Today I did Course 2 Lesson 22 North. At about time 11’ 15" (on my MP3 player) I heard the construction “achos i mi anghofio” as a translation of “because I forgot”. I was expecting “achos wnes i anghofio”. I don’t remember this construction actually being introduced by Aran. I suppose that “achos i mi anghofio” is equivalent to “because of my forgetting”. Is this the same construction as “cyn i mi”?
Achos i mi anghofio sounds more Welsh (I dare to suggest) than Achos wnes i anghofio, which sounds English to the point of awkwardness I would say - though others may disagree.
The root issue here is that achos is a conjunction, and so in Welsh we would expect a subordinate (i.e. ‘that…’) clause after it. Same is true with Pam…?, incidentally.
So I would always recommend (first of all)
Achos bod nhw’n dod Because they’re coming
rather than Achos maen nhw’n dod, which to me at least sounds not quite right.
Pam fod e fan’ma? Why is he here?
rather than Pam mae e fan’ma - dodgy to my ears at least.
The next thing then to remember is that the little preposition i does have a ‘that…’ meaning’ - this is the real reason that we say (as @Baruch astutely spotted) cyn i mi fynd, and lots of other time conjunctions too. Note also that many dialects actually use cyn bod/fod….instead - just making the ‘that…’ even more apparent.
And when there is a sense of past tense, i comes even more into its own as ‘that…’, which is why
Achos i mi anghofio Because I forgot
is such perfect Welsh!
I hope you’re all taking notes - there’ll be a short test on this next period.
I’m not entirely confortable with achos bod, because I tend to use oherwydd bod (oherwydd and achos in speech have an identical meaning). On the other hand, achos mae sounds perfectly acceptable to my ear. I’ll be absolutely frank and say I have no idea whether that’s because it’s widely used or whether it’s because I spend a lot of time with second language speakers, and have never really noticed that it’s not 100% correct.
I am almost certain that bod here is not what is used in Llandysul at least, and definitely seems uncomfortable to me. IE, I would definitely say “pam mae fe fanna?” as a question. In a statement, I would tend to use bod - " dwi ddim yn gwybod pam bod e fanna."
I’m not saying this to disagree with @garethrking - I’m a Welsh speaking ex-engineer, not a linguist or academic - but rather to reassure you as second language speakers a) that there’s no need to worry about this level of detail until you’re ready for it and b) that you will get away unnoticed with far worse crimes against grammar than either of these grammatical details!
We’re all learners here (including me), and I for one will be listening out when I hear this pattern form other Welsh speakers!