soft mutation may have been brought in to mark the object because the subject could be dropped! You can see mutations coming in and out of Welsh as time goes by. The great majority (and that’s putting it mildly!) of grammarians go along with the “object of verb” explanation. ,

No problem anyway. As I say, it’s just about describing grammar in an abstract way, rather than anything making it easier to remember!


I am slightly lost now but thats still very interesting!

Is there a time when the “fi/ti/chi…” doesn’t cause a treiglad meddal?

Yes. Now, because soft mutation is caused because it is the object of the short form verb. :wink:

I very vaguely remember reading something about when the soft mutation of the object of a verb started appearing in writing, but I may be misremembering. I’ll see if I can track it down.

Sorry, away from most books and can’t find it, if it exists.

Doesn’t really make a difference, though - I mean, most grammarians say object of verb, as do any friends I have who are willing to talk about such things, but it makes absolutely no difference if you think of it as caused by “i” or whatever! Absolutely none.

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