Question: Course1, gwers24

Shwmae pawb. Just trying to make sense of why a phrase is different to what I expected:

“I have had something to drink but I haven’t had anything to eat”.

I was expecting Dw i wedi cael rhywbeth yfed ond dw i ddim wedi cael dim byd bwyta, but Cat & Iestyn say “rhywbeth i yfed” and “rhywbeth i fwyta”.

Where is that “i” coming from? because if yfed is " to drink" then “something to drink” would be rhywbeth yfed without need for an added “to”. What am I missing?

This is where English’s weird infinitive causes problems. Yfed is “to drink” as an infinitive which corresponds to the verbnoun in Welsh. . But here, “to” is acting as a preposition not as part of a infinitive. Therefore it is needed.

By the way, you are making great progress. You’ll be passing me up soon.

Hi Craig, and diolch for the reply.

I think I better go and look up what a preposition is - I’ll do that tomorrow when my brain is more awake. Or maybe you can tell me what one is when I catch you up Teasing Delighted

Looking at the example more closely, I’m not sure my assessment was correct. Usually when the ‘i’ appears, it is a preposition. But here, I’m not sure. Maybe something else is happening.

Prepositions are words like: to, from, on, over, under, through, etc.
They show location or direction.

Carole

I learnt when to use i and when not to just by ear, by constantly repeating the lessons. Sometimes it sounds right, and sometimes it sounds wrong. I don’t think I have ever stopped to consider the grammatical implications - just repeat what you hear, and if you make a mistake, correct it. Simple and effective.

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This is a (tricky) case of the languages not mapping to each other. In English, you say to + verb when you are talking about doing the action, but also when you mean something like ‘in order to’. See if you can hear a difference with:

I like to run

and

I’m paying to run in the London marathon.

The first can be changed easily and correctly to ‘I like running’ - but you can’t say ‘I’m paying running in the London marathon’.

This distinction is more important in Welsh - ‘dwi isio rhywbeth yfed’ sounds to us like ‘I want something drinking’ - but in every example where you could use -ing in English, you’re absolutely right that you don’t need to use ‘i’ in Welsh.

However!

Bontddu is 100% correct when he says that the way you’ll ‘get’ this is not by trying to learn/understand the distinction, it’s by accepting the difference, and hearing ‘rhywbeth i yfed’ often enough until you’d never think of saying ‘rhywbeth yfed’, because it would just ‘sound wrong’. That ‘sounding wrong’ thing is enormously important - it’s the sign that your brain has internalised the speech pattern, and that you’re turning into a Welsh speaker…:slight_smile:

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Thanks Craig, Bontddu & Aran. Yes, I can see the difference with the 2 “to’s” - that makes sense, as does the advice to learn by listening alone. Rhwybeth i yfed does actually sound right and I was indeed using this construction by my next playing of the lesson so am glad about that.

I do have faith in my ability to learn by listening, but I also find it interesting to know the reasons for what I am saying. So thanks for explaining, and I promise not to get hung up on grammar :slight_smile:

I do have faith in my ability to learn by listening, but I also find it interesting to know the reasons for what I am saying. So thanks for explaining, and I promise not to get hung up on grammar :slight_smile:

That sounds like a deal…:seren: